Tag Archives: painted mountain

Cornmeal Pancakes

10 Dec

For a less traditional savory breakfast, I enjoy the polenta-like, 100%-cornmeal, ‘Johnnycakes’ style of pancake.

But for eating with maple syrup or a special occasion, I like a fluffy cornmeal-and-wheat-flour mix:

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From a little bit of experimentation, my current favorite recipe goes heavier on the cornmeal (50/50 mix with flour) for flavor and texture, and includes either buttermilk or some yogurt. For a small batch of about 7 pancakes (2 people):

Mix together dry:

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda**
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Then add and lightly whisk in:

  • 2/3 to 1 cup* buttermilk depending on your desired texture
    • I’ve also had success substituting a 50/50 mix of milk and greek yogurt when I didn’t have buttermilk  (you need something acidic beyond just milk to activate the baking soda)
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 T melted butter

Pre-heat a skillet on medium-low (especially if it’s large compared to the burner, to ensure more uniform edge-to-center heat), cook batter until bubbles start to pop through on the top and the bottom’s browned, flip, cook a few more minutes.

For extra credit and a really fresh corn taste, use fresh-ground dried flour corn you grew in your garden:

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And then cook over a wood stove in an off-the-grid cabin:

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* Side note: Varying the amount of liquid really changed the pancakes. 2/3 cup buttermilk made a thick, almost cornbread-like batter (shown in the image on the wood stove above), which resulted in a delicious, thicker, slower-cooking pancake part of the way to bread. We actually preferred the texture of this one even though it’s not a traditional pancake. On the other hand, 1/2 cup yogurt + a bit over 1/2 cup milk made a thin pancake batter that led to the pancakes at the top of this post– light, spongey, and fluffy (and faster-cooking).

** Side note: Some day I’ll read and experiment more to get to the bottom of the baking powder vs. baking soda question— it’s not clear to me why some recipes combine both baking powder and baking soda– if the recipe includes acidic liquid like buttermilk or yogurt, I’d think that baking soda should suffice, whereas if you’re using double-acting baking powder with any liquid, I don’t see why you’d also need baking soda…