Rev 1.10, last revised: 28-Sep-09
Since it's the smallest single whole item in use, this basic recipe is built around a single egg. While it depends on how hungry you are and/or how much you eat, we find that a double recipe makes enough for the two of us. You will, of course, have to scale it for your own use to make enough for yourself.
As with muffins you can leave the butter or oil out of the batter (it's simpler that way). However, if you do that, you must make certain that your griddle or waffle iron are well greased/oiled.
These little beauties go well with butter and maple syrup as is traditional in the Northeast where we grew up. For a few less calories, try them with unsweetened yogurt and sliced, slightly sweetened fresh fruit.
1) To make soured milk, mix 1 cup sweet (regular) milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and wait 5-minutes to it to clabber.
2) If you use "sweet milk", lose the Baking Soda and reduce or eliminate the sugar.
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk together until they are light and fluffy. If you're using it, add the butter or oil.
As quickly as you can, blend this mixture into the dry ingredients. Don't overdo it. Pancake and waffle batter is like muffin batter; a light hand at mixing means a lighter pancake on the plate. The ingredients just have to be mixed, a few lumps aren't going to amount to anything.
For best results with pancakes, use a griddle that heats evenly. Cast iron--my favorite--is particularly good. Preheat and grease your griddle or waffle iron.
To determine the correct correct pancake cooking temperature, sprinkle a few drops of water on your griddle. The water should "dance" Using a quarter-cup measure or an ice cream scoop, pour your batter onto the griddle leaving enough space for each pancake to expand. Turn them when the bubbles on the top surface pop and don't fill in. The second side takes only half the amount of time needed to cook the first.
If you are using a well seasoned cast iron frying pan or "spider", or a non-stick griddle, and if the batter has butter or vegetable oil in it, it probably won't be necessary to grease the pan after the first batch. Pancakes can be stacked in an oven on "low."
Most waffle irons come with directions for their specific use. Here are some general one if you don't happen to have any.
Preheat the iron until it's just beginning to "smoke." Be sure to grease it well just before you put the batter on. Unlike an open pancake griddle, a waffle iron is typically greased or oiled each time you cook a waffle.
Using a small measure (1/4-1/2 cup measure will do, but it depends on the size of your waffle maker) pour a scoopful of batter in the middle of the iron. Closing it will force the batter out to the edges.
Although waffle irons differ, a waffle usually cooks in 2 to 4 minutes. When steam stops pouring out from under the top-section, check to see if it's done. If the top doesn't want to lift up, it probably needs another minute or two. A well seasoned iron will "let go" of the waffle when it's done.
If, like myself, you like your waffles crisp, you should eat them as they're being made. They will not stack & wait like pancakes.
Cinnamon Pancakes: For added zip, sprinkle a little cinnamon on the pancake before you flip it (or on the waffle before you close the lid).
Banana Pancakes: Fold 1/2 a cup or so of mashed or chopped ripe bananas, one banana or so, into the batter (black, nasty, over-ripe is best).
Fruit or Berry Pancakes: Fold a 1/2 cup of washed & cleaned berries or sliced fruit into the batter. For something really interesting, a friend suggested sliced apples and grated Cheddar cheese.
Finally, as is our wont, living in a small RV, we try to make meals as complete as we can without resorting to a dozen different utensils or concoctions. In order to make your simple "breakfast" pancake into a more satisfying meal, you might try some of these variations for a heartier pancake: Replace 1/4 of the flour volume with an equal amount of whole-wheat flour (you can replace 1/2 or more of the flour with this), cornmeal, rye meal, oatmeal (the real stuff, not the "instant" kind), wheat germ or bran for an equal amount of unbleached flour; and/or add 1/4 to 1/2 cup poppy, flax, sesame, or sunflower seeds.