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Breakfast / Gourmet 10/76

Yogurt Pancakes Scheller

Gourmet always published letters from readers, and this eponymous recipe was submitted by a reader from Boston who allegedly had some buckwheat and yogurt on hand, and decided to make some pancakes. As you do. And apparently they were so amazing that he felt the need to write a physical letter, take it to the post office, buy a stamp, and send it to the editors of Gourmet magazine. I’ll be honest, that sounds like a whole lot of work for the odd chance of getting mentioned in a magazine. Then again, he probably spent less time doing that that I did cooking, photographing and typing up this post. But in any case, Mr. Scheller was really jazzed about his recipe and wanted to share it with the world.

It’s possible that such a combination had never been tried, or maybe everyone was just really excited about yogurt because it was the 70s. My assumption that everyone was excited about yogurt in the 70s is based on the several different yogurt makers in my mom’s basement.

Buckwheat was one of those things you probably had to find at a health food store back then. It was used heavily in Asia but I gather it wasn’t as wide spread in the US back then. Buckwheat is gluten-free, but obviously the addition of all purpose flour to this recipe makes it gluten-heavy. In any case, as Mr. Scheller notes in his letter, the taste and texture of these pancakes is delightful!

Yogurt Pancakes Scheller Recipe

Buckwheat adds texture and flavor to these vintage pancakes.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt separated
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter plus more for the griddle
  • tbsp honey
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup buckwheat flour
  • tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  • In a bowl whisk together ½ cup yogurt, egg, butter and honey. 
  • In a second bowl mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whip until smooth. Then add in the second ½ cup of yogurt and stir until combined. This will form a very thick and sticky batter. If need be add a little water to loosen the batter but this should be much thicker than ordinary batter.
  • Half fill a ⅓ measuring cup and pour onto a nonstick griddle (or buttered skillet) at moderate heat. Spread the batter with a spatula (or your fingers, see note) into a four inch circle, then repeat for additional pancakes. Cook until bubbly in the center then flip. Continue cooking for until opposite side is brown. Transfer to a sheet pan in a warm oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes
  • Serve with your choice of toppings like butter, honey, maple syrup, fresh berries, powdered sugar etc. 

Notes

This makes for a very thick batter which can be hard to pour onto the griddle. I found that dipping my fingers in a little water helped to release the batter onto the griddle and to shape the pancakes. I feel like freeform less-that-perfect circles are just fine for breakfast. 
This recipe was adapted from the October 1976 issue of Gourmet Magazine and is part of my Gourmet 10/76 Project. Click here to read more!

After Action Report

These pancakes were good! I like the flavor of the buckwheat, and the honey instead of maple syrup was a nice touch. However, the buckwheat and yogurt made the batter so thick and sticky that it was difficult to pour the batter onto the griddle. This resulted in a lot of sticky fingers and many, SO many, batter-encrusted kitchen towels. I plan to look for alternative recipes using buckwheat to see if I can get a similar flavor without all the mess. Russian Blinis contain buckwheat, so I’m thinking that is the direction I’ll be heading. Blinis with crème fraîche and caviar anyone? With an ice cold martini?

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