Buttermilk Pancakes

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Still very cold in our neck of the woods, -26°C as I write this.  Pancakes seemed like a good idea for brunch.  And because there was half a litre of buttermilk left from yesterday’s muffins (and some frozen blueberries), the obvious choice was buttermilk pancakes sprinkled with blueberries.

A quick surf of the net suggested adding instant yeast to the batter, with the promise of “fluffiest pancakes ever”.  Who could resist the siren call?  Not me 🙂

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 package rapid-rise yeast (8g/2 1/4 tsp)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

1 cup blueberries, if using

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir in dry yeast.  Meanwhile, heat milk to 50°C/120°F.  Stir in oil.  Add milk, oil and beaten egg to flour mixture, stirring just with a spoon until blended. Don’t over stir or pancakes will be tough.  Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until bubbly and almost doubled, about 10 minutes.

Lightly grease a griddle or skillet with cooking spray or a little oil.  Heat over medium heat until hot.

Stir down batter; pour 1/4 cup per pancake onto griddle. Sprinkle each pancake with 4-5 blueberries.  Cook pancakes until edges are dry and surface is bubbly. Turn; cook other side until golden brown.  Serve with maple syrup.

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Fruity Oat Muffins (Blueberry)

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-20° C today! Oh, baby, it’s cold out there!  Makes me think of Ella Fitzgerald  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuCO7Kq744U.

So it’s a good day to turn on the oven and bake something.  There was a request some days back for blueberry muffins, I’m happy to oblige 🙂  This was a favorite when the kiddies were wee; sort of a no-fail, quick and easy, lunch-box, snacktime, anytime go-to recipe.  It’s no less a favorite now.  These muffins are so much better (in my opinion) than so many of the cake-like blueberry muffins out there.  The buttermilk and rolled oats combine for great effect to keep the muffins moist and tender.  As with all muffins, remember to gently stir the batter just until all ingredients are moistened.  Overstirring will result in tough muffins, definitely not the result we are after!  I hope you will try the recipe and that you will enjoy it as much as my family has done.

Fruity Oat Muffins

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and rolled oats. Let stand. In a larger bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients. Add blueberries and gently toss in the flour mixture to coat the berries. Into oat mixture, stir egg and oil. Add oat mixture to dry ingredients, gently stirring just until moistened.  Fill muffins tins/cupcake papers about  2/3 full, dividing batter to make 12 muffins.  Bake at 375° F for about 18 minutes until muffins are lightly golden brown.  Cool in pan for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

  • Instead of blueberries, try other berries and soft fruits – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, etc.
  • Chopped rhubarb with 1/2 tsp cinnamon is a great combination as is banana/cinnamon (use 2 mashed ripe bananas).

Irish Soda Bread

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Making soda bread takes hardly any effort, but the result is just so satisfying!  And such versatility!  A loaf can show up at any meal–breakfast, lunch, tea, supper, and give a stellar performance every time!   You can keep it plain and simple, or gussy it up with a few additions, such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or herbs.  If you’ve never tried it, put it on your to-do list.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Soda Bread

4 cups flour

2 tsp baking sodaIMG_2235

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease and very lightly flour an 8″ round layer pan.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in the buttermilk to form a slightly sticky ball of dough.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead gently a few times.  Form the dough into a ball, flatten (by hand or with rolling pin) and then press to fill the prepared pan.  The dough should reach the edges of the pan, but may spring back slightly. Cut an X into the dough with a sharp knife, about 1/4 of an inch deep.  Cover the pan of dough with another round layer pan turned upside down.  Bake for 30 minutes, covered, then remove the top pan and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes more or until the crust is  golden brown and crusty.IMG_2258a

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