I don’t know about you, but my loved ones made me feel quite spoiled over the holidays. One of the things I was gifted with is The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook from our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. It is a truly lovely book chockablock with yummy recipes and beautiful photos of not just the food, but of Ireland, as well.
I enjoy perusing cookbooks for inspiration, and I wasted no time in settling in with this glorious volume — nor did I waste any time in trying out their recipe for Irish Buttermilk Pancakes!
As Wikiepedia tells us:
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads, which use a quick leavening agent such as baking powder, while some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. They may be served at any time with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, or meat.
Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies. In the medieval and modern Christian period, especially in Britain, pancakes were made to use up leftovers and prohibited items such as eggs prior to Lenten fasting beginning on Shrovetide.
The pancake’s shape and structure varies worldwide. In Germany, pancakes are often made from potatoes. A crêpe is a thin Breton pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special pan or crepe maker to achieve a lacelike network of fine bubbles. A well-known variation originating in Southeast Europe is Palačinke, a thin moist pancake fried on both sides and filled with jam.
This recipe for Irish Buttermilk Pancakes is somewhat similar to the buttermilk pancake recipe from my Big Red Betty Crocker Cookbook, but it’s heavier on the buttermilk and calls for less sugar and only salt and baking soda (no baking powder) to be added to the flour. The cookbook suggests serving it with whipped heavy cream and fresh blueberries; we have been enjoying ours with either sugar-free syrup (we like Mrs. Butterworth’s sugar-free syrup) or with a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream and no-sugar-added strawberry preserves.
The keys to this recipe are 1) whipping the dry and wet ingredients together until they’re smooth and 2) letting the mixture sit and “rest” for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours before making your pancakes. During this resting time, the mixture will bubble and you’ll end up with a batter reminiscent of one made with sourdough.
To make things go a bit easier this morning, I mixed together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately last night, then whisked it all together first thing, letting it sit and bubble while I steeped and drank my first couple of cuppas (Barry’s Gold Blend, black with just a bit of artificial sweetener, in case you were wondering).
Not only does this batter make utterly fluffy, totally yummy pancakes, but it also refreshes the fond memories I have of the week hubby and I spent in Ireland in 2006.
So go on, let your Irish show and make some Irish Buttermilk Pancakes. They smell and taste so yummy, you’ll find yourself humming an Irish tune and dancing a jig ’round your kitchen!
TIP: To keep pancakes warm without getting soggy, place in a single-layer on a cookie sheet lined with paper towel or a clean, lint-free cloth and keep in the oven on the “warm” setting.
Irish Buttermilk Pancakes (Makes 12 – 13 pancakes)
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I use reduced-fat buttermilk)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In medium-sized bowl, sift the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda).
- Stir together wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk, and vegetable oil). (NOTE: If doing this ahead of time, such as the night before, you may keep the wet ingredients in a sealed container in the refrigerator, then mix into the dry ingredients when you’re ready.)
- Mix/whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter. (I use my little immersion-style hand mixer; a whisk or hand mixer would work, also).
- Let batter sit, at room temperature, lightly covered for 30 minutes to 2 hours. (The longer you allow it to sit, the bubblier your batter will be and the fluffier your pancakes will be.)
- Lightly oil or spray a non-stick skillet or griddle and heat over medium heat. When surface is hot (a drop of water sizzles and evaporates), pour batter (about 1/4 cup) onto hot skillet or griddle. Cook over medium heat (adjust heat as necessary) until bubbly on top and puffed and dry around the edges (generally one to three minutes). Flip pancake and cook until golden brown (usually another minute or two).
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.