Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Addie's Buckwheat Buttermilk Flapjacks

 A typical Sunday morning at my house consists of giant mugs brimming with coffee laced with cream, which are sipped on our deck with the lake superior breeze and the sun. Unless a fog rolls in. Then we make pancakes. Our favorite pancakes lately are a blend of buckwheat and whole wheat pastry flour. Depending on what I have on hand, I may throw in some rye flour, wild rice flour, or cornmeal. It's very simple to play around with the dry ingredients as long as you are keeping the quantity of dry ingredients about the same, and are keeping in mind the different characteristics of each flour. Whole wheat flour is dense, but buckwheat flour is light, and so they seem to pair up well. Combined with buttermilk, maple syrup, and studded with fresh fruit- these flapjacks are exactly what we're looking for on those cool mornings. Pancakes are a great vessel for fresh seasonal fruit. This time of year we're using fresh berries to adorn our cakes. This past winter we were experimenting with caramelized bananas or handfuls of granola with honey Greek yogurt.  However you take your cakes, this recipe is versatile, and can serve as a great host for your seasonal harvests. Try strawberries and rhubarb with browned butter, cherries and toasted almonds, or peaches with a few tablespoons of toasted cornmeal added in.

Addie's Buckwheat Buttermilk Flapjacks:

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Whisk together all of the above ingredients in a medium sized batter bowl. In a separate bowl mix together:

2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
3 Tbl maple syrup or honey

Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Fold any additional fruit as well, about 1 cup worth. A great cast iron skillet works great for cooking a few pancakes at a time. You want to cook the cakes over an even and consistent heat source. Make sure the pan is pre-heated correctly, or you'll end up with pancakes that spread too much and not rise well.

I am really interested in the variety of flours that are now available. Switching up the flours in your recipes can add wonderful flavors. It can be as simple as swapping half of the all-purpose flour in your chocolate chip cookie recipes, with whole wheat pastry flour. It adds a slightly nutty flavor with a honey-sweetness undertone.  I bought a cookbook called, "Good to the Grain", written by Kim Boyce. Each chapter features a variety of flour. From Amaranth flour to Buckwheat flour to Spelt flour, this book includes many great recipes. I enjoy this book the most because it seems built on the fundamentals of utilizing these great  grains for their unique flavors, and the end results are tasty! Typically when I see multigrained recipes those grains are used as substitutes to make baked goods either healthier or gluten- free, which isn't always a tasty end product. There is a forward written by Nancy Silverton in the beginning of the book, and she sums it up perfectly by writing the following: "My priority as both a baker and an eater is not health but flavor. What makes the recipes in this book so special is that- weather you care about whole grains or not- they are truly delicious." That makes me smile.

Here is an easy mulitgrain flour blend recipe that is included in 'Good to the Grain':

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 cup barley flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup rye flour

This recipe was designed to be versatile. You can also experiment with blends of your own. Kim says to keep in mind that every flour is different and has different qualities, so your goal is to create the right balance of flavor and structure. This blend would make wonderful pancakes! Belly Up!!