My Dad is the kind of man whose presence fills a room. He isn’t a very big man, but his spirit is large and all-encompassing. He has that slightly old-fashioned thing called charisma. People are drawn to him as moths to a burning flame. At first sight, first sound, sometimes they mistake him for a ruffian, a blokey-bloke, a petrol-head, loud-mouthed blue collar worker. But those who dismiss him here miss the true Bob that lurks beneath. They miss his clever callused hands that can build or fix anything from a whole house (he has majorly renovated our home at least twice) to a broken gold necklace with tiny links. They miss out on the man who is my best food critic, who actually pays attention to the food you place in front of him, and will give you constructive advice on how to improve. A ‘good job’ or ‘very nice, bub’ is well-earned praise from a man who can make choux pastry and marshmallows to feed a hundred if he had to.
My Dad has the kindest green eyes – his eyes are the truth to the old chestnut of a person’s eyes being the windows to their soul. Always hidden behind the lenses of his glasses his eyes tell the true story of my Dad. He is an artist of design, a practitioner of aestheticism that varies widely in its focus and sees beauty in unexpected places, a voracious reader, a meticulous organiser, a hopelessly devoted dog owner (Molly outranks everyone in the house), and above all, he is my Dada.
Thank you Dad for all the ways you show your love to Jess and I every day – from sneaking extra pieces of cake into my bag because you know I have to eat every hour and a half, to building me a beautiful frame for hanging my herb pots, to giving hugs that cure everything and make all the bad things disappear. Thank you. I wish I could show you the million little brilliant points of light you shine into my day. I love you Dad.
Now, about these pancakes, the pancakes that did indeed earn praise from Dad on Father’s Day morning – they are sensational. Made from buckwheat, almond meal, and brown rice flour, they are naturally gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them (I wasn’t going pancake-less again!) and the perfect vehicle for your favourite pancake topping. I am a jam or honey girl myself (or Nutella, but I don’t keep it in the house for obvious spoon-scraping-the-bottom reasons); Jess is straight jam; Mum’s all about butter; Dad is a caramel sauce and ice-cream man; Chris goes for chocolate ice cream (that’s my man); while Trent is all about maple syrup and butter (very traditional). The pancakes themselves are fluffy inside and watching them puff gently while they are cooking is a pleasure in itself.
Best Buckwheat Pancakes Ever (gluten free)
One of the most wonderful things about making a big batch of pancakes on the weekend is the possibility of pancakes for snacks or breakfast the rest of the week. Just wrap individual pancakes tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Take out, unwrap and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds and serve with your favourite topping. They also make a great snack cold spread with jam, honey or butter – perfect for lunch boxes big and small.
This recipe makes approximately 16 medium-size pancakes.
- 200 grams buckwheat flour
- 80 grams almond meal
- 50 grams brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (gluten free if required)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- In a large bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, almond meal, brown rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons caster sugar.
- In a separate medium-size bowl whisk the egg whites with remaining 2 tablespoons caster sugar until soft peaks form (check this guide if you are unsure). I used a hand whisk for this (great workout) but you can use a handheld mixer if you’d prefer.
- Measure milk into a small jug, add egg yolks and vanilla bean paste and beat until combined.
- Add milk mixture to flour and beat until a smooth batter forms.
- Add the egg whites and fold in with a large spoon until completely incorporated.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
- Using a large ice cream scoop portion out pancake batter onto pan. Remember to leave plenty of room between pancakes for spreading and flipping.
- Cook for two minutes on one side. Small bubbles will begin rising to the uncooked surface. Once most of these have popped, flip the pancake and cook for another minute on the second side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
- Once all pancakes are cooked serve with your favourite toppings.
Dear reader, what makes your Dad special? Does he have a favourite breakfast or a hidden talent (like my Dad’s marshmallow skills)?