|from left: almond, buckwheat and sorghum flours|
Anyway, the first hurdle was my own self-inflicted fear of trying new things. Once I got over that (after convincing myself that if I failed I’d feed the stuff to my dogs), I faced another problem – where to get those weird sounding flours? At the supermarket, I only tend to see the same few flours. I managed to locate some of those flours, but then I was faced with yet another problem, these flours were sold in at least 500g quantities and were expensive! And I was afraid that I wouldn’t like the taste of them and hence waste the rest of the flour away! Sounds familiar?
- Buckwheat is actually a plant, and not a cereal crop and the plant is usually ground with its outer bran, which is high in fiber. This gives us the dark brown color flour that we see, with dark flecks which is the bran. What’s even more interesting is that this fruit seed is actually related to rhubarb!
- Buckwheat does not contain any gluten, which makes it a good flour to use for people with gluten intolerance.
- Buckwheat is also an excellent source of protein. It contains all 8 essential amino acids. Low in fat and high in fibre. Basically, buckwheat is a super healthy food, and you can refer to this if you want to know more.
- It is also known as sarrasin in French, which is the base ingredient for sarrasin crêpes from Brittany, which I blogged about earlier. The same is known as blinis in Russia, which are essentially tiny egg like pancakes. Or you can just use them for these pancakes like what I’ve done.
- It also makes buckwheat noodles, which are the backbone of much Japanese and Korean cuisine. Soba and naengmyeon anyone?
- You can also use buckwheat groats (Available at organic food stores) in porridge or in baking. They taste pretty good!
I didn’t want to use a buckwheat pancake recipe that I didn’t trust, because there are quite a few available on the internet. Instead, I modified my pancake recipe. This is my go-to pancake recipe, because I’ve modified it such that one batch below makes exactly 4 large pancakes, which I have over 2 mornings (2 each for breakfast each day).
1 tsp cinnamon powder
- In a bowl, sift the flours with baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the salt and sugar.
- In another bowl, mix the oil, egg, milk and vanilla extract together.
- Add the liquid ingredients into the dry and give the mixture a quick mix or two. It is okay if the mixture contains a few lumps or two, do not overmix or else you will get tough pancakes!
- Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium low heat. Using a
¼-cup measuring spoon, ladle the
¼-cup of batter on the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minute or until golden brown.
- Repeat with remaining batter and serve warm with maple syrup. Enjoy!
- Note: My pancakes may look overly cooked and not evenly brown, but that’s because I use very little oil in cooking them, relying on the nonstick pan and mainly heat to cook the pancakes, hence the uneven brownness. I also like to turn up the heat at the start so that the outsides cook faster than the inside, and I get a relatively more ‘crispy’ texture on the outside of the pancake.
- Taste: I like to add an extra pinch of cinnamon to my pancakes, because I feel that it enhances the taste and especially with buckwheat, since it really did help cut down the earthy taste and ease me into taking buckwheat. Also, the pancakes will definitely taste better if you can use melted butter instead of using oil, but in the mornings, I’m usually rushing for time, so olive oil it is!
- Texture: Because buckwheat does not contain gluten, you can actually mix the dry ingredients into the wet more vigorously and ensure that no lumps remain because they won’t turn as dense anyway. This recipe is a no-fail one, and produces fluffy pancakes all the time!
- Serving size: This recipe makes 4 large pancakes, as pictured above.
- Modifications: For someone new to buckwheat, I would definitely suggest starting with a smaller quantity, say 10g out of the 60g of all-purpose flour and slowly increasing the quantities until you reach 30g. At this proportions, the buckwheat does not taste too overwhelming and are just nice!
- Storage: I’ve use this same recipe over a month, with varying amounts of different types of flour every alternate day when I was in my pancake craze, and since the recipe made 4, I would eat two and keep 2 in the fridge. Although freshly made pancakes are definitely nicer, the ones that are stored in the fridge taste equally delicious after a 15 second zap in the microwave. Do make sure you store them in an airtight container.
- Would I make this again?: Definitely!