Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fresh Ground Buckwheat Pancakes

So, I am the very proud owner of a Country Living Grain Mill. I know grinding your own flour isn't everyone's idea of fun, but for the sake of self-reliance and food quality I bought one (oh, and it's fun!).

Whole grains just hold up better than ground. A feed salesman recently told us that chicken feed isn't worth keeping more than one month because the cracked grain loses most of its vitamin content during that time. Think about it, how long has that bag of flour been sitting in the grocery store? If he wouldn't feed two month old (since milling) grain to chickens why would I feed flour that's God knows how old to my family?

Pancake time! The recipe I use for buckwheat pancakes is a lightly modified version of Best Buckwheat Pancakes from To decide how much to mill I assumed (based on measurements from The Bread Baker's Apprentice) that the 2-1/4 c of each flour called for in the recipe would be about 5 oz of whole grain. So I loaded up my mill's hopped with 5 oz of red winter wheat and 5 oz of buckwheat.

Grains in the hopper.

I am never going to have to explain to my kids where their food comes from. At the ripe old age of 2 Finn is helping mill the flour for his own pancakes!

Round and round!
To grind the grain you just start with the burrs really tight and loosen when you get a consistency you like. If you start with them farther apart and tighten down you may be fighting grains caught between the burrs as you tighten. 
Finn was in charge of quality control.
Finn helped turn the flywheel a little but mostly held his hands under the little flour waterfall coming out of the mill. Looked like fun, but I was busy cranking that wheel. Who knew making pancakes could involve sweating?

Beautiful fine flour.
So, as you can see I substituted whole wheat flour for all-purpose. Next I added the 1 T salt and 2 T baking soda called for in the recipe to the flour but skipped the sugar. After all, why should pancake mix have sugar in it, isn't that what syrup is for?

Pancake mix.
I'm storing this mix in the refrigerator since that will help preserve the quality of the flour the longest. I'm not too worried about it sticking around for more than one month. When I'm ready to make my pancakes I measure out 2/3 c of mix and add to it 1/4 c melted butter mixed with 2 eggs (usually duck) and a splash of milk (1/2 c or 1 c ish I think). If it's too dry I add more milk.

Extra pancake mix gets cooked and the pancakes head to the freezer. Nothing is better when you're feeling lazy or pressed for time than still being able to feed your family a hot meal in the morning. Sorry Finn I have to go to the barn now, but here, have some pancakes!

So, the recipe I used is:
Dry Mix
5 oz wheat
5 oz buckwheat
1 T salt
2 T baking soda

2/3 c Dry Mix
2 eggs
1/4 c melted butter

You could always substitute applesauce for the butter if you were feeling less fat-friendly. Sorry I didn't give an exact milk amount. I almost always eyeball my liquids. You just have to know what pancake batter looks like and feels like when you stir it.

The best part about making pancakes may have been after measuring the grain. I said to Finn, "we're going to make this into flour." Then I left the room to tend the woodstove. On my way back I saw he had a daffodil from the vase on the table in the bowl with the grains. I'm thinking oh no, he's going to get it all wet! So I start, "Finn, get that flower out of the..." and realize he confused flour and flower. So cute!


  1. That's great! So happy we are doing things the real way. Love you Baby!