Ready for some pancakes (aka griddlecakes)? Now’s the perfect season. Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is next week – and pancakes traditionally are on the menu.
These buckwheat beauties take pancakes up a notch. Because we like to buck the trend.
This recipe is very similar to our Basic Pancake Recipe. The main difference is that these include buckwheat flour.
Because the flavor of buckwheat can be a little intense, most cooks mix it with regular all-purpose wheat flour when making pancakes. Which is what we’re doing here: Equal measures of buckwheat and all-purpose flour. If you prefer to use only buckwheat flour, just double the amount of buckwheat flour in the recipe and eliminate the all-purpose flour.
Our favorite way to make pancakes is on an electric griddle. But an ordinary griddle (or even a skillet) will work just as well.
Prep time for this recipe is 5 to 7 minutes. Cooking time adds another 10 to 15 minutes.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 pancakes (depending on how large you make them). Serving a crowd? It’s easy to double or triple this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 egg
- ~1 cup milk (see Notes)
- ¾ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose white flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
- additional butter (or cooking oil) for greasing the griddle/skillet (optional if you’re using one with a nonstick surface)
- garnish of maple syrup and/or butter (or anything else you like; see Notes)
- If using an electric griddle or skillet, turn it on to 350° F. If using a regular griddle or skillet, place it on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Once melted, let it cool slightly.
- Add the egg to a medium bowl. Beat until it’s frothy. Add the milk, then beat to combine. Add the melted butter, then beat again to combine.
- Place all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, sugar, salt) in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir just enough to combine the ingredients. Don’t overmix – it’s OK if there are some lumps in the batter. If the batter is too thick for your taste, add a bit more milk to thin it out.
- Test your griddle or skillet to make sure it’s hot enough. A drop of water will skip off the surface when it’s ready. If using a nonstock griddle or skillet, you probably don’t need to grease it. Otherwise, grease the surface lightly with butter or oil.
- Use a ¼ cup measure or large spoon to scoop the batter and drop it on the hot griddle. Repeat until the griddle surface is full. Cook until the edges of the pancakes seem firm and cooked, and bubbles form and break in the middle of the pancakes (usually 2 to 3 minutes). Turn the pancakes over, then cook them for another minute or 2 until they are cooked through.
- Plate the pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, butter, honey, jam, fresh berries – whatever you fancy.
- If you’re making a big batch of pancakes, the early rounds will hold in a 250° F oven for a half hour or so while you finish making the rest.
- Buckwheat is not actually wheat – or even a grain. Instead, it’s a pseudo-grain (not technically a grain, but used like one). In fact, it’s a seed from a plant in the rhubarb family. Buckwheat flour is ground from hulled buckwheat seeds.
- Buckwheat flour can be light or dark, depending on how much of the seed hull is included (the hull is strongly flavored, so dark buckwheat has more oomph than light).
- At the grocery store, you may also see buckwheat groats, which are the unground hulled seeds. Or kasha, which are roasted groats. These are not interchangeable with buckwheat flour.
- Buckwheat is gluten free, so it’s a good choice for those who can’t tolerate gluten. To make a fully gluten-free version of our recipe, skip the regular wheat flour and use all buckwheat flour (or combine it with a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour).
- You can use regular or skim milk when making pancakes. We haven’t tried a nondairy milk like almond or soy, but they should work OK.
- We like thick pancakes, so we use as little liquid as we can get away with when we mix the batter. This results in pancakes with some heft (that don’t spread out much on the griddle). If you prefer thinner, flatter pancakes, use more liquid.
- We like maple syrup with pancakes, so that’s our go-to. But honey is also good, as are jam and jelly. Or you could use a fruit syrup, like blueberry or blackberry.
- We also like butter on pancakes, so that’s always a topping for us. But fresh fruit also makes a terrific garnish.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
- Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It’s also known as Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”). Traditionally, it’s been the day when households use up the fat, sugar, and other rich goodies in their pantries to get ready for fasting during Lent.
“Yum, buckwheat,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “A bit nutty, with lots of depth. Great in pancakes.”
“Another winning recipe,” I said. “I’m a buck-a-neer in the kitchen these days!”
“I may buckle under the weight of that pun,” said Mrs K R.
“Just glad I remembered to make these before Mardi Gras,” I said. “It really crêped up on us this year.”
“If I had a buck for every bad pun you’ve made,” said Mrs K R. “I could kasha in.”
“Hey, those extra pancakes look a bit disgruntled, just sitting there on the plate,” I said. “I should butter them up.”
“That was groats,” said Mrs K R.
Better stop before she flips.
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