Alfalfa. Darla. Spanky. Our Gang. The Little Rascals.
Buckwheat is a largely unfamiliar grain that in American culture has wierd word associations with a generation of Hollywood kids who grew up even before we were born, as well as with pancakes. Even with the added boost in name recognition from this historical film connection, it is an underused food item not only in the US and Italy but also in our own kitchen. For years now we've had several boxes of pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta noodles from northern Italy) sitting untouched in our supply closet. They are hard to find over there and in specialty stores over here, so we tend to hoard them, waiting for that special occasion to use them with their traditional recipe. A special occasion which just hasn't been materializing like it is supposed to.
On the other hand the dr bob refrigerator supply department always has buckwheat flour on hand ready to add its unique flavor to our whole grain bread machine products. And to this very tasty breakfast treat we occasionally make when blueberries are not more outrageously priced than our subconscious food budget Nazi allows us to fork over for them (usually summer). Buttermilk, another ingredient with a strong pancake word association, is also a staple we always have in stock in powdered form for our bread machine production.
For us "pancakes" means only one thingbuckwheat pancakes, and this recipe from our largely unused food magazine archives is one of the reasons we still continue to subscribe and impulse buy them. For those rare jewels that say to us "Make me, make me" when we actually happen to be listening. And we make them. And make them again. And again.
Contrary to popular belief, one does not need a pancake mix box to make pancakes. They are a snap to make from scratch. Using a nonstick frying pan, or better yet, two in parallel for quicker results, the grilling is easy too. We rub the center of the pan with the end of a stick of butter before each single pancake is plopped down, rolling the pan a bit to help it spread out. One per pan so they don't crowd each other. And then we stack them on a plate on the stove using a deep bowl as a cover to keep them all warm until all the batter is used up. ms_ani likes them with the traditional maple syrup and butter treatment, while dr bob goes with a light powdering of confectioner's sugar and some exotic jam or jelly like guava or mango or papaya, but even strawberry goes well with the blueberries (dulce de leche too!). Either way, we are satisfied customers.
|small batch||larger batch|
|3/8 c||3/4 c||unbleached all purpose flour|
|1/4 c||1/2 c||buckwheat flour|
|1 T||2 T||sugar|
|3/4 t||1 1/2 t||baking powder|
|1/4 t||1/2 t||salt|
|1/8 1/4 t||baking soda|
|1 c||2 c||buttermilk (powder+water)|
|1 T||2 T||vegetable (or olive) oil|
|1||2||large eggs, separated (yolks+whites)|
|melted butter (judgement call)|
|3/4 c||1 1/2 c||fresh blueberries|