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Pancakes à la Einkorn

Welcome to the world of ancient grains

Story and Photograph by Rose Shewey

Crêpes, the slender, graceful cousin of the pudgy, all-American pancake, used to be the unrivaled god in my Olympus of all things batter-fried. With a culinary frame of reference of an expat and, well, a tad bit of ignorance, I had a lingering prejudice against pancakes for a long time. Put yourself in my shoes. Aside from the fact that a pancake seems to be just ordinary cake posing as a breakfast food, to the untrained eye, they appear a bit clumsy (if not to say uninspired). If you haven’t had the satisfaction of tasting properly prepared, made-from-scratch pancakes (I had the misfortune to be introduced to pancakes from a box mix), it’s not totally unreasonable to be skeptical of the legitimacy of this cake-like meal. Unjustly so, as lovingly home-crafted pancakes, artfully stacked and creatively topped, are a revelation in all their pillowy, puffed-up goodness. Though I have only recently begun to incorporate pancakes into our brunch routine — I still find them a bit heavy for breakfast — what absolutely sold me is making them with einkorn flour.

Einkorn wheat is an ancient grain believed to be the oldest and purest food around. Unlike modern grains, einkorn was never hybridized and contains fewer anti-nutrients, such as gluten. Folks who have a mild gluten sensitivity are often able to consume einkorn because of its gluten profile, which differs in quality from modern gluten.

While you can substitute einkorn for all-purpose flour, I found it best to start out following dedicated recipes to get a feel for this unique flour. Einkorn pancakes are an easy, fail-proof introduction to the world of ancient grains. It adds a nutty flavor and aids in keeping pancakes as fluffy as they need to be. Watch out crêpes, pancakes are on the rise! Pun intended.


Chocolate Einkorn Pancakes with Cherry Sauce

(Makes 4-6 pancakes)

Cherry Sauce

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

1/4 cup water

1 pound fresh or frozen pitted cherries

4 – 6 tablespoons sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup or granulated sugar, to taste

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder and the water to create a slurry. Set aside. Add cherries, sugar (start with less sweetener and add more later, if desired) and lemon juice to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the slurry while stirring continuously and simmer until the sauce thickens; for a bright red sauce, take off the heat now or keep simmering for 5-7 minutes for a more homogenous, cooked-through cherry sauce.


Einkorn Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour

3 tablespoons cacao powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk or full-fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 tablespoons honey

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients to a separate bowl and mix with a hand mixer until frothy. Add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until the batter is smooth. Allow batter to rest for a few minutes, as einkorn is slow to absorb liquid. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add desired amount of batter (about 1/4 cup) and cook on one side until the edges look done and the center bubbles up, then flip for a brief moment to finish cooking. Serve right away with toppings of your choice.   PS

German native Rose Shewey is a food stylist and food photographer. To see more of her work visit her website,