When I noticed that Gwyneth was coming out with a cookbook, I was intrigued. I have subscribed to her GOOP newsletter almost since the beginning, which has featured some great recipes in it, although honestly I don't think I've ever actually tried any of them...
I ordered the cookbook anyway. My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, by Gwyneth Paltrow, begins with an essay of sorts, essentially about Gwyneth's late father, their relationship to food and to each other, and it is very touching and heartwarming.
There are many recipes in this book that I WILL be making. For now, I tried the "world-famous" pancakes. Besides being a pancake fan myself, Gwyneth's description of them touched a chord with me:
"Now if there is one image of my father that is the most "him"--that is to say encapsulates all of his elements and delivers them in one picture--it would be him over his cast-iron griddles making his world-famous pancakes. These things have been legendary in our house for decades. He first got the recipe out of the Joy of Cooking and adapted it over the years to utter perfection. The recipe below is so truthful to his pancakes that it's almost hard for me to eat them, I keep expecting him to walk into the kitchen."
Just beautiful sentiment. Food is very powerful in evoking memories.
(This book may inspire me to resume work on my own family cookbook...whose entire layout was unfortunately irretrievable from my late laptop...)
One of the nice things about this recipe is the fact that you mix them up the night before. It does make a LOT of pancake batter, so I will report back as to how it performs after being refrigerated for a couple days. The recipe is easy to put together, don't forget you can make your own buttermilk by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk! Just let the milk sit while you mix up the other ingredients.
The only issue is that the level of heat for the griddle is not listed...I used a medium-low temperature.
While these pancakes are not quite "legendary" yet in our house, they are darn good. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup milk this morning to the batter, and the consistency was just about perfect.
Our boys like their pancakes with whipped cream on top, in case you're wondering. Enjoy!
Bruce Paltrow's World-Famous Pancakes
Yield: 3 dozen 5-inch pancakes
Active preparation time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 20 minutes plus overnight resting
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons fine salt
3 cups buttermilk (OR 3 tablespoons white vinegar OR lemon juice, plus milk to make 3 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more butter for cooking
6 organic large eggs
Up to 1 cup milk, as needed to thin batter
Real Vermont maple syrup, warmed, for serving
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, butter and eggs together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking just enough to combine (small lumps are okay). Let the batter sit, covered, overnight.
The next morning, heat up your griddle or favorite nonstick pan and slick it with a little butter. Add enough milk to the batter to thin it to the right consistency--the thicker the batter, the thicker and heavier your pancakes; the thinner the batter, the more delicate your pancakes--neither is wrong.
Cook the pancakes on the griddle, flipping them after bubbles appear on the surface of the uncooked side. Let cook 2-3 minutes more, then remove, and eat with lots of warm maple syrup.