What to do with buckwheat pancake mix?
I love buckwheat pancakes and order them whenever we go out to breakfast at a restaurant that offers them, which translates to not very often. I recently decided to pick up some mix so I can make them at home. I tried them this morning, and they're boring - not bad, but lacking that nutty buckwheat flavor that I love. I don't want to just throw the rest of the mix away, so would appreciate possible uses. Can it be added to bread, scones, etc?
I wonder if you could mix it with some brown sugar, oats, nuts and butter and use it for a good, earthy topping for a fruit crisp?
Adding Grape-Nuts cereal to the batter might boost the flavor. You could grind it first (in which case maybe a little more baking powder should be added), or stir it in as is and let the batter sit for 20 minutes (sitting always helps make fluffier pancakes) to soften a bit if you don't want crunch. Applesauce in place of someof the liquid also adds flavor and tenderness.
Rather than finding an alternative use for the mix, why not try "tweeking" it a little. I assume you're using buttermilk (or that it's already part of the boxed mix) so I won't highlight that point.
I might try adding a little brown sugar, some quick rise yeast (and let it raise for an hour or so before hitting the grill) and perhaps introducing some wheat germ to the preparation. The wheat germ should give it a bit of crunch, the yeast will offer a traditional flavor that's often missing in the simple buckwheat recipes and the sugar will, of course, help to feed the yeast while adding a nice flavor element of its own.
Are the restaurant pancakes much darker than the ones you made? If darker they probably use a higher proportion of buckwheat, or a buckwheat flour that includes more of the dark outer layers. If they aren't darker, then the 'nuttiness' may come from other ingredients, such as malted barley flour.
I also wonder if there is difference saltiness. Your mix may be low on salt, especially if it is produced by some 'health food' mill. Salt, used correctly, enhances other flavors without being obvious. I haven't heard that it enhances 'nuttiness', but, we often prefer salted nuts over unsalted.
How about using them as a base for blinis? (You might need to make the batter a little thinner, to get a flatter pancake) I guess just about anything gets less bland once you've added some sour cream, cavier, etc. to it :)