February 8, 2009

Buckwheat Pancakes

I've come to love the taste of buckwheat, but experience (and experimentation) have taught me that I enjoy it in moderate amounts, where the strange, earthy, slightly bitter taste of buckwheat is prominent but not dominant, tempered by other flavors. For instance, I don't like buckwheat crepes (too much!), but I love these buckwheat pancakes, where buckwheat flour comprises a modest 25% of the flour in the recipe.

Not only is the taste of these pancakes exceptional, but the addition of a small amount of buckwheat flour, which contains no gluten, makes for a light, fluffy pancake. These are excellent with maple syrup or honey, and chocolate chips make a great add-in.

Buckwheat Pancakes
loosely adapted from The Bread Bible, by Beth Henesperger

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill, because it's all I can find here)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
lemon or orange zest, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons oil or butter, melted and cooled

Preheat griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat. You'll know it's ready when you drip a drop of water onto the pan, and the drop dances over the surface and quickly evaporates.
1. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest or cinnamon (if using).
2. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and butter or oil until foamy.
3. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture, and whisk until just combined, about 10 seconds of mixing. There will be lumps- this is fine. Just DO NOT OVERMIX or you will get tough cakes.
4. Grease the skillet and drop batter onto skillet in 1/4 cup measures. If you want to add chocolate chips, do this after you've dropped the batter on the skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until you see bubbles forming on the batter, the edges are dry, and the bottom is golden brown. Flip pancake and cook until 2nd side is also golden brown, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately.