A Pancake Mix Primer

When it comes to buckwheat or buttermilk, what do certain ingredients in pancake mixes bring to the table?

  • Keith Mulvihill

Buttermilk: Originally the residue of butter production, it's now made by adding a bacteria culture to skim or low-fat milk. More acidic than regular milk, it produces more gas bubbles―and light, tender pancakes.

Buckwheat: The dark seed of the buckwheat plant (an herb, not a grain) has a heartier flavor, higher-quality protein, and more B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and manganese than bleached white flour does.

Corn flour or cornmeal: It adds a subtle sweetness and a chewy texture.

Flaxseed: The seed of the flax plant is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids―good for heart health―and gives pancakes a nutty flavor.

Multigrain: Wheat, corn, oats, and other grains lend texture, flavor, and fiber. But some people find the pancakes just plain chewy and heavy.

Whole wheat: This fiber-rich flour has extra B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Unfortunately, it makes a heavy pancake.