Who doesn’t love pancakes?
On a Saturday morning, they are an absolute delight, topped with butter, yogurt, maple syrup, fresh fruit, honey, molasses…or enjoyed as-is! And, if enough are prepared, they make an easy snack or a yummy breakfast reheated in the toaster oven the next day. Who wouldn’t love that?
I expect you’ll love this recipe as much as we do, if you’re wishing for some pancakes, but would like a healthier version. Using the principles of predigestion by fermentation, these pancakes are nutritious, filling and they keep the body’s energy more even than the usual pancake. While they are not gluten-free, their carbohydrates have been broken down tremendously by way of fermentation, a la water kefir, my go-to homemade fermented beverage that has 101 uses. This process makes the pancakes less of a blood sugar spike, especially when paired with lots of butter or whole fat yogurt. Soaking the flour in water kefir also breaks down various anti-nutritients, helping you to get the most nutrition from the spelt. And from a flavor standpoint? These have a similar flavor profile to sourdough–absolutely delicious!
And how the heck does one make pancakes from flour that is already wet? Well, by way of mixing all the other ingredients and then incorporating them into the soaked and fermented flour, an even distribution of all ingredients is easily had. Just follow the directions below and enjoy!
Sprouted and Cultured Spelt PancakesMakes approximately 16-5″ pancakes
- 2 1/2 cups Sprouted Spelt Flour
- 1-1 1/2 cups warm, filtered Water (105 degree Fahrenheit range)
- 1/2 cup fresh Water Kefir
- 1 1/2 cups Whole Milk, preferably raw
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup Ghee (clarified butter) or Coconut Oil
- 3 tablespoons Raw Sugar or Coconut Crystals
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon Real Vanilla Extract
- Fat or oil for the griddle (Pastured Lard, Coconut Oil, Pastured Tallow, Ghee)
The evening before you plan to make your pancakes, in a large, glass mixing bowl, add the warm water and water kefir to the flour. Mix all ingredients well, then cover with a lid and set in a warm environment. I use my yogurt maker, plugged in, with the the dome lid removed and the bowl resting in the top of the maker. You could also use a dehydrator with the trays removed, and set to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have either of these, use a microwave (turned off!), oven (turned off!) or ice chest–what you need is an incubation chamber, and it should have at least a couple of bottles filled with hot water to keep the air temperature warm. (The beneficial bacteria and yeast in the water kefir like a warm temperature to function and thrive, so keeping the air warm will allow for more breakdown of the complex carbohydrates into simpler, easier to digest sugars.) Plan to keep your flour soaking and fermenting in the range of 6-10 hours.
When you’ve finished the first stage of soaking and fermenting, you’ll likely notice a tart, lively smell as you remove the lid and see that the batter has risen–lacto-fermenation! In a separate bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix well. In another bowl, add all the remaining wet ingredients and mix well. Add the dry to the wet ingredients, mix well and incorporate them into the soaked flour. You’ll likely notice the batter rising substantially as the baking soda comes into contact with the fermented grains.
Heat a griddle or frying pan to low-medium heat, and add your choice of oil or fat to coat the cooking surface. Once a drop of batter bubbles on the oil, add a ladle of batter, letting it cook until bubbles appear throughout the pancake, then flip over. These pancakes will be more moist than those made with dry flour, so be sure the heat isn’t too high so that the pancakes have an opportunity to cook through on both sides without burning.
Top immediately with butter and any other accompaniments of your choice–maple syrup, yogurt, yacon syrup, molasses, fresh fruit are great choices. Or, if you’d like to save them to reheat later, simply set them on a plate, and stack each with a piece of parchment paper between, to keep them from sticking to one another. Store, covered, in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days’ time.