Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I learned a new word today . . . . pseudocereal. Yeah, I'm serious. It would seem that buckwheat flour is made from a plant that's not really wheat at all, but something that likes to masquerade as a cereal. Just as a pseudo-intellectual is a human who fancies himself worthy of the academic upper crust when in reality he's probably just mildly smarter than average, buckwheat has a similar identity crisis going on. Who knew plants could do that?
Not to be confused with the Buckwheat character of Little Rascals fame, the common buckwheat plant, also known as fagopyrum, produces small triangular seeds that resemble the seeds of the beech tree; it seems the word buckwheat may be a derivation/corruption of the pronunciation of the Dutch words for beech wheat. Utterly fascinating, right? Mmm hmm, I thought so too. Okay then, moving on . . .
So, did any of that factual flotsam and jetsam matter to me this morning as I was whipping these babies up? No sir, not a lick. All I know is that the basis for these hotcakes--pastry flour enhanced with a meaningful portion of whole grain buckwheat flour, a big over-ripe banana, a pinch of cinnamon, and a dollop of wildflower honey--make for a fabulous breakfast treat. On the heavily traveled thoroughfare of the American pancake continuum, these lean toward the healthier side of town, but you'd never know it based on their rich flavor and pleasing texture. Drizzle even the tiniest amount of honey over them, along with a few extra banana slices, and you have something wonderful with which to start the day.
About this recipe . . .
Adapted from Kim Boyce's recipe for pear and buckwheat pancakes in her appealingbook, Good to the Grain, I halved the amount of buckwheat flour, used regular pastry flour instead of whole grain pastry flour, used mashed banana instead of pear, added in a smidgen of wildflower honey, used canola oil instead of butter, and tossed in a pinch of cinnamon to boot. And, of course, I reworded things to reflect exactly what I did.
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Wildflower Honey
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups pastry flour
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. honey (I used wildflower honey.)
1 and 1/4 cups whole milk (I didn't have any on hand so I used 1 and 1/4 cups of 2 percent milk, along with 1/4 cup of half-and-half.)
1 large egg
1 large very ripe banana, mashed
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, milk, egg, and mashed banana.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently just until blended. Don't overmix.
If you have a nice non-stick skillet, and you prefer to add no more fat to the pancakes, go ahead and use that. Heat it over medium heat for a minute or so.
If using a regular skillet, be sure to add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of vegetable oil (I used canola) to the heated pan. Let the oil heat up, still over medium heat.
When your pan is hot, pour the batter on in 1/4- to 1/3 cup portions. Let the pancakes cook until quite a few bubbles start to form on the top of each one; flip them over with a thin spatula and cook them until their bottoms are quite golden. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Keep going with the remainder of the batter. Serve the pancakes with honey and banana slices on the side.
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