I’m convinced some angels are sitting around in halos and white gowns noshing on these buttermilk buckwheat pancakes. I imagine the angelic second course would be a luscious béchamel sauce lasagna followed by a perfectly-crisped crème brûlée. I’m guessing. But I guarantee, these buttermilk buckwheat pancakes are on the menu.
The pancakes are a bit of a science experiment, however. Right up until the point that I slid them from pan to plate, I was nervous. Particularly nervous since I decided to go with a trial run of the recipe for Big Friend’s birthday. Luckily, in the journey from pan to plate to fork to lips, the science experiment turned into a bit of heaven. They were so popular with all the Big, Medium, and Little members of our family, the science-experiment-turned-angel’s-food reappeared on our Valentine’s Day breakfast plates for an encore performance.
Why a science experiment? Well, for one thing, they’re 100% buckwheat. And for another, you whip up the batter the night before. With yeast. That rises. Grows. Multiplies. Drips over the sides of your mixing bowl if you’re not careful. Then you tame it all back into submission in the morning with a dose of baking soda and water. On the pros side, this process ensures an easy, quick breakfast in the morning. On the cons side, you’ve got a science experiment growing in your oven overnight.
I love these pancakes for the taste (really, they’re the best pancakes I’ve had aside from Nutella crepes, but that’s not a fair comparison at all!), but also for the vintage origins of the recipe. I filched the recipe from the back of a buckwheat sack. Come to think of it, this recipe is probably the only reason I bought the bag of buckwheat in the first place. (Buying an ingredient to get a recipe–seems backward, doesn’t it?) So thanks to this vintage recipe, compliments of Zanella Milling Company in West Sunbury, PA, I’m dining and singing praises with the heavenly choirs.
The original recipe calls for sour milk or buttermilk. I went with buttermilk since I had some sitting in the fridge. I modified molasses to blackstrap molasses for the added health benefits (it’s particularly high in calcium, among other goodness), and switched the 1/2 cake of compressed yeast to 2 1/4 teaspoons (or one packet) of active yeast.
I should also mention the recipe makes enough to feed a platoon of angels. Even when I halved the recipe, I had plenty left over to freeze. The cakes freeze beautifully with a piece of waxed paper separating each. It’s nothing if not convenient to pull out one or two frozen slices of heavenly buckwheat pancakes, pop them in the toaster or microwave to thaw, and serve up with Maple Syrup and Bewyies (Little Friend-ese for Berries) at breakfast.
Heavenly Buttermilk Buckwheat Pancakes
(Adapted from Zanella Milling, who notes, “A simplified recipe for modern kitchens.” Grin.)
Place the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
2 cups sour milk or buttermilk*
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon molasses*
1/2 cake compressed yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water*
The night before:
Add to the mixture enough buckwheat flour to make a thick batter. (I used approximately 3 cups.)
Set in a warm place to rise overnight. (I warmed my oven and placed my mixing bowl on a baking sheet–easy clean up.)
The morning of:
In the morning, add one-half teaspoon baking soda dissolved in warm water. If batter is too thick, thin with water.
The pancakes are especially divine if cooked with coconut oil in a hot cast-iron pan. Cook until bubbles form throughout the batter. Flip only once. Serve piping hot and golden brown.
*See my notes in the paragraph above on my preferences.
If these pancakes don’t earn rave reviews from every taste-tester in your household, I’ll eat your leftovers AND give you your money back. Which won’t cost me much. I am sharing the heavenly pancake love for free, after all. Hey–maybe after trying these pancakes you’ll end up wanting to pay me. You know, just out of the goodness of your heart and your satisfied stomach. Yeah, they’re good enough to make angels out of all of us.