Yesterday I hosted a surprise brunch to mark an important date in the lives of some friends. I ended up cooking all day, and going through four batches of waffles made from scratch; and we went through four pots of coffee as well!
Since waffles and pancakes are some of my favorite things to make, and are the most frequently requested recipe, I decided to go ahead and share my essential buttermilk waffle recipe, and perhaps embark on what will become a series of variations in the genre.
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. baking powder (lately, I’m really digging this stuff called featherweight baking powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted, but not too hot
1 tbsp. sunflower, safflower, or canola oil (omit if making buttermilk pancakes)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. If you prefer light and fluffy pancakes, sifting the flour will assist with that task. Set aside.
Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Gradually add the butter and oil whilst beating. After all the butter and oil have been absorbed in the egg mixture, start adding the flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time, until you’ve incorporated about a third of the flour mixture in. Add some of the buttermilk. Continue to alternate between adding flour and buttermilk until you’ve incorporated all of the flour mixture and all of the buttermilk.
At this point you should test the consistency of the batter: it should come off a ladle easily, but a bit slowly. If it clumps and sticks to the ladle, you need to add more liquid. When you lift the ladle and pour the batter it should take about 3 seconds to drop one waffle’s worth of batter onto the iron.
Wait for your waffle iron to get nice and toasty, and set it to the desired level: higher for darker, crispier waffles, lower for lighter, softer waffles. I like to err on the crispy side. If you start pouring batter and the waffle iron is not hot yet, you will have a big mess on your hands.
To make buttermilk pancakes, simply omit the tablespoon of oil from the batter preparation and cook on a (pre-heated) cast iron skillet. Serve with fruit and maple syrup.