Stephan Guyenet posted a recipe for sourdough buckwheat pancakes a while back. Since I’m always looking for new things to put butter and cream on, I thought I’d give it a try. The results were adequate, but I had a couple of issues:
- No matter how much fat I put in the pan, I couldn’t keep the crepes from sticking
- They were a bit too dense and bland for my taste
Since then, my wife Elanne and I (foodies that we are) have been experimenting with ways to improve Stephan’s basic recipe. And after several weeks of trial and error, I think we’ve achieved sourdough buckwheat pancake nirvana!
Why sourdough buckwheat?
As most of you know, I consider improperly prepared cereal grains to be one of the 4 food toxins responsible for the modern epidemic of disease.
With that in mind, some of you might be wondering why I’m posting a recipe for buckwheat pancakes.
First, it’s important to understand that despite its name, buckwheat is not even a distant relative of wheat. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a cereal grain at all. Cereal grains like wheat, rye, barley, etc. are in the monocot family. Buckwheat is a dicot. It’s the seed of the fagopyrum plant, which is in the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. So it would be more accurate to refer to buckwheat as a seed than a grain.
Second, as you’ll see below, the preparation method Stephan and I suggest involves fermentation to create a natural sourdough batter. While buckwheat does have a significant amount of phytic acid, a nutrient inhibitor, it also has a lot of phytase – the enzyme needed to break down phytic acid. Studies show that fermented buckwheat batters contain very little phytic acid.
So, although I don’t recommend grains in general, I think that buckwheat (especially sourdough) is well tolerated and not a problem for most people.
- 1 C buckwheat
- 2 C water
The amount of liquid you add in the second step will vary. I add enough for it to blend easily into a relatively thick batter. You can also vary the amount of liquid (eggs and milk or water) added in the third step for making thicker pancakes. This recipe makes relatively thin pancakes.
Place buckwheat in a bowl, cover with a plate or towel and soak for 2 – 24 hours.
After soaking strain water off buckwheat and rinse. It will be very mucilaginous. Put buckwheat in blender with another 1/3 to 1/2 c of water. Blend until smooth.
Rinse out bowl that buckwheat was soaking in and add the blended mixture back to the bowl. Cover and let sit for another 12 to 24 hours.
Put a non-stick or cast iron pan on the burner over medium to medium high heat and let the pan heat up while you are mixing up the batter. The secret to cooking pancakes is to make sure the pan gets hot before you add the batter.
Add to buckwheat batter:
- 1 whole egg beaten
- 2 egg whites whipped to stiff peaks
- 1/2 c milk (or unsweetened almond milk or water)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
Note: the whipped egg whites increase the fluffiness and volume and make these more like pancakes. You can omit them and use 2-3 whole beaten eggs instead, but what you’ll get will be more like crepes than pancakes.
Mix in the wet ingredients. Then sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the surface of the batter and thoroughly mix it in.
Make sure the pan is hot and add a generous amount of fat (ghee, coconut oil, lard etc) to the pan. When fat is shimmering ladle pancake batter into the pan. Allow pancakes to cook almost all the way through before flipping. You can either continue to add fat before each new pancake or not. With more fat the pancakes are almost like fritters, with less they are more like typical pancakes.
Top with fruit, butter, kefir cream, whipped cream, coconut butter or coconut milk. You can also add a small amount of honey if you don’t have blood sugar issues, but I find they are sweet enough with the fruit alone.
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