Buttermilk Pancakes with Salted Sorghum Butter Syrup

I have several hindering, neurotic tendencies.  None that constitute madness or the need for medication, per se,  just ones that are terribly annoying.  It has to do with the way my brain orders things. It all harkens back to this whole "not quite right-brained, not quite left-brained" thing I got going on over here. 

For example, I have a deep need for order (don't catch me without my calendar) yet that doesn't translate into, say, a well-organized desk or a car that doesn't look like I've been living in it for the past six months. When I read magazines, it's imperative that I start at the beginning and read it page by page all the way to the end. No detours, no flipping to random pages or starting in the back. Same with books. I have to finish one before I start another. Unless it's a short story compilation because then I can start and finish stories without feeling like I've disrupted the order of the book on deck. Wacky, I know. 

This brings me to the neurotic thorn in my side I am presently trying to conquer. The impossible, self-imposed mental order of my blog queue. I can't shake it. Therefore, a blog that sits in this fancied queue must be completed (in proper order) and published before I move on to the next one.

Is this the law? No. Am I bound by contract to go along in this way? Nope. Is someone holding a gun to my head? Um, negative. But, it feels this rigid in my head.  

I am currently working on a rather long and involved post about my trip across the Carolinas on a BBQ tour and I noticed my brain doing that strange, left-brained stutter step. You should see my photo files. It's like the graveyard of blog posts past.  There are symposiums and sandwiches- well documented, styled and lovingly snapped that may never get a day in the sun. So sad.

All of this to say that I'm trying to break this odd habit of mine. Right now. With buttermilk pancakes and salted sorghum butter syrup. I finally got a batch of sorghum molasses from Underwood Family Farms, the fabled syrup raved about by some of my favorite food peoples in town. I've heard wondrous things about this sorghum, namely that it's the best. A jar of this amber tar finally landed in my kitchen last Saturday and may have ruined me for any other sorghum syrup that walks into my life hereafter. Not even kidding. I have never tasted anything like it. It was thick and viscous, deep, complex and sweet.

My friend Brian Rollins gave me a loaf of sourdough bread at market and I took to slathering sorghum all over torn hunks of bread for a little longer than I care to admit. The next hour was spent with my nose in cookbooks looking up all the ways I can use this sticky tar of the heavens. Braised and glazed short ribs, tossed on roasted root vegetables, in warm spice cakes, scones, cookies, dressings… My mind is proverbially covered in the stuff. 

Aside from the shameful bread and molasses combo,  my first real attempt at using the sorghum happened with buttermilk pancakes. Partly because I had leftover buttermilk but more because I wanted to use that incredible sorghum molasses. Essentially, the Mister and I ate pancakes with salted caramel but, for appearances sake, we called it syrup. Because that sounds more civilized than dessert for breakfast, right? Of course it does. 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Salted Sorghum Butter Syrup

While making pancakes, I realized I ran out of A/P flour and substituted some spelt flour for the remainder of the flour called for by the recipe. I rather liked the result and flavor the spelt added. If you don't have spelt on hand, substitute A/P flour or try another type and see what happens. Also, I recommend a large flaky salt for this recipe whether it be Maldon or some other kosher or coarse grain. 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk, butter, eggs and vanilla and whisk together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined. Heat a pan over medium heat and add butter (or oil) to the pan, drop 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle. Once bubbles form on the top, flip the pancake over and cook until golden on the other side. Keep warm in the preheated oven until ready to serve.

For the salted sorghum butter syrup: 

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1/2 cup sorghum molasses 
  • 2 teaspoons flaky salt such as Maldon (plus more, to taste) 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the sorghum molasses and whisk to combine thoroughly. Stir the salt into the butter. Taste, and add more if necessary. Drizzle over pancakes and definitely add a few flakes of flaky salt on top for good measure.