Sunday pancakes

Sunday pancakes

As I was saying: who needs pancake mix? Not me — and not you. Not on a sunny Sunday morning when a little grain-swapping makes for an entertaining start to the day. So here’s some buckwheat, black wheat, the French call it: if you’re over in Brittany and have yourself a tasty galette, this is the flour it will be made from. For this morning’s pancakes, I used my farine de sarrasin, some home made oatmeal flour (that’s oatflakes whizzed in the food processor) and rye flour — but any combination is possible. You can use plain old white or whole wheat flour for some or all; I also like to use fine-ground cornmeal/polenta.

Sometimes if I have half a banana that’s going soft, I’ll mash that up and put it in at the adding-the-egg-and-milk stage. But sometimes Theo will say: Mum, don’t add banana, okay? And then I don’t. 

The other thing that’s flexible is how much liquid you use. More liquid equals thinner, more crepe-like pancakes, which is what my gourmet son prefers. My Dad, as I’ve written, made thicker batter for smaller, silver-dollar cakes. As for what you cook ’em on, I have a wide flat stovetop crepe-pan, with almost no rim: it’s about 35 cm across. But a regular frying pan will do, if that’s what you’ve got.

I put on a low oven so I can keep the pancakes warm before I serve them; I dab them with a little softened butter before I serve them — and of course have proper maple syrup to hand, warmed a little on the stove or in the microwave (20 seconds is all you need: just to take the chill off).

The measures I use, once again, for the flours are American cup measures. Get confident and you can just do it by eye!

Serves three or four, depending on how ravenous everyone is.

1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup oatmeal flakes, whizzed in food processor to make flour
1/3 cup dark rye flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
25 g butter, melted
2 large eggs
300 ml (roughly) milk

Put the flours together in a bowl with the baking powder, salt and sugar. 

Break the eggs into a smaller bowl and whisk; add milk. This is where you’d mash in that half banana, if you were of a mind to.

Fold eggs and milk into flour mix and stir until nicely combined; add melted butter. Is it thin enough for you? This quantity of milk gives a nicely springy crepe; use less milk if you want a thicker batter.

Grease your pan with an oily paper towel (use a neutral oil, like sunflower) and heat until it’s really pretty hot, but not smoking. Pour on about half a cup of batter and swirl the pan around, lifting and tilting, until you have a lovely spread-out crepe. Not round? Who cares? 

Cook until the edges start to lift just a little; the batter will be bubbling. Flip with a spatula and cook on the other side until the steam coming off of it begins to diminish; don’t over-cook. 

When you have a nice stack of these beauties, grace with maple syrup and fruit. There. Now who said breakfast was a chore?