Buckwheat Pancakes

Breakfast and BrunchGluten-FreeBuckwheat

Buckwheat pancakes with buttermilk, tangy, earthy, surprisingly fluffy, and naturally gluten-free!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 (naturally gluten-free), 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!

Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 14 to 15 4-inch pancakes, serves 2-3

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.

Don't have buttermilk? You can substitute using 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar stirred into enough regular milk to make 2 cups. (After you stir in the vinegar, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.) Or you can mix together 1 1/2 cups of plain yogurt and 1/2 cup of milk.

Ingredients

  • 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% gluten-free 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

Method

1 Pre-heat skillet: 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 Make pancake batter: 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 over-mix! A few lumps are fine.

3 Ladle batter onto hot pan: 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.

4 Flip pancakes over to other 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.

5 Keep finished pancakes warm: 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.

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Links:

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes - from Matt Wright

Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes - from Bakingsheet

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes - from Shutterbean

Calamity Jane and buckwheat pancakes from Michael Procopio of Food for the Thoughtless

Buckwheat Pancakes

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

53 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Kim

    Simply amazing light fluffy and Devine. Used about 3/4 of buttermilk but was nice to have a little extra to add to help thin out batter when necessary. Can’t wait to make these again

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Pierrette

    I grew up on “Galettes de Sarrasin” in Québec. The town that my father is from has a buckwheat crèpe festival each fall. This isn’t the same thing, but it’s awfully good! I reduced the sugar to 1 tablespoon and increased the salt to 3/4 teaspoon to make it closer to what my father used to make. I also add water to thin as it is very thick. All three dairy options worked out really well. Something to remember.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Meg

    Great recipe! I used all buckwheat flour plus the egg. Instead of buttermilk I used yogurt and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I also did honey instead of sugar. My batter was actually way too thick so I used about an extra half cup of almond milk to get the right consistency. My kids loved these! Thank you :)

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • kathleen

    This is my go-to buckwheat pancake recipe. They always turn out great. I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour and I always use an egg. With agave syrup (we live in Mexico — no maple trees here), this is a perfect Sunday breakfast.

  • adrienne l Sirken

    This was a total disaster! Bright yellow MESS! The pancake batter was like water, as others had said. and when I thickened it with some more flour, they were dense and inedible and for some reason they were bright yellow! Anyone have any idea why they would be yellow?

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