Brown Butter Buttermilk Pancakes

I was the world’s pickiest eater as a child, especially when it came to breakfast. Just ask my mother, every morning was a losing battle for her. Didn’t like eggs or french toast, wouldn’t eat pancakes or fruit smoothies. Food just totally grossed me out in the morning, particularly pancakes. Pancakes were the worst, wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. And so I lived an almost pancake-free life until a few years ago when I gave them another try and lo and behold, they were good. Better than good, delicious even! I was sorry that I had waited so long to reintroduce myself.

I’m still not the biggest fan of maple syrup but lucky for me pancakes also go great with jam, fresh fruit, whipped cream, peanut butter, etc. Steve and I often have pancakes on lazy weekend mornings. And I’m using the word “mornings” figuratively because it’s usually after noon by the time we’re actually sitting down to eat. Oh weekends, how I love you.

I’ve used several pancake recipes and I think I’ve settled on my favorite, the one I’ll probably use forever. It’s inspired by a recipe I saw posted on kottke.org, a site filled with great links to all sorts of interesting things online. It caught my eye and I tried it the following weekend. I’ve used it ever since, although I’ve made some changes and scaled the recipe back to produce a more realistic amount of pancakes for two people to consume.

These pancakes are great. They’re light, fluffy, fresh, and full of flavor. The freshness comes from lemon zest, and I promise that once you put lemon zest in your pancakes, you’ll never go without ever again. The depth of flavor comes from the brown butter. Allowing the butter to melt and turn golden brown before adding it to the batter creates a nutty and complex flavor.

Try these Brown Butter Buttermilk Pancakes (try saying that five times fast!) this weekend, you’ll be glad you did.


Brown Butter Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Kottke
Makes a dozen 5 inch pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
1 egg

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Once melted, allow the butter to cook until it turns a golden brown color, adjusting the temperature as necessary to prevent it from burning. Remove from heat and add to the buttermilk mixture. Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined and lump-free. Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add 1/3 cup of batter to the skillet to form one pancake. Wait till you see bubbles on the surface of the pancake and the edges look dry, then flip over and continue to cook for one more minute. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Keep under a towel to stay warm until serving.