These nutritious pikelets hero buckwheat flour, a naturally gluten free and fibre-rich pseudocereal (more to come on this!). Ready in 15 minutes, whip up a batch to enjoy at breakfast, brunch or as a snack.
Pikelets are quintessential Kiwi brunch fare. Depending on where you reside, pikelets can mean different things. Out my way (and my Aussie friends too!), they’re mini pancakes, but thicker and with a fluffy texture.
This pikelet recipe celebrates buckwheat. As a flour, it offers a good amount of fibre, some protein and an array of minerals, like iron and magnesium. It’s also naturally free of gluten, making it a great option for gluten-free folk.
Buckwheat flour. As the star of the dish, buckwheat adds incredible depth of flavour. It has a distinctive taste that’s a little earthy, nutty and bitter. While its flavour can polarise people, what you pair it with makes a difference – the ingredients here help mellow it, while bringing out its best qualities.
Coconut sugar. Because of buckwheats unique flavour punch, a little sugar goes a long way. I love coconut sugar for its caramel hints, but feel free to sub for another variety.
Baking powder. Necessary to give these yummies height. If you’re gluten free, check your baking powder is too. A form of starch – like wheat – is often added to absorb moisture.
Ground cinnamon and vanilla essence to build and balance flavour.
Milk. You can use any kind – I like almond or oat here.
An egg. This provides the additional structure needed to hold gas bubbles as it cooks, helping these rise.
Butter helps make these pikelets moist and flavourful. Too much and they’ll be heavy, too little and they’ll be dry as a cracker!
You can typically find buckwheat in the baking or health section at your local supermarket. As it’s more of a speciality flour, it can be dependant on the store!
Let your batter stand. Because buckwheat is a rich source of soluble fibre (a type of fibre that soaks up water), this will naturally thicken the batter over time, providing an ideal thick consistency. This recipe has a little more liquid to account for this.
Use a milk jug! Life-changing tip – for perfect pikelet circles, pour your mixture direct out of a milk jug into the pan. It’ll help you get a lovely round shape, while saving a drippy mess from using a spoon or ladle.
They’re just as delicious cooled. Pikelets work great fresh off the pan or cooled to room temperature. I prefer the latter!
Nutrition Spotlight: Buckwheat
Despite its name, buckwheat is not a variety of wheat, rather a pseudocereal. This means that while we use and eat it as we’d do with grains, its seeds don’t grow on grasses like wheat – they’re botanically different.
As a pseudocereal (which makes buckwheat sound like such a wannabe grain…when did grains get so cliquey? Kidding) it brings many nutrition perks to the table, like:
It’s uber rich in antioxidants. These work to defend our cells from free radical damage, linked to ageing (before our time!) and the development of certain disease (1). Buckwheat provides more antioxidants than many other cereal grains, including oats or rye (2).
It’s a good source of fibre, which helps slow the release of energy into the bloodstream.
It’s naturally gluten free, making it a good option, both nutritionally and in the kitchen, for those who cannot eat wheat flour.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix together so it's evenly dispersed.
Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and add wet ingredients (milk, egg, vanilla and 1 Tbsp melted butter). Whisk until the batter is almost lump free – a few small ones are fine. Leave batter to stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
Heat a non-stick frying pan to a medium-high heat. Grease the pan with butter.
Pour batter into a milk jug (going back for more when you run low) – this will help with getting perfect pikelet rounds!
Pour small rounds of mixture into the frying pan (a few tablespoons worth). Leave to cook for a minute, flipping once bubbles are readily erupting. Cook the other side for another minute, or until golden. The first few always look a bit funny – consider these sacrifices to eat as you go – you're more 'seasoning' the pan then cooking at this point.
Remove from the pan and enjoy with your choice of spread e.g. butter, jam and cream…