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- 🌾 What is Buckwheat Flour?
- 👍 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- 🔍 Tips for Making Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
- 🛠 Tools Needed:
- 🛒 Ingredients Needed:
- 🥞 How to Make Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
- How to Store
- ❓ FAQs:
- Other Sourdough Breakfast Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
These quick and easy Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes are fluffy with crispy edges!
Using sourdough discard or active starter to make pancakes may be one of the easiest and fastest sourdough recipes you can make because there’s no resting time or overnight proofing (although you can if you prefer!).
Adding gluten-free buckwheat flour takes these up a notch by introducing this ancient grain that’s filled with earthy, slightly nutty flavor. It’s easy to make them fully gluten-free by using a gluten-free sourdough starter or buckwheat starter.
The buckwheat sourdough pancakes are not too sweet and go excellent served with a drizzle of real maple syrup, softened butter, and fresh fruit. Plus, my recipe will walk you through exactly how I make them so you get fluffy pancakes with crispy edges every time!
🌾 What is Buckwheat Flour?
This naturally gluten-free and nutritious whole grain flour is milled from buckwheat groats (the kernels) into a fine flour. Because it’s gluten-free, it can be challenging to add in large amounts to sourdough bread. Hence, my Buckwheat Sourdough with Pumpkin Seeds is only 5% buckwheat flour!
Buckwheat flour adds an enchanting purple and gray hue to baked goods and breads with brown and black specks.
You’ll often see buckwheat flour added to French crêpes, soba (Japanese noodles), or eaten as a whole grain (kasha) in Eastern European dishes.
The flavor of buckwheat is earthy, slightly bitter, and rustic. It can be overpowering in large amounts, but is balanced in this sourdough pancake recipe with a little sweetness, tangy buttermilk and sourdough, plus any toppings you add.
👍 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy and quick recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes with minimal tools.
- Can rest the batter overnight
- There’s no fermenting or resting since the pancakes use sourdough discard (can use active starter too), which you can use straight from the refrigerator. But you can opt to make the batter the evening before and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
- Can make gluten-free
- Buckwheat flour is gluten-free. To make the recipe gluten free, you’ll need to use a buckwheat or gluten-free sourdough starter.
- Crispy edges with a spongy, fluffy middle
- These pancakes are for people who love waffles! The crispy edges come from frying the pancakes in coconut oil (or another neutral oil) in a cast-iron skillet and adding a small amount of melted butter in the batter.
- Not too sweet
- The buckwheat flour makes these pancakes a little savory and only have a couple of tablespoons of sugar in them. The result is a flavorful, whole grain pancake that you can make sweeter with any toppings you choose.
🔍 Tips for Making Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
- Can rest the batter overnight
- Since pancakes come together so quickly, I make them right before cooking, but you can mix everything the night before and refrigerate the batter if you want to save a few minutes in the morning!
- Don’t overmix the batter
- Use sourdough discard or active sourdough starter
- You can use active sourdough starter or unfed sourdough discard in this recipe. Cold starter is perfectly fine to use straight from the refrigerator.
- Fry in coconut oil or another high smoke point oil
- Frying pancakes in butter can result in burnt pancakes due to butter’s low smoke point (350ºF). Instead, I recommend adding the butter to the batter so you get the flavor and richness. Then, use refined coconut oil or another neutral frying oil with a higher smoke point (vegetable, canola, grapeseed, avocado) to cook them!
- Use cast-iron for crispy edges
- Cast-iron skillets are my favorite for recipes like my Sourdough Honey Cornbread and Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting because it cooks evenly and is non-stick when seasoned properly.
- Cooking pancakes in cast iron retains heat well and gives them the best event color and texture.
🛠 Tools Needed:
You only need a few basic tools to make these sourdough buckwheat pancakes. No mixer or blender required!
- Baking scale: Flour and sourdough starter can weigh differently from person to person, so weighing your ingredients is the best option! Weighing your ingredients by weight will make your baking more consistent and accurate.
- Whisk: For mixing the dry and wet ingredients.
- Cast-iron skillet (optional): You can use a non-stick pan or electric griddle if you’re cooking many at one time.
- ¼ cup scoop or ladle (optional): Helps with even pouring to make round, equal-sized pancakes. Can you a large liquid measuring cup with a spout or pancake batter dispenser too.
- Spatula or fish spatula: for flipping the pancakes.
🛒 Ingredients Needed:
See below for my ingredient recommendations and possible substitutions.
- Buckwheat flour: There’s no 1:1 substitute for buckwheat flour in this recipe as buckwheat behaves differently than other flours. You can find buckwheat flour in many grocery store, sometimes in a gluten-free section.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The mechanical leavening agents assist with rise, the fluffy texture, and browning the pancakes.
- Salt: You need salt to bring out the flavors in the pancakes or else they’ll taste quite dull. I use Kosher or sea salt.
- Granulated sugar: The two tablespoons of sugar adds a hint of sweetness (and browning) to the otherwise savory pancakes. You can leave out or substitute with another sweetener like coconut sugar if you prefer.
- Sourdough Discard
- Buttermilk: Adds more tang to the pancakes and makes them more tender than using milk or water. Can use powdered buttermilk and reconstitute it or substitute with milk and a little lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Egg: Crucial to give the buckwheat pancakes some structure since there is no gluten in buckwheat flour.
- Unsalted butter, melted: Butter adds richness to the batter and helps brown them and get crispy edges, but you can substitute it with another fat such as coconut oil, avocado, or vegetable oil.
- Vanilla extract: Adds a sweet aroma and “smoother” flavor to the hearty, earthy pancakes.
