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Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes are one ot the two types that most frequently appear on restaurant and diner menus, the other being buttermilk. As a kid, I always avoided them because I was suspicious of their darker brown appearance, but not I know better.

Buckwheat flour on its own has a strong and somewhat bitter taste, but it becomes very interesting and complex when used with other things. It is gluten free, so it often appears in gluten free cookery and baking. The bitter taste is fairly easily tempered by mixing the buckwheat flour with other ingredients. All-purpose flour (ap flour) will help rein it in, but one of the most commonly added flavors to buckwheat seems to be molasses, proably since it, too, has a strong flavor.

In any even, these pancakes are neither bitter nor overly sweet. The recipe comes from the Post-Gazette’s recipe section, where they are called Cape Cod Buckwheat Cakes. I did add a bit of brown sugar to round out the final flavor. The pancakes come together very easily and taste delicious. They taste of lightly sweetened whole grains and are very, very light, in no small part because buckwheat flour is gluten free. I added blueberries, but fresh and dried, to the batter once I spooned some onto a hot grill. The blueberries added enough natural sweetness that I really didn’t need a lot of syrup on the pancakes, but I preferred the dried slightly over the fresh.

Keeping with diner tradition, I actually went ahead and made these the size of dinner plates, but the recipe makes quite a few more normally sized cakes, even if they’re not quite so impressive to look at.

Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes
(adapted slightly from the Post Gazette’s recipe)

2 cups milk (nonfat is fine), warm (110F)
1 pkg (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
Fresh or dried blueberries

Beginning the night before, stir together milk, yeast, buckwheat flour, all purpose flour and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, stir in molasses, brown sugar, baking soda and egg.
Heat a lightly greased pan or griddle over medium-high heat and spoon batter on to produce pancakes of desired size (I made plate-sized ones). Add blueberries to pancake on griddle. Cook until pancakes beging to bubble and look slightly dry at the edges, then flip and cook the remaining side until golden.
Serve immediately, with butter or maple syrup, as desired.

Serves 4, depending on appetite.

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  • naomi
    March 26, 2006

    FYI–The recipe’s not showing up.

    (I don’t comment much, but I really like your blog. And I’m especially curious about how your yeasted buckwheat pancakes compare to my standard yeasted pancakes.)

  • Debbie
    March 26, 2006

    In a Colorado restaurant, we order wheat cakes. I LOVE them but have not been able to find a recipe. They are baked as a sheet cake and are about 2 inches thick. Sound familiar?

  • Nic
    March 27, 2006

    Naomi – Thank you!

    Debbie – I’ve never heard of something like that. But if I do, I’ll post it!

  • elise
    April 4, 2006

    This sounds great, would it work with other flours (whole wheat, rye, corn)?

  • Nic
    April 4, 2006

    Hi Elise. I think that it would work with rye flour or other non-gluten containing flours very well. The texture would change with whole wheat, probably becoming a bit more dense, and I can’t say what it would do with cornflour. I don’t know that I’d recommend a recipe with that much cornflour (cornstarch), as I think it would have an unappealing mouthfeel. Go for rye – I bet that they would be excellent with honey and butter.

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