Friday, November 21, 2008

Light Buttermilk Pancakes: The CHG Endgame

That’s it, folks. It's over. We found it. We’ve discovered the cheapest, leanest, most easily-prepared meal in the history of this blog – even moreso than Popovers, Light Banana Bread, and Leigh’s Chai Masala from yesterday. Seriously. It’s official. We can pack it in.

Oh, but I jest. We’re not really leaving (because I’d have no excuse to post random George Clooney pictures anymore), but I’m not sure where to go after Cooking Light’s Buttermilk Pancakes. In order, they are:
  • the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had. If society allowed, I would make a mattress out of them, and munch quietly on layer after delicious layer while The Boyfriend slept.
  • at 10 cents per pancake, I believe the cheapest food on CHG to date.
  • simple enough for even my sister to make. (Note: I realize I make L sound like a drooling, witless loony from time to time, but she’s really a very competent 8th grade teacher with a Masters in math. AND she has wonderful taste in sweaters. It’s a one-two geometry-cable-knit punch.)
Honestly, I was worried about these pancakes at first, because the batter seemed awfully thick, failing to spread in the pan like most other flapjacks. But eight minutes after pouring, there they were: 4” golden discs of spongy goodness, practically begging for maple syrup to soak up. Though the recipe could definitely feed three people, The Boyfriend and I polished off every last bite, and there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth when we realized there wouldn’t be anymore.

Incidentally, since my Pa is a great lover of pancakes the world over, I plan to make these for Thanksgiving breakfast. Hopefully, they’ll help me reclaim the coveted Favorite Child mantle, a designation bestowed to whichever spawn most endears him/herself to my parents. I haven’t had it since the summer, when L mowed their lawn without being asked. If you’re looking to assume Favorite Child status within your own family, these will definitely do the trick.

P.S. Calculations are provided by Cooking Light, so only the cash math is written out below.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Makes 8 – 10 pancakes
Adapted from Cooking Light.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

1) To a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When finished, make an indentation/well in the middle.

2) In a small bowl or large Pyrex glass measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, oil, and egg.  Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour indentation, and stir until batter is smooth.

3) Now, make those pancakes: pour 1/4 cup batter on a hot griddle or big skillet (nonstick or oiled up). Wait a few minutes. When the side facing up starts bubbling and the sides look set, flip the pancake. Cook until the second side is lightly browned. Serve to a standing O.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
99 calories, 2.9 g fat, $0.10

1 cup all-purpose flour: $0.09
2 tablespoons sugar: $0.04
1 teaspoon baking powder: $0.03
½ teaspoon baking soda: $0.01
1/4 teaspoon salt: $0.01
1 cup low-fat buttermilk: $0.49
1 teaspoon vegetable oil: $0.03
1 large egg, lightly beaten: $0.19
Cooking spray: $0.04
TOTAL: $0.93

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themoreyouknow said...

Any advice on how to become a better pancake turner? It seems like it should be easy but I always end up with either burnt or still battery pancakes.

Kris said...

Tmyk, I start heating my pan before I make the batter. It helps it heat evenly and thoroughly, which prevents over and/or undercooking.

themoreyouknow said...

thanks kris!

any need to worry about the pan getting too hot as the pancakes cook?

Kris said...

If you keep it on medium, you should be okay, but the last ones inevitably cook a little quicker than the first ones.

Money Maus said...

Mmm... pancakes! Sounds delicious.

Alexis said...

Yum to pancakes and double-yum to George Clooney!

Alison said...

Mmmm....more George. Never question your urge to post a random George photo. Look forward to making the pancakes too.

Ona said...

I made these this morning for my friend's birthday... big hit! As it was 7:30 a.m., your imagery of a pancake bed had us all daydreaming...
Thanks for the great recipe!

TheGreenestDollar said...


Just found your blog via SmartSpending. Thanks for the great post! I'm super excited to dig and see other articles you've written.

As soon as I get some buttermilk I'm definitely giving these a try.

Cronewitch said...

To make a perfectly cooked pancake first make the heat just right. To tell when it is just right drop a single drop of water on the grill. If it hops around it is just hot enough. Then pour on the batter and wait, keep watching the bubbles and when they break you will see them fill the holes with batter. When they start leaving empty holes turn them. The second side takes no time at all since they will be nearly done they just need to start to brown. They will puff up a little when the second side hits the grill and it will probably be about 10-20 more seconds until they are brown.

KMAYS said...

I had some buttermilk to use up, so I made these this morning, and you're SO right about the fluffiness. Incredible!

Karen Datko said...

I'm about to make up a batch of these heavenly pancakes. Yum. Can't wait. (No Denny's nearby so I can't get the free Grand Slam breakfast today.)

Rosa said...

so ... 99 calories per serving, cooking light says it makes 9 pancakes with a one-pancake serving.

that you means you and your bf had 900 calories for breakfast, and that's not counting butter or syrup.

these sound delicious, but i'm not sure in what world they count as "light". also, healthy? buttermilk, maybe. 1 egg, maybe. 1 cup white flour, not so much.

Kris said...

Rosa - in comparison to other pancakes, these are much lighter. While we try to go for healthy dishes here, sometimes a lightened-up version of a fatty one will do, as well. Enjoy.

Kris said...

Rosa - in comparison to other pancakes, these are much lighter. While we try to go for healthy dishes here, sometimes a lightened-up version of a fatty one will do, as well. Enjoy.

Katie Lockhart said...

This recipe has inspired me to try a low-fat breakfast. I am not normally a breakfast person, but after reading this post I will definitely try the pancakes! Do you have any other breakfast meals you would suggest?These sound like a great tasty alternative to high calorie pancakes.