When I was younger I was oblivious to the fact that many meals came out of a box (my mom doesn't read this so don't tell her I said that). One of my most favorite things was Bisquick Pancakes. Mom made them fluffy, Dad cooked 'em in bacon grease (love that man).
When I got out of college and was on my own I was determined to learn how to make great pancakes from scratch. My first attempt was a limp flat floppy thing that was uninspiring to say the least. To make matters worse, every attempt with a different recipe after that ended the same way, ho-hum...
Then I tried buttermilk pancakes. Hot diggity dog, now we were getting somewhere. They fluffed up more and certainly had that wonderful tangy flavor but I was convinced I could do better.
Buttermilk recipes fluff up more because of the inclusion of baking soda or cream of tartar. This reacts with the natural acids in the buttermilk and creates enormous amounts of edible Scrubbing Bubbles (think, the vinegar and baking soda trick). These little bubbles push the batter higher and higher allowing the flour to set and form a strong matrix of delicious maple syrup soaking goodness (I mean let's be honest, this is the reason we all eat pancakes).
Through the course of my culinary adventures, I stumbled across a substance that not only had more acid but was much better for you then store bought buttermilk.
I give you...
Real Milk Pancakes
serves 4 to 6
Preheat your griddle to medium/high heat (approximately 350 degrees)
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk together in another bowl:
1 1/2 cups soured fresh milk (fresh milk can be found in many states and on a limited basis in Wisconsin. It is soured by setting out on the table for 3 days until it "splits" and the curds and whey begin to separate. This splitting happens because the acid level increases which is the same process for making cheese and is the reason that soured fresh milk works so well).
Also, do NOT let store bought milk sit out and then consume. Pasteurized milk will not "sour", it will spoil.
[Shake the soured, split milk in the container to reconstitute it. This can sit on your counter for up to two weeks to be used in baking. Discard immediately if any mold is present, this means that the reaction has stopped and the milk should not be consumed].
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and slowly mix with a wooden spatula. You want it to be wet through out but not smooth. A batter with pea sized lumps is perfect.
If you like a crusty "johnny cake" style pancake, drop a tablespoon bacon grease or butter onto the skillet now.
Using a large spoon, drop large globs of batter onto the surface of the pan. You want to leave several inches between the pancakes as they will spread.
After about 2 minutes, the batter will begin bubbling. When the bubbles are slowly popping (as opposed to just rising) the cakes are ready to flip. Using a spatula that covers the entire bottom of the pancake, give'er a flip. If the pancake spews gooey batter everywhere, she wasn't ready. You want a firm moist cake that doesn't splat.
Cook for another minute or so and viola! The best pancakes this side of the Chatahoochie.
If you are making a larger batch, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and put a pan in. You can drop your finished pancakes (and any tasty grassfed meats you've also made) in there while the rest of the cakes finish cooking.
Serve with an offensive amount of butter and real maple syrup.
Die and go to heaven.