Nourishing Food

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Kefir-Pancake-Syrup
Can we have those huge pancakes again for breakfast?” Elijah asked the other day. I knew the ones he spoke of – they were tangy and fluffy and, most important to a growing ten-year-old, as big as a plate. He ate two of them and probably had a snack an hour later, if I recall correctly. (Can anyone tell me if eating like a teenager since the age of eight is normal for a farm boy?)

sd-pancakes-bowl

These  particular (huge) pancakes are fermented overnight with a sourdough starter and made without the use of eggs or milk. Because we were out of eggs and we are saving the precious raw goat milk for drinking, they were also vegan. I imagine that is how it was before the days of weekly grocery runs; making what you could with what you had.

sd-pancakes-griddle

Fermenting the pancakes leaves you without that heavy feeling pancakes can so easily induce. Instead they are filling but light, substantial but digestible. And when we have the milk and are making kefir, we like to make them even more digestible by drizzling on the Kefir Pancake Syrup from page 138 of Traditionally Fermented Foods.

Vegan Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients

sd-pancakes-top

Directions

Between 8 and 24 hours before you wish to cook the pancakes, combine the sourdough starter, wheat flour, and water together in medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Cover and leave to ferment for 8-24 hours.

When you are ready to cook, preheat a griddle pan over medium-high heat and grease lightly. Sprinkle the salt, vanilla, and baking soda over the fermented batter and whisk well to combine, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional water if needed to thin the batter.

Pour one cup of batter onto griddle for larger pancakes or 1/2 cup for smaller pancakes. Cook 2-3 minutes or until the edges begin to dry and holes form all over the tops. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

crackers-cut

When we were eating Matzo for Passover everyone in the family kind of hinted that maybe homemade crackers should be a regular deal. For some reason I had it in my head that this was much to laborious a process to become a common food in our home but really, it’s not.

crackers-after-poking

Especially since I mix up the dough in five minutes and walk away for 12-24 hours. Then, when a window of time in which I’ll be in the kitchen anyway (and not rushing to prepare a meal) presents itself, I roll and bake them. That’s actually one of the things I really like about sourdough: I can do it on my own time.

crackers-baked-overhead

Plus, with a long fermentation, the fibers and starches are broken down when the lactic acid bacteria go to work. Just like the breads in Traditionally Fermented Foods, I almost always shoot for at least a 12-24 hour fermentation period. Things like pancakes and crackers are especially easy to ferment for long periods since you don’t depend on the sourdough for leavening and the break down of gluten in the process is actually helpful.

And, with the tangy flavor sourdough imparts, these crackers are full of flavor.

Sourdough Crackers

Ingredients

Directions

Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or clean hands, cut the fat into the flour and salt mixture until it is about the size of peas. Make a well in the flour-fat mixture.

To the well, add the water, starter, and eggs. Beat together to break up the eggs and then incorporate into the dry ingredients. Add more water or flour, if needed, to form a firm but soft dough. Cover and leave to ferment for 8-24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously grease two baking sheets and sprinkle them with salt. Uncover the fermented dough and divide it into eighths. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle and transfer that to one of your baking sheets. Cut the dough into 1-2″ squares and move these apart slightly on your baking sheet. Prick crackers several times with a fork. Repeat with one more section of dough.

Place crackers in preheated oven and bake 12-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool before eating. Repeat process with remaining cracker dough.