It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least for me, that is. Without my warm bowl of steel cut oats, doused in cinnamon and vanilla, with an over-sized mug of jet-black coffee on the side, I can’t promise I could function like a decent human being. Dramatic, yes, but those two items are so grounding and comforting, I haven’t varied the combo in nearly a year. While everyone waxes rhapsodic about the occasional waffle or donut in the morning, I fear that altering the delicate balance that is a properly composed breakfast would throw an entire day off kilter. If there wasn’t coffee or oats first thing upon waking, oh, there would be hell to pay.
But that isn’t to say that I’m uninterested in other breakfast options. On the contrary, traditional breakfast foods are some of my favorite dishes- I just don’t eat them at breakfast time! From pancakes to french toast to even a bowl of cold cereal, I’m happiest having any of this morning fare for dinner, dessert, and sometimes both at once. It should come as no surprise that my tastes tend to run on the sweet side, so all of these choices come with more than a good dose of sugar, too. Instead of feeling guilty about essentially eating mini cakes fried up in a skillet as a meal, why not embrace that fact and just make the first course also the last course all at once?
Seeking a more hearty variation to the generally light and fluffy pancake, I rifled through my overwhelming assortment of flours until the ancient package of buckwheat came to light. Buckwheat definitely says “satisfying” to me, and by using the flour to create pancakes, you get not only a filling and more healthy meal, but a delectable one, too. Despite the misleading name, buckwheat is gluten-free as well, so it made sense to leave wheat out of the picture altogether for this one. Toss in a few roughly chopped almonds or walnuts if you’d like to further enhance the naturally nutty flavor of the buckwheat.
As for me, well, a scoop of vanilla ice cream sounded like a more appealing addition. Melting luxuriously over the top of a tall stack, the contrasts of hot and cold, light and dense, simple and complex flavors made for a much more exciting dinner/dessert combo than I could have imagined.
2 Cups Plain or Vanilla Non-Dairy Milk
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1 Packet Rapid Rise Yeast
1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour (NOT starch)
1/4 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
1/3 Cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Heat the non-dairy milk briefly just to bring it up to room-temperature if it had been in the fridge, and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and molasses. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together all of the flours, yeast, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, making everything is well mixed and evenly distributed. Pour your wet ingredients into the bowl of dry, along with the oil, and stir with a wide spatula until just combined. Small lumps are just fine, so long as you don’t over-mix the batter.
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat, until you can get a drop of water to skitter around on top. If it instantly evaporates, it’s too hot, and if it doesn’t do anything, it’s too cold. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the skillet per pancake, but don’t crowd the pan because it will become difficult to flip them. When a good number of bubbles break on the surface of the pancake, carefully check the underside to make sure they’re ready to flip. It should take about 3 – 5 minutes per side, so just keep a good eye on them and don’t walk away. Stack them on a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm for a few minutes before serving.
Serve with maple syrup or vanilla ice cream if desired.
Serves 4 – 5