To my great surprise and enjoyment last night, my professor cancel my 9:30am lecture. After a glorious sleep, craving pancakes I set out to make my favourite recipe. If you haven’t heard of the The Joy of Cooking, it is one monster of a cookbook(1200 pages) that has recipes and techniques for almost anything under the sun including skinning a rabbit and then making a tasty stew out of the little critter. The only downside of this cookbook is that the recipes often call for multiple pounds of meat, cheeses, and other non-practical and expensive ingredients which is true of most non-vegetarian recipe books.
Sundays during the university school year are great. Being a huge Dallas Cowboys and NFL fan in general, there is nothing better than waking up bright and early, making a big breakfast, drinking coffee and watching my favourite team play. Naturally when I flipped to the pancake section in the Joy of Cooking I was pleased to find 10 different pancake recipes alone. The one I seemed to have settled on however is the Buckwheat pancake recipe.
Side note: I just realized on the Bulk Barn website you can look up nutritional value for all of their products!
Despite it’s misleading name and much to my surprise, Buckwheat is a relative to Rhubarb and is not actually in the grain family. This is great news as it is a great substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Even more good news, Buckwheat contains all 8 essential amino acids making it a “high quality” protein and is also high in dietary fibre as well.
Quick Overview of Amino Acids and Complete Proteins
I do not claim to be an expert in food science or even in Biochemistry, but here are the basics about Amino Acids from what I’ve researched. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein which are used in various biological processes in the body. Although there are 22 in total, there are 8 which are considered “essential”. An essential amino acid is one that cannot be synthesised from other available resources, and therefore must be supplied as part of the diet. The other 14 can therefore be created from these 8.
The next term that is important to understand are foods that are considered “complete proteins”. As you may have guessed these foods are considered to have the eight essential amino acids necessary to the body. Foods such as cheese, Quinoa, eggs, fish, lean meat, and milk are all examples of these. Finally we have foods such as Buckwheat which have all 8 amino acids but are considered “high-quality” proteins. Naturally I was confused how something could contain the essential amino acids and not be considered a complete source of protein. It turns out that in order to qualify as complete, a source of food also needs to have what is considered an adequate proportion of each amino acids for supporting biological functions in the body which makes sense.
Back To Buckwheat
Any ways, I buy most of my bulk items at Bulk Barn. There I found both light and dark buckwheat flour, although no distinction was made for which one to use in my pancake recipe. I decided to go with the Dark Buckwheat flour as it was much higher in fibre than it’g light counter part. Here are the nutritional values of the Dark Buckwheat flour as found on the containers at Bulk Barn:
|Serving Size: 100 g
||% Daily Value
|Total Fat 3.5g
|Saturated Fat 1g
|Trans fat 0g
|Total Fat Percentage
|Dietary Fibre 10g
Buckwheat Pancake Recipe
1 cup Buckwheat Flour
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour(you could probably just do 2 cups of Buckwheat for gluten free(I need to read up on that though!))
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups of buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter(I use margarine, cheaper)
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, mix wet in another, combine and stir well.
Tip: I always used to mess up the first batch of pancakes I put in the pan. The secret I have found is to first, buy a good frying pan. Next you want to preheat the frying pan with about 1.5 Tbsp of Canola Oil in it to about 6 out of 10 using your burner’s knob setting. Once your frying pan is nice and consistently hot, use the tip of a piece of paper towel to spread the Canola oil evenly over the frying pan similar to greasing a muffin pan or banana bread pan. I like to do this after the pan is hot so you don’t have excess Canola Oil in the pan. Once you have done this then add your pancakes.
How To Make Buttermilk
Buttermilk is a type of milk that is thick and acidic. This acidic property, when mixed with flour causes a reaction(that I don’t have the knowledge to explain) which basically enhances the texture of your baking. The good news is you can make buttermilk at home using lemon juice and milk from the fridge. Normally I use a measuring cup capable of holding at least 500ml of liquid to accomplish this. To make buttermilk, simply pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice into the liquid measurer for every cup of buttermilk you need to make. Next fill to whatever cup line you need with milk. Do this before you start mixing any other ingredients as the acidic lemon juice takes time to curdle the milk and give it that thick consistency.
Some other things I like to do to make my pancakes to make them more interesting is to either add chopped banana and/or melted peanut butter.
Also, I hope to find a usb to micro cord for my camera so I can actually take pictures of what mine turn out looking like.