100% Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes

Adapted from a generations-old family recipe, these pancakes check both the hearty and light boxes. They're ideal for individuals with multiple food allergies or vegans as they're dairy and egg free. Since buckwheat is not a "real" grain they're paleo too. However, the real reason to make a batch is because they're very good.

Yield: about 12, 4-inch pancakes; serves 4.

Time to make: 30 minutes active. Overnight batter ferment.

Tools needed: Spice or coffee grinder. Large bowl. Measuring cups and spoons or kitchen scale. griddle or skillet.


2 1/4 cups buckwheat flour (see note)
3 teaspoons instant yeast,
2 teaspoons granulated sugar,
1/2 teaspoon salt,
2 1/2 cups warm water,
1 tightly packed Tablespoon brown sugar (either dark or light).
1 Tablespoon cooking oil (nut oil tastes best but canola will do),
1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

Note: For best flavor, use a spice or coffee grinder to pulverize buckwheat groats into a flour with many different levels of coarseness. Pre-ground buckwheat flour may be used as well.


1) The night before making the cakes, place the flour, the yeast, the white sugar and the salt into a very large bowl. The batter will expand vigorously and can overflow a bowl that's not at least twice the volume as the ingredients. Stir well to blend, then add the water and stir vigorously. Loosely cover with a sheet of plastic and set in a warm-ish place (70 F to 90 F) on a counter that won't be damaged by overflow.

2) In the morning, check your batter. It should have risen overnight, leaving a "bathtub ring" on the inside of the bowl, then fallen back down. A finger dip will reveal a sour, grainy, unique flavor. If the batter is very thick you can add water. Thick batter makes cakes that are more difficult to cook all the way through.

3) Heat up a skillet or electric griddle to 350 F and grease lightly. Add the brown sugar, oil and soda to the batter and stir very well blended. The sour batter will react immediately with the soda and you may notice it start to swell. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot skillet. When the edges turn dry-ish and the center bubbles, flip. After a minute or two poke a hole into the center to see if they're cooked or still wet. Continue cooking until done.

Serve warm with syrup, molasses, honey or jam, and of course, bacon.