I’ve been having a buttermilk week. It started off with these pancakes, proceeded to simply exquisite fried chicken marinated overnight in buttermilk; via salad dressing with lots of dill and garlic and finishing with buttermilk island cake.
Buttermilk is awesome stuff. I remember my father used to like it, straight up like other people ate yoghurt and I thought he was being weird but modern day kefir and kombucha - drinking hipsters would applaud. It is a by-product of churning butter, or rather still IS in parts of Normandy that produce beurre de baratte, the 20+ euro per kilo hand-churned beauty. Elsewhere, what we buy from supermarkets is produced industrially, like all everyday dairy.
Buttermilk is quite acidic and full of those cherished good bacteria cultures – basically, it’s the milk that has gone a little off. Which is always a good thing, within reasonable timing: aged beef, hung game, sauerkraut and wine. The acidic side of buttermilk is especially useful in pastry, batters and dough: throw a little bicarb of soda at buttermilk and whoosh?! off it goes, rising sky-high with bubbles, lifting the cakes, biscuits and scones to fluffy peaks.
And so it does in these pancakes; exactly as smitten kitchen promised – or Frances Farmer whose griddle cakes these really are, according to Deb, who I trust (you cannot NOT trust the original food blogger). These, I must admit, were my first go at the classic American-style pancakes; so far I’d only crepe-d and galetted, European fashion. The handful of blueberries is optional, but nice. And most importantly: they go well with bacon.