- Coconut oil or another neutral oil, for frying: Butter can burn quickly due to its low smoke point, so I prefer frying pancakes in refined coconut oil or another higher smoke point oil, such as vegetable, grapeseed, or avocado oil. Ghee (or clarified butter) is also fantastic for even more buttery flavor!
Sourdough Buckwheat Pancake Toppings
To me, pancakes aren’t complete with a few toppings!
We tap our own maple trees in the spring and make homemade maple syrup here, which makes pancakes feel extra special. Maple syrup pairs so well with the earthy buckwheat and soaks into the not-too-sweet pancakes.
A dab of softened butter is also excellent on top of warm pancakes that will slowly melt and give some creaminess.
Of course, fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries are always welcome. Blueberries are also great in the batter to make sourdough blueberry buckwheat pancakes! Just add fresh blueberries on top of the pancake when you begin frying them and before flipping.
🥞 How to Make Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
Follow this visual and detailed recipe guide as you make the best sourdough buckwheat pancakes. This recipe makes about 10 pancakes, but it’s easy to double the recipe so you have more.
1. Mix the Dry Ingredients
Whisk the buckwheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Whisk the Wet Ingredients
In another mixing bowl, whisk the wet ingredients, including the buttermilk, egg, sourdough discard, and vanilla extract.
Whisk in the melted butter last.
3. Mix the Sourdough Buckwheat Pancake Batter
Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until almost all of the flour is hydrated.
It’s okay if some lumps remain. The batter should be thin enough that the pancakes will spread when put into a hot pan, but thick enough that it will hold its shape. Any lumps will cook off.
For pancakes with crispy edges and a fluffy interior, it all comes down to technique and the type of pan you use.
I use a little more oil in a cast-iron skillet than what you may be used to, about 3 TBS of refined coconut oil. Place the oil in the pan and heat it over medium heat just until it begins to smoke. Then, turn the pan down to medium-low.
There should be a layer of hot oil so that the pancakes will immediately start to fry when you put the batter in it. It’s normal for the first pancake to come out a little wonky, but if you heat your pan hot enough, you won’t have as much of an issue.
Scoop about a ¼ cup of batter into your pan with hot oil. I usually cook one or two at a time, but you can cook more if you make smaller pancakes or have a bigger skillet.
Cook the pancake for 2-3 minutes until visible bubbles appear in the center. Lift up one side with a spatula to make sure the pancake looks dark brown with a crispy ring around the edge.
Then, quickly slide the spatula underneath the pancakes and flip over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side until it’s evenly browned.
Replenish the oil in the pan as necessary in between pancakes, as the pancakes will soak up some of the frying oil.
Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
How to Keep Pancakes Warm:
Pancakes are best served warm immediately. But if you’re making many for a crowd and warm to serve them all at once, you may need to keep them warm as you cook them all.
To keep your pancakes warm while you cook them, you can place them on another skillet or stove-top safe plate on the warming zone on your stovetop if you have one.
You can also keep pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet in the oven at 200ºF until you’re finished cooking the rest of your batter.
How to Store
I recommend cooking and serving the sourdough buckwheat pancakes while warm and crispy. However, you can freeze them for your convenience.
To freeze, let the pancakes cool completely and then place them in a freezer-safe airtight bag. They can stick together, so you may want to put a piece of parchment paper in between each pancake. Freeze for up to two months.
Before cooking frozen pancakes, wrap them individually in aluminum foil and cook them in the oven at 350ºF for 10 minutes. The aluminum foil will help them not go dry when you reheat them. This will help keep them more crispy without getting too limp.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes. Simply double all of the ingredients and make about 20 pancakes.
Are these sourdough buckwheat pancakes gluten-free?
If you use a gluten-free sourdough starter (or a buckwheat starter), then they are gluten-free.
Why are my sourdough pancakes tough?
If you overmix the pancake batter, you’ll get tough pancakes. Mix just until the flour is hydrated but some lumps remain.
How can I make sourdough pancakes more sour?
You can make your sourdough pancakes more sour by fermenting the batter overnight in the refrigerator. This will slow fermentation will add more sourness too your pancakes!
Other Sourdough Breakfast Recipes You May Enjoy:
Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes
- 120 g Buckwheat Flour, 1 cup
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 2 TBS Granulated Sugar
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 224 g Buttermilk, 1 cup
- 1 Egg
- 120 g Sourdough Discard, ½ cup, or active starter, or buckwheat/gluten-free starter to make gluten-free pancakes
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 TBS Unsalted Butter, melted
- Refined coconut oil, for frying, or another neutral oil such as vegetable, grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.120 g Buckwheat Flour, 1 tsp Baking Powder, ½ tsp Baking Soda, 2 TBS Granulated Sugar, ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- Whisk the wet ingredients in another mixing bowl. Stir in the melted butter last.224 g Buttermilk, 1 Egg, 120 g Sourdough Discard, 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract, 2 TBS Unsalted Butter
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix just until combined and some lumps remain.
- Heat a preferably cast-iron skillet with about 2-3 TBS of coconut oil over medium heat until you see wisps of smoke. Turn down to medium-low heat.Use a ¼ cup measuring cup, ladle, or spoon to scoop out about ¼ cup of pancake batter into the hot oil (or whatever size you prefer).Cook for 2-3 minutes until you use visible bubbles all over the surface and the bottom is crispy and evenly brown. Slide your spatula underneath and quickly flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes.Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as necessary in between frying. Keep the cooked pancakes warm in a baking sheet in the oven at 200ºF or if you have a warming zone on your stovetop.Serve warm with maple syrup (a must), a couple dabs of softened butter, and fresh berries if you have.
- Follow my guide above for more detailed instructions, tips, and photos to make this recipe.