Time: 10 minutes to make, 10 minutes to cook
Lacy-crisp on the surface, with crackling flecks of shaved bran and a creamy interior, these griddlecakes carry just a trace of burnt toffee in their finish. They go far beyond the world of regular pancakes and demand nothing special from the cook in return.
Equipment Mise en Place
For this recipe you will need a small saucepan, a large mixing bowl, a medium mixing bowl, a whisk, a 3-ounce ladle, a well-seasoned 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet or similarly sized griddle, a heat proof basting brush, and a metal spatula.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional, as desired, for the pancakes
5.4 ounces (about 1 cup) Antebellum-Style Graham Flour
2.35 ounces (about ½ cup) Fine Pastry Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 cup pure dark amber maple syrup or sorghum, warmed, for serving
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove it from the heat, tilt the pan and part the surface foam with a spoon. Spoon off 2 teaspoons of clear yellow butterfat and transfer it to a small bowl. Set aside. Pour the milk into the saucepan with the remaining butter to warm it slightly. Set a well-seasoned 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet or griddle over medium low heat to become hot while you finish the batter. The skillet is hot enough when drops of water dropped onto its surface sizzle, about 10 minutes.
2. Turn the flours, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
3. Whisk the egg in a medium mixing bowl. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter from the saucepan and whisk well to combine. (You can use the saucepan to heat the maple syrup or sorghum.) Add the milk to the egg mixture slowly, whisking constantly.
4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry all at once and whisk just to moisten. (The batter may seem thin at first—let the flour swell for a few minutes before using the batter.)
5. Dip a heatproof basting brush in the reserved butter and brush it across the surface of the hot skillet. Drop pancakes one at a time into the pan with a 3 ounce ladle—there will be room for 3 pancakes. (If the batter becomes too thick over the course of making the pancakes, you can thin it with a little milk.) When the pancakes are nicely browned on the bottom and have begun to bubble on the top, 2 to 3 minutes, flip the cakes and brown the other side, 1 or 2 minutes longer. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and give them to someone to eat. Grease the skillet and cook the next batch of pancakes. Serve the pancakes hot off the griddle with extra butter and warm maple syrup or sorghum.
Makes twelve 4-inch pancakes
A pancake batter doesn't appreciate overzealous whisking—it likes just enough to bring the wet and dry ingredients on a rough, lumpy ride. The skillet is sufficiently hot when drops of water splashed on its surface sizzle. This should happen in about the same amount of time it takes to throw the batter together.