For Mothers Day, my three daughters gave me an ice cream maker and a book. Not just any book... A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.
In her book, Molly shares recollections from her life... memories that left an imprint. We all have them. A song, a smell, a season triggers remembrance. A bonus is that Molly skillfully, ever so seamlessly, includes a recipe at the end of each chapter that directly relates to the story she has told. I have read of others sharing on their blogs how they curl up in bed at night and read cookbooks. I am one of them. This book, however, is a cookbook and a well-written novel all rolled into one. What a delightful combo! Last night, I flipped to the final two pages of the chapter I was reading before setting the book down. I drifted off to sleep dreaming of the blueberry-dotted buckwheat pancakes I would make for breakfast upon waking. Dick habitually asks what we are having for breakfast before he falls off to sleep, so he dreamt of the same pancakes... I am sure of it.
As I headed directly to the kitchen this morning, I lifted a gallon jar of hulled buckwheat off the shelf to grind into flour. Hulled buckwheat is called “buckwheat groats.”
Unhulled buckwheat flour is stronger tasting and darker than flour ground from hulled buckwheat.
Molly's recipe produces pancakes that are featherlight, tender, and golden brown with crispy edges... not a small feat when considering these are heavyduty buckwheat pancakes. You'll be missing out if you just make this recipe. Read her book. It's a feel good read that will cause you to reminisce about your own life story.
A Homemade Life Buckwheat Pancakes
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I used w.w. pastry flour.)
1/3 cup buckwheat flour*
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk
1 large egg, separated
2 tbsp (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
fresh or frozen blueberries, optional*
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour the buttermilk and milk into a medium bowl or a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk the egg white into the milk mixture. In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the yolk with the melted butter. (Rather than adding the melted butter directly to the wet ingredients, mixing it with the egg yolk helps the butter to better incorporate into the batter making for a more even-textured pancake.) Whisk the yolk mixture into the milk mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once, and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. Ladle the batter in scant ¼ cupfuls onto a hot skillet. When the underside of the pancakes is nicely browned and the top starts to bubble and look set around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes, flip them. Cook until the second side has browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. To add blueberries, let the pancakes cook on their first side for about a minute then sprinkle the fruit on top. *Unhulled buckwheat flour is stronger tasting and darker than flour ground from hulled buckwheat. Hulled buckwheat is called “buckwheat groats.” I ground my own flour from hulled buckwheat to make this recipe.