Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Buckwheat Pancakes Ala Reona

Buckwheat is not wheat at all; it’s not even a grain, but rather the seed of a plant that has been mostly grown as a nitrogen providing cover crop and is related to rhubarb.  Here is a field of it in Bhutan and some drying seeds.

I grew up eating buckwheat cakes and have eaten them at the Preston County, WV Buckwheat Festival, but it wasn’t until I ate the version from my first MIL that I knew how good they could be.  She served them to her husband, along with bacon, nearly every day using a starter that she had kept going for many years (maybe decades).

Over the years, I had told Beverly how good they were and after her first try at the Buckwheat Festival, she was very underwhelmed so I’ve had them very little in the succeeding years.  While freezer diving recently, I discovered a bag of buckwheat flour from the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge and decided I had to make some, if only for me.  

But first I needed the know-how, so my ex-wife sent me her mom’s recipe and I was ready, but still waited for the right time.

As we were preparing for an RV trip, we invited the house sitter, Cindy, to spend the day and night observing the routine for providing for Madison and getting her to and from school.  Although she’d never heard of them, Cindy said she would like to try the buckwheat cakes and I headed to the kitchen to make the starter.  The next morning, I made them per the instructions, got the batter just right for cakes that were not too thick or thin and fried them in hot bacon fat to get the right flavor and crispy edges – I consider both a must.

I thought they were delicious and after adding real butter and warm Bisson’s Sugar House maple syrup, Cindy loved them, even more so when she discovered they were gluten free.

The following morning, I made them again for myself and added an egg as I normally do for pancakes.

I couldn't decide on a shot so included both.  I started the egg in a ring to keep it small and round.  

I washed it down with some delicious, fresh apple cider from Carvers Orchard in Cosby, TN.

The only thing that could have made this meal better would have been a couple strips of crispy fried Benton's bacon.

As an added bonusBUCKWHEAT IS GOOD FOR YOU - check out the nutrition info at The World’s Healthiest Foods”.  

Think you might like to try them, here’s the recipe for 4 nice sized cakes:

At night – Dissolve a pkg of active dry yeast (Reona used cake yeast and called for 1/4 cake), in a 1/2 cup warm water, mix in one cup buckwheat flour. Let stand overnight at room temperature (it will be very thick).

Next morning – add ½ cup buckwheat flour and ½ – ¾ cup buttermilk (enough for desired thickness and more of both if feeding several people), 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand about ten minutes (until batter begins to work). Best fried in bacon grease, but whatever shortening will do on a hot griddle. (I think Daddy always used a little more soda.)

Leave about a cup of the batter (at room temp) for the next day’s starter. 

Cover and put in refrigerator if not using next day. Repeat soda, salt, buttermilk and flour each time cakes are made – I’m thinking every 3-4 days for me.

1. Don't be shocked at the color of the batter - grayish/brownish/bluish.  
2. When you mix it for the cakes, it may seem pretty thin but it will thicken a lot as it works, so it may take a few iterations to use the right amount of buttermilk for the cake thickness you want - I think they are better on the thinner side.

I'll be shocked if many of you can head down to the local grocer for a bag of Buckwheat Flour, but it is available from Amazon and King Arthur.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


10/28 – 10/29/14 meal dates


  1. Now those sound like very tasty pancakes.

  2. I've never had buckwheat pancakes before but they look and sound delicious - especially with that egg on top!

  3. I'm going to have to try these! I love buckwheat pancakes, haven't had them in ages!

  4. Buckwheat cakes were always a highlight of trips to see Grandmom and Granddad. Mom's comment the other day was that she thought her dad made them better than her mom, but I don't think he ever made them when I was there. As far as I can recall, Granddaddy always put molasses on his. I'm more of a syrup girl myself. This makes me think I need to come spend the night sometime before too long and get up for a perfect cold-weather breakfast of buckwheat cakes. Maybe after I recover from the race and can face the stairs without terror in my heart.
    Love you!

  5. That certainly looks good!! Catherine

  6. I really like the flavor of buckwheat, but am always surprised by the color of the batter.

  7. Larry, I really like buckwheat pancakes, especially when cooked in bacon grease. My problem is that I can't get Laurie to eat any pancakes... It's been many years since I've had decent buckwheat pancakes. Of course, you put an egg on top whereas I would just apply liberal amounts of butter and pure maple syrup. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  8. They look delicious Larry. Bet they are good for you too.

  9. I love pancakes, but have to confess that I've never made buckwheat pancakes. I hope Madison and Cindy do well while you and Bev are off on your road trip. Drive safely!

  10. I have to admit I've never had a buckwheat pancake either. I'd love to try them, though.

  11. It's been many, many years since I've had these pancakes. They're a different texture, but as I recall, I really liked them. Yours look mouth watering.

  12. I remember Buckwheat Pancakes ---and probably had some when I was young. BUT--I don't remember. What I didn't know was that buckwheat is NOT wheat. Hmmmm--learn so much from you bloggers.

    Hope you have a good RV trip--and hope the 'sitter' takes good care of Madison!!!


  13. I bought buckwheat and made pancakes once and did-not-like them. You've inspired me to try them again. I don't think I've ever seen anyone put an egg on a pancake. I should have known the Breakfast King did so. Looks delicious.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments