2005_08_rosengarten_book.gifIt's All American Food: The Best Recipes for More Than 400 New American Classics by David Rosengarten (Little, Brown, 2003)

OK, we admit it: Gothamist grew up on Bisquick pancakes. (And we liked 'em.) But childhood tastes (hopefully) change when one grows up, and for us, our taste in pancakes now leans heavily towards homemade in general, buttermilk in particular.

And while you'll find buttermilk pancakes on many a New York restaurant brunch menu, they're really worth making on your own. Easy and quick to make, yet impressive--always our favorite combination. The other great thing about making them at home? You can dress them up with whatever your heart desires. We tried blackberries and cantaloupe with powdered sugar and maple syrup, with excellent results.

2005_08_buttermilk_pancakes.jpg
BEST BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
big pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for griddle

Preparation
1. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk together the flour mixture, beaten eggs, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter until they are very smooth. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes before using it.

2. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 degrees, or place a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Just before cooking the pancakes, coat the cooking surface with melted butter using a pastry brush.

3. Scoop up batter in a half-cup measuring cup, filling it to the top. Pour batter onto hot griddle, letting it spread by itself into a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining batter (possibly in batches) until a dozen pancakes or so are formed.

4. Flip the pancakes when their edges appear to be hardening a little; there should also be many small holes opening up on the surface of the pancakes. This should take about 2 minutes. Cook the pancakes on the other side for about 2 minutes more, or until the pancakes are golden brown and cooked through.

NOTE: When cooking the pancakes in batches, hold them in a warm oven covered with a damp cloth. Also, remember to reheat and butter the griddle after each round of pancake cooking.