Buckwheat - Defined with Recipe

Buckwheat—A meal ground from the seeds of buckwheat, principally used in culinary forms for making batter cakes. Buckwheat, throughout the United States, is used only when made into flour for buckwheat cakes.

As a grain, buckwheat has been principally cultivated for oxen, swine, and poultry; and although some farmers state that a single bushel of it is equal in quality to two bushels of oats, others assert that it is a very unprofitable food.

Mixed with bran, chaff, or grain, it is sometimes given to horses. The flour of buckwheat is occasionally used for bread, but more frequently for cakes fried in a pan. In Germany it serves as an ingredient in pottage, puddings, and other food.

In the United States it is very extensively used throughout the winter in griddle-cakes. Beer may be brewed from it, and by distillation it yields an excellent spirit. It is used in Danzig in the preparation of cordial waters. Buckwheat is much cultivated by the preservers of game as a food for pheasants.

If left standing it affords both food and shelter to the birds during winter. With some farmers it is the practice to sow buckwheat for the purpose only of plowing it into the ground as a manure for the land. The best time for plowing it in is when it is in full blossom, allowing the land to rest till it decomposes.

While green it serves as food for sheep and oxen, and mixed with other provender it may also be given with advantage to horses. If sown in April two green crops may be procured during the season. The blossoms may be used for dyeing a brown color. It is frequently cultivated in this country in the Middle States, and also in Brabant, as food for bees, to whose honey it imparts a flavor by no means unpleasant. The principal advantage of buckwheat is that it is capable of being cultivated upon land which will produce scarcely anything else, and that its culture, compared with that of other grain, is attended with little expense.

Buckwheat Cakes

1/3 cup fine bread crumbs 
1/4 yeast cake
2 cups scalded milk 
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon molasses

Pour milk over crumbs, and soak thirty minutes; add salt, yeast cake dissolved iu lukewarm water, and buckwheat to make a batter thin enough to pour. Let rise over night; in the morning, stir well, add molasses, one fourth teaspoon soda dissolved in one-fourth cup lukewarm water, and cook same as griddle-cakes. Save enough batter to raise another mixing, instead of using yeast cake; it will require one-half cup.


Mix three tablospoonfuls molasses with one quart sour milk or buttermilk, and one or two beaten eggs. Then add, stirring in slowly, enough buckwheat flour to make a nice batter, and one handtul of corn meal well mixed with one largo teaspoonful Arm and Hammer Soda (or Saleratus). Salt to taste. Bake Immediately.

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