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Feb 4, 2011 08:19 AM

Stumped by the mysteries of buckwheat flour and Anson Mills--please help!

I just got some Anson Mills buckwheat flour and, while they offer recipes some recipes on their site, I'd like to be able to convert other recipes that call for AP or whole grain flour.

Buckwheat technically isn't a grain and doesn't seem to behave like one from the little bit of experimentation I've done--it doesn't seem to absorb as much liquid as other unrefined flour, for one thing, and I'm having trouble figuring out how much to adjust the liquid measurements.

Since this flour cost more than any sane person should spend on flour, I don't want to mess up another recipe.

Also, the Anson Mills buckwheat recipes call for an insane amount of fat, three times the proportion of Cooks Illustrated buckwheat pancakes for example. I don't see how a pancake could have so much fat without feeling greasy and tasting like butter, not buckwheat.

Are the Anson Mills people secretly working with Paula Deen, or do they know something about buckwheat that I don't?

Any thoughts hugely appreciated!

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  1. buckwheat doesn't contain gluten, so it doesn't behave the same way as wheat flour. if you're just using the buckwheat flour as *part* of the total flour in the recipe you can usually get away with standard proportions and technique...but if it's 100% buckwheat that's an entirely different story - gluten-free baking has its own set of rules & ingredients.

    assuming you're using this recipe:

    you can just cut back the butter to 2 Tbsp. 6 Tbsp is excessive and i don't see any reason why they call for that much. if the batter seems too stiff or dry, just increase the buttermilk by up to 1/4 cup (start with about 2 Tbsp). i'd also recommend letting the batter rest for about an hour before cooking the pancakes.

    1. Waffle recipes often look just like pancake ones, except they have much more fat, which gives the crisp texture. I think the fat is there to add richness, not because buckwheat requires it.

      It shouldn't be hard to find other buckwheat pancake recipes. In another thread I mentioned the buckwheat crepe recipe in Joy of Cooking. Buckwheat crepes are preferred for savory fillings in France. The Joy recipe uses half flour, half buckwheat. Most pancake recipes will tolerate similar half flour, half other-grain substitutions.

      Muffins also tolerate whole grain substitutions well.

        1. Read the Sourdough Buckwheats chapter in John Thorne's "Serious Pig".

          1. thank you all!!! this advice is great and I think will guide me to some delicious buckwheat delicacies.