There’s something about buckwheat pancakes that hearkens to an earlier time—pioneer days, log cabins, pot belly stoves, and all that. Perhaps it’s because buckwheat used to be a lot more popular a hundred years ago (according to Wikipedia, 20x the acreage cultivated in 1918 than today). In spite of the name, there is no “wheat” in buckwheat. It’s not even a grain or grass. Yet in many ways it behaves like wheat, and its flour produces wonderfully, unexpectedly, fluffy pancakes, with a rich, warm, earthy taste. We experimented quite a bit with this recipe, including an egg, excluding an egg, all buckwheat flour, or half buckwheat, half all-purpose flour, and you know what? It’s all good. My favorite combination includes an egg and uses half white flour and half buckwheat flour. But the combos without the egg or with all buckwheat flour were also fluffy, flavorful, and eat-way-too-many-able. Buckwheat has zero gluten in it, so if you are at all gluten-sensitive, you shouldn’t have a problem with buckwheat (just use all buckwheat flour instead of the mix in the following recipe.) Griddle’s on!
The egg is optional, we've made the pancakes both ways, with egg and without. With egg results in just a little more structure to the pancake. To make gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, substitute the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour.
- Vegetable oil for coating the pan
- 3/4 cup (100g or 3.5 oz) buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup (100g or 3.5 oz) all-purpose flour (can sub with buckwheat flour for a 100% buckwheat pancake if you wish)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg (optional)
- 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk
1 Heat a well-seasoned griddle, cast iron skillet, or stick-free pan on medium heat. The pan or griddle should be ready for the batter as soon as it is mixed.
2 Whisk together the dry ingredients—the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda—in a large bowl. In Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and start stirring. Beat the egg with a fork and stir it into half of the buttermilk. Add the buttermilk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients, then slowly add in the rest of the buttermilk as needed to get to the right consistency for your batter (you may not need all of the buttermilk, depending on what type of buttermilk you are using and the brand of flour). Stir only until everything is combined. Do not overmix. A few lumps are fine.
3 Put a small amount (a half teaspoon) of vegetable oil on the pan or griddle and spread it around with a paper towel to coat. Ladle the batter onto the hot surface to the desired size, about 4-5 inches wide. (A 1/4 cup measure will ladle about a 4-inch pancake.) Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on this first side. Watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake. When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.
4 Keep your pancakes warm on a rack in the oven set on "warm," or stack them on a plate and cover with a towel as you make more. Spread more oil on the pan as needed between batches of pancakes.
Serve with butter and maple syrup.