Other than the sunshine that appeared unexpectedly, one of the best things about our weekend in Vancouver, BC was the coffee. Not surprising, right? The wet, chilly weather that dominates the PNW most of the year makes mass coffee consumption a given. What that weather doesn’t require is local roasting and attention to detail in every step of the coffee brewing process. And that’s what you get at Revolver in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood.
Revolver makes each coffee to order with two daily espresso choices — Calgary’s Phil and Sebastian (I keep wanting to say Belle & Sebastian) and Vancouver’s Matchstick Coffee Roasters — on one of the days we were there. The goal here isn’t to churn out four grande lattes from a huge pitcher of scalded milk. If you’re looking to mainline caffeine and get in and out as fast as possible, save a trip to Revolver for when you’ve got more than a few minutes. This is thoughtful coffee making, designed as much for drinking a quality cup as the meditation of seeing it made.
What it is not, is an early morning exercise. Revolver opens weekdays at 7:30 and on Saturday at 9 a.m., and is CLOSED on Sunday. Plan accordingly.
Along with your coffee, Revolver has a small selection of baked goods, including a killer coffee cake – raspberry and something on our two visits — and something called a Pioneer Roll, a buckwheat sweet roll filled with fig (and possibly date) jam. A little Internet sleuthing suggests they might come from Vancouver’s Cafe Crema.
People are inevitably put off by the grayish-brown hue of buckwheat and you might not think its earthy flavor is a fit for breakfast, but it works. It’s got a lot going for it nutritionally as a source of fiber, magnesium as well as Omega 3s and 6s. So of course, as soon as we got home, I started googling for similar recipes. Surprisingly, there aren’t many buckwheat cinnamon roll-type recipes out there, even among the gluten-free blogs.
This version, adapted from a Good to the Grain recipe on 101 Cookbooks is not gluten-free, though you could easily replace the AP flour with a standard gluten-free AP mix and have a go at it.
The dough will inevitably stick, so flour your board generously, use a board scraper (or the back of a pancake turner) to help unstick it, and be careful not to overwork the dough. At heart, these are biscuits, not a yeast dough, and so will get tough on you right quick if you overdo it. Using yogurt in place of the cream, as I do with regular biscuits, also reduces fat & calories without sacrificing taste.
Buckwheat Fig ScrollsPrint Recipe
- 1 c. buckwheat flour
- 1 ¼ c. all purpose flour + more for rolling
- 2 t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- ½ c. sugar
- 4 T. butter
- 1 scant cup yogurt
- ¾ c. fig butter or jam
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift flours, baking powder, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, pulsing 8-10 times until just smaller than pea-sized. Put the dry mixture into a mixing bowl and gently stir in the yogurt, being careful not to overwork the dough.
On a generously floured board, roll the dough into an 8 inch by 12 inch rectangle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Before spreading the jam on, make sure the dough isn't completely sticking to the board. If it is, using a board scraper or the back of a pancake turner loosen the dough and sprinkle flour underneath it.
Spread the jam onto the dough, getting all the way to the edges. Roll the dough into a spiral, using the board scraper to help unstick it as you go. You'll only have one shot at this, so roll carefully. Make sure the roll is seam side down. Cut the roll in half and put it on a plate or small baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces, roughly 1 inch wide. Arrange the pieces on the baking sheet and bake for 35-42 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.