These pancakes are dressed up like a breakfast special we ran at Morning Glory back in late March, early April last year. (Hilariously enough, in that post I also wrote that I felt like I’d entered the Nepal photo captioning homestretch. Good thing it was April Fools’ Day, I guess.) My recipe is based on “Light and Fluffy Pancakes” from The New Best Recipe, the buttermilk variation. Otis can’t tell you that the original sweet milk variation is delicious, but not for lack of wanting to:
Good cat. Anyway, on with the recipe.
- 2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups regular milk and 1 tsp lemon juice; see below)
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (1 tsp kosher salt)
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 2 bananas
If you don’t have buttermilk, whisk 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 2 cups regular milk and let it sit while you assemble the dry ingredients; this will approximate buttermilk.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. Next, stir the egg and melted butter into the (butter)milk until combined. It will be clumpy; this is okay, even kind of awesome, as you may recall from July’s recipe for Cheddar-Scallion Drop Biscuits. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the clumpy butter-buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined. Don’t over-mix it; there should be some lumps left. Now, let the batter rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a dry skillet, toast the coconut, stirring occasionally until it goes from white to a beautiful medium brown:
This is a clever way of preheating the skillet you plan to use for the pancakes, or you can do it in a separate pan, but you should be preheating your pancake-cooking surface at this time, too. If you want, you can slice the banana now, too:
Note how the banana’s not completely peeled: in theory, this technique negates the need for a cutting board, but the slices roll away from me often enough that I hedge my bets.
When the coconut is toasted, remove it from the heat (give the pan a quick wipe if you’re going to use it to cook pancakes). Lightly oil the pancake-cooking surface with maybe a teaspoon of oil, or a spray if that’s how you roll. To make sure the pan is hot enough, make a teeny pancake with maybe a tablespoon of batter and flip it after a minute. If it comes out pancake-done, neither too pale nor burned, you’re good to go. If not, adjust the heat accordingly and give it another try. (Alternatively, skip the testing step if you’re willing to eat pancakes that are slightly burned or under-done.)
Pour quarter-cups of batter onto the hot surface, as many as will fit with room left to flip (I like at least half an inch between cakes; Peter’s a little more ruthless about crowding them). Now, leave them alone. Slice a banana if you haven’t already. It will take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the bubbles appearing on the pancakes’ surface begin to stay open when they pop, like at the top of this picture:
Sprinkle the pancakes with coconut and top with banana slices before flipping them and cooking them for another minute or two on the other side. (I tried both bananas-first and coconut-first, by the way, and it doesn’t make a lot of difference but science still rules.)
Bam! Pancakes. Serve or eat them, make another batch, and so on, until you’re out of batter. Add more oil to the pan if the cakes start to stick (banana can be gluey, so don’t be too shy), and have a great brunch.