blueberry buttermilk pancakes

There was a time when I could make these pancakes in my sleep- the batter that is. At the restaurant, we went through this pancake batter like you wouldn't believe. We would make double and triple batches of batter and store it in the walk-in for service, but we would invariably run through it and need more. Because of the nature of baking powder (we wouldn;t want them to go flat) we couldn't make too much ahead of time, or the pancakes wouldn't turn out right.

One of our prep cooks- lets call him Skyler- was a sweet, genuine, and implacable young man who was studying a graphic arts and design program, and only started working in a kitchen to pay the bills while he went through school. The way the kitchen and prep areas were set up, the cooks would yell through the back of the house (the office and dishwashing area, dry storage) to get the prep cooks to come up with whatever was needed on the line. 

'Skyler! More pancakes!' was a very, very frequent call. 'Skyler, we need biscuits!' was probably the second most common. He also made 'liquid egg' all the time, which was a mixture of 4 flats of fresh eggs and 1 cup of heavy cream per flat, mixed with the enormous immersion blender- we used it for scrambled eggs and omelets. and could go through 20-30 quarts in a few hours. When Skyler left after finishing his schooling, we got him a cake that said 'Liquid Egg Skaylor', because the kitchen manager also always said his name wrong when he yelled across the kitchen for him- a source of great amusement for all.

We kept bags and bags of pre-mixed dry ingredients for pancakes (among a few other popular items) and I swear he could make a double batch of pancake batter in less than three minutes. He would run it up to the line, and hand it to me, while at the same time receiving the next six tasks we needed him to do. 'Get some more blueberries up to the line! We need malt vinegar aioli! Did you get the biscuits done yet? Will you get me a glass of water?' and, without ever getting ruffled or overwhelmed, he would get as much done as he could. Skyler was definitely one of my favorite employees.

These pancakes flew out of the kitchen for a reason- they are absolutely delicious. Easy to make, simple, and completely adjustable to the size of your crowd. Two people to feed? Cut it in thirds. Ten people? Double the batch. The batter will also keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Fill them with whatever you like- this time I did blueberries, but I'll share some of our more outlandish restaurant pancakes when I make those, too.

Here's how it's done:

Preheat your pan or griddle over medium high heat. If it is not seasoned (cast iron) then very lightly rub it with a paper towel dipped in oil. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking very well until no lumps remain. You want to completely incorporate the batter for two reasons. 1. These pancakes don't use any fat or oil, so chunks of dry flour will cause them to stick 2. The batter uses primarily baking powder, not baking soda, which allows you a little more time before the dough will rise. Baking soda starts reacting immediately, baking powder is double-acting. No lumps in your batter!

Drop the batter by about the 1/2 cup onto your preheated grill. Start with a small amount so you can test your temperature, then adjust the heating from there. The first pancake is always a goner.

If you just want good old, fluffy buttermilk pancakes, they are absolutely delicious on their own.

Or, you can add blueberries. I add them as soon as I have dropped the batter. 

Flip your pancakes once they are bubbling throughout and the bubbles are starting to burst. These might take a little longer too cook than others you have made before, as the batter is fairly thick. Make sure you wait to flip them until the bubbles are bursting, or they will be raw in the center.

Serve with liberal quantities of butter and syrup.