Serves: 8 – 10 pancakes, 32 – 40 bilini


Chef’s Note:  Buckwheat flour naturally produces a dark brown product which some patrons do not find visually appealing. The taste is well worth the experimentation.







1/2 cup cultured buttermilk


1/4 teaspoon instant yeast


½ cup buckwheat flour


½ teaspoon Turbinado sugar





8 tablespoons unsalted butter, clarified


2 large eggs, separated


1/2 tablespoon honey


½ teaspoon salt


¼ cup Munich dunkel lager at room temperature


½ teaspoon baking soda


1 teaspoon baking powder


½ cup buckwheat flour



Suggested Toppings:


Sugar syrup (a ratio of one to one is suggested)


Cider syrup


Maple syrup


Crème fraiche with selected berry


Cinnamon sugar


Lemon curd










Heat the buttermilk in a small saucepan until a plume of vapor rises from the top. Do not allow the buttermilk to simmer.


Pour the heated buttermilk into a ceramic or glass bowl and let cool to 117° F.


Add sugar and stir until dissolved.


Sprinkle the yeast over the top.


Allow to rest for 5 minutes.


Stir yeast into buttermilk.


Sift the buckwheat flour into the liquid mixture and whisk until smooth.


Cover and let the sponge rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes at which time it should puff up and have a nutty fragrance.






Divide the clarified butter into 2 portions of 6 tablespoons (that will go into the batter) and 2 tablespoons that are reserved for cooking the pancakes.


Chill the 2 tablespoons of clarified butter.


Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl until creamy.


Add the honey, salt, baking soda and baking powder to the eggs.


Whisk until smooth.


Whisk in the ale and butter.


When the sponge is ready, combine into batter and whisk until smooth.


Sift in the rest of the buckwheat flour. The batter should resemble thick cake batter.


Cover chill overnight or up to 48 hours.



Day 2 or 3: The batter should have a puffy appearance with a pitted surface.


Allow the batter to come to room temperature.


Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature.


Once the batter and egg whites have come to room temperature, heat a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet whose bottom measures at least 5 ½” over medium-low heat.


Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.


Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.


Melt the reserved clarified butter in the pan. Once the butter melts, pour it into a bowl, leaving a thin covering in the bottom of the skillet.


Add ¼ cup of batter to the center of the skillet and shake the pan to form a round pancake 4-5” in diameter.


When the pancake moves when the skillet is shaken (about 2 minutes) place a pancake turner under the pancake and flip it.


Brown the second side (a little over a minute).




Chef’s Note: Do not overcook the pancakes. They have a very delicate cake-like texture when properly cooked.  




Transfer the pancake to a plate and place in a 300° F. oven to keep warm.



Make the next pancake by spreading 1 teaspoon of the clarified butter in the bottom of the skillet and repeating the process.


To make dessert bilini, use 1 tablespoon of batter to produce a bilini approximately 3” in diameter.


Plate pancakes (bilini) and top as desired.