If you want a much better history and description of these treasures, click over to Orangette. I'm just here to testify.
My testimonial: regular buttermilk pancakes don't tempt me anymore. They're so...what's the word? Oatmeal-less. Disappointingly fluffy. I'm always after texture--crunchy, chewy, crispy, toothsome. My default pancakes don't have any butter in them, though you'd never know it. These have a whole cube. Is that a plus or a minus? And I love how they get all lacy around the edges and beautifully golden all over.
Here's the fine print, though--you have to start them the night before. But wait! Don't close your browser! Just throw two cups of old-fashioned oats in a bowl, add two cups of buttermilk, stir and cover, put in the fridge. The next morning, add a bit of flour, melted butter, leavening and eggs. 2 minutes. And who are we kidding? Like I don't start thinking about the next day's breakfast right after dinner is over.
One of the things I love about pancakes is that you can have that industrious, Prairie Home Companion feeling of making something from scratch without too much effort. I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't been churning out a bunch of creative meals lately. Toast for breakfast, cottage cheese and crackers for lunch, burritos for dinner. I don't feel bad about it, especially when I think of these pancakes, just waiting to fortify us again.
Lifted straight off Orangette. These have frozen blueberries in them, which I didn't stir into the batter, but dropped one-by-one onto the cooking pancakes before I flipped them.
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
Vegetable oil or spray, for greasing the pan
Maple syrup, for serving
The night before:
Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
The morning of:
Take the bowl of buttermilk and oats out of the fridge. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Add the eggs and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.
Warm a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and brush (or spray) with vegetable oil. To make sure it’s hot enough, wet your fingers under the tap and sprinkle a few droplets of water onto the pan. If they sizzle, it’s ready. Scoop the batter, about a scant ¼ cup at a time, onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side has browned.
Re-grease the skillet, and repeat with more batter. If you find that the pancakes are browning too quickly, dial the heat back to medium.
Serve hot, with maple syrup.
Yield: about 12 pancakes, or 3 to 4 servings