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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Soaked Whole Wheat Pancakes

I've been on the hunt for a good pancake recipe for awhile... I think I found a winner.  Cassie and I were talking about how we want a recipe that we can mostly put together the night before so we have a good healthy breakfast ready to go in the morning. 

Now this one isn't totally ready the night before.  But you do start it the day before and only add a few more ingredients while the skillet heats up. 

You "soak" it in an acidic substance (cultured milk, buttermilk, cream, etc.) for 12-24 hours.  Why?  Because it makes the pancakes amazing, that's why!  Seriously, these are the best whole wheat pancakes I've had. 

I've been rereading the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  That's where this recipe comes from.  According to our good friend Sally, soaking grains was all the rage in olden days.  It helps break down this icky thing called phytic acid in the bran of the grain.  It also provides lactobacilli (good bacteria, yay!) to help break down some of the more difficult-to-digest proteins.

She even says, "Soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients in grains more available.  This method has the further advantage of so softening whole meal flour that the final product is often indistinguishable from one made with white flour."  Now while I wouldn't say the final product is identical to white pancakes (J mentioned that they don't have the "pancake consistency" you think of normally) it really does have a light, airy feel which I'm not used to with heavy whole wheat flour. 

Lily ate five and a half.  Fatty ;o)

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try:

2 C whole wheat flour
2 C buttermilk, kefir, or plain yogurt (I used yogurt... cause I don't even know what kefir is!)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t sea salt
1 t baking soda
2 T melted butter

Soak flour in yogurt in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.  (As an aside, I wouldn't call my kitchen warm, but I just left the covered bowl on my counter with good results)  Stir in other ingredients and thin to desired consistency with water.  (Another aside... the water is a must.  I just added little by little and I think I could have even used more because the batter was still mighty thick.)  Cook on a hot griddle or cast-iron skillet.  These pancakes cook more slowly than either unsoaked whole grain flour or white flour pancakes.  The texture will be chewy and the taste pleasantly sour.  (I don't know about the chewy part... but they were a bit tangy and indeed pleasant!) 

I'm totally adding frozen blueberries next time!  Yum yum yum! 

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