Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

I love having a special breakfast on Saturdays. That's what we did growing up -- Sunday mornings were too busy with getting ready for church, but Saturdays were special. When my brother and I were little, that was the day Mom got to sleep in, and Dad made breakfast for us -- usually pancakes. We loved it when Dad made pancakes, because he would make special shapes for us -- letters for our names, Mickey Mouse, that sort of thing. I'm sure they tasted good, too, but as long as they were unusual shapes, I'm honestly not sure we'd have noticed!

These pancakes won't make good letters, but they are really yummy. And they are quick and easy to make, as long as you remember to mix the oatmeal and buttermilk the night before! You can mix the dry ingredients the night before, too, but that's not critical.

My husband puts molasses on them, but molasses are not my thing -- I top them with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Just for kicks, this time I tried whipping the cream by hand instead of with a mixer. I wanted to see how long it would take and if it would practically make my arm fall off. I was pleasantly surprised -- it took maybe 5 minutes, and while I wouldn't want to whip large quantities daily, it wasn't hard. And I had a lot more control over how whipped it got than I do in the mixer. It somehow feels less "wasteful" for just a small amount of whipped cream, even though I still dirtied a bowl and a whisk.

Like most pancakes, these are hardly sweet. By themselves, they are on the plain side, even with the cinnamon and vanilla. But dressed with a little sweetness, they really shine!

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Julia

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Combine oats and buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, add eggs and mix to combine. Mix in melted butter and then vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Combine dry and wet ingredients, making sure they are all incorporated.

Preheat a griddle or nonstick skillet (on my electric stove, medium heat is perfect, after the first batch). Spray with cooking spray or oil. Spoon batter on, about 1/4 cup for each pancake.

Here's the tricky part: you'll have to play with the heat a little to get these perfect. They don't really form the bubbles that most pancakes do to tell you when to flip them. And the first batch is always weird -- don't let that throw you! With a little trial-and-error, these will be perfect (and they're pretty good even when they're not perfect!).


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