Little House Recipe: Buckwheat Pancakes

January 31, 2010 at 2:07pm

Enjoy a fun winter breakfast!

From: The Little House Cookbook, copyright Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. by Barbara M. Walker, illustrated by Garth Williams. The cookbook is available to order on our museum Web site, along with other selections -

"Then Pa sat down, as they urged him, and lifting the blanket cake on the untouched pile, he slipped from under it a section of the stack of hot, syrupy pancakes. Royal forked a brown slice of ham from the frying pan onto Pa's plate and Almanzo filled his coffee cup.

"You boys certainly live in the lap of luxury," Pa remarked. The pancakes were no ordinary buckwheat pancakes. Almanzo followed his mother's pancake rule and the cakes were light as foam, soaked through with melted brown sugar."

For 2 dozen, 3-inch pancakes, plus 1 cup of sponge, you will need:
Molasses, 2 Tablespoons
Yeast, 1 ounce or 2 small packages
Buckwheat flour, 2 cups
Whole-wheat flour, 1 cup
Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Drippings, 1 Tablesoon
Salt pork, 1/4-pound chunk
Brown sugar, 1/2 cup

The night (or 8 hours before serving), put 1/2 cup of blood-warm water in a bowl or pitcher, stir in molasses, and crumble yeast on top. When yeast has softened, stir in another 2 cups of tap water and both the flours. Cover with a cloth and let stand at room temperature (under 70 degrees) to make the sponge.

Next morning, remove 1 cup of the sponge to a jar as a starter for the next batch. Store in refrigerator. Dissolve baking soda and salt into 1/2 cup of hot water and add drippings. Beat this into the sponge until well mixed.

Heat griddle, grease it with salt pork. Pour one large test cake to start; use this to cover remaining cakes. Pour each cake 3 to 4 inchest wide. Cook until bubbles form and burst, then turn and cook equally long on other site. As you stack finished cakes on a warm plate, sprinkle each with a little brown sugar.

The starter will keep for a number of days in the refrigerator. For your next batch, make the sponge by mixing starter with 2 Tablespoons molasses, 2 cups bloodwarm water, 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat flour, and 1 cup whole-wheat flour. Let stand overnight, then proceed as before, setting aside a new cup before adding final ingredients.