Buckwheat pancakes have a place in the American imagination, but rarely at the breakfast table. You do occasionally ?nd them at restaurants, but the percentage of buckwheat ?our is so low that you can hardly taste it. That is a shame, because buckwheat adds a wonderfully warm, toasty, nutty ?avor. (On the other hand, don’t try to make 100 percent buckwheat pancakes; they will be ?at and taste rather sour.) My three-year-old and I make these a lot. Pancakes are a great way to introduce children to cooking because you can do the mixing in bowls on the ?oor, they are ready to eat in minutes, and most kids love them. Making them from scratch teaches your munchkins the value of home-cooked instead of prepackaged foods, and it gives you the opportunity to make them from healthier ingredients. Because buckwheat ?our doesn’t contain gluten, it tends to make a ?attish pancake. I counteract that tendency with buttermilk, which adds a lot of leavening power, so these pancakes rise high. This pancake batter should be fairly thick so that it has time to rise instead of spread when poured on the griddle. The easiest place to ?nd buckwheat ?our is at your local natural foods store, often in the bulk section.
3⁄4 cup buckwheat flour
3⁄4 cup all-purpose 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 unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
Unsalted butter and maple syrup, for serving
1. For the dry ingredients: Put the ?ours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together to thoroughly combine.
2. For the wet ingredients: Whisk together the buttermilk, butter, and eggs in a second bowl. You can save a bit of cleanup by gently melting the butter in this bowl in the microwave, then whisking in the buttermilk and eggs.
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Be careful not to overmix, or your pancakes will come out tough; it’s okay if the batter has some lumps. If it is too thick, add a bit more buttermilk, but keep it on the thick side. If it is too thin, add a bit more of either ?our.
4. Place a griddle (or two skillets) over medium heat. Rub it with a bit of oil on a paper towel. When the griddle is hot, ladle out about 1⁄3 cup batter to make circles about 5 inches in diameter. Cook until bubbles form on top and a peek underneath reveals a nice dark brown, about 11⁄2 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is done. (Adjust the heat as needed after your ?rst batch. You want the pancakes to be dark golden brown and cook reasonably quickly but not burn before the inside is cooked.) You can keep them warm in a 200°F oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes.
5. Serve forth with plenty of soft butter and real maple syrup.
This recipe appears in Michael Natkin's Herbivoracious, A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes.