SUMMARY: Porridge pancakes offer an additional way to enjoy your properly soaked or fermented grains. (If you’re new to the “fairy tale breakfast”, start with this basic porridge recipe.)
Porridge is essentially a sourdough starter, except you use whole grains instead of milled (i.e. flour). The acidic flavor which forms in the starter comes courtesy of our friends, the lactic acid bacteria.
Dishes made from porridge such as pancakes can be made as sour/tangy as you’d like. It all depends on the starter! For a milder taste, use a “young” (one-day) starter. For a stronger flavor, start from porridge that’s 3 days or older.
I keep a perpetual starter in a pint-sized mason jar (good for 1-2 people). If you are feeding more than that, consider a quart-sized or larger glass container to hold the starter.
This basic recipe calls for letting the flour soak in the batter for at least a few hours. If you can make the batter the night before, even better!
- 2 cups rolled or steel-cut oats, wheat berries, rye berries, barley or any (preferably whole and organic) grain
- Filtered water
- ¼ cup rye flour or your favorite flour
- Fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.)
- Raw or pastured butter
- Real maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Begin the starter by adding dry grains to a quart-sized mason jar
- Add enough filtered water to come about ½" below the top of the jar.
- Cover with a tea towel, or a swatch of cloth, and the jar ring. Stash it in a corner on your kitchen counter.
- After 1-3 days, you will notice the telltale sour smell, indicating fermentation is happening! Personally, I like to wait at least 2 days before using the starter, but I like it tangy!
- Transfer 1 cup of the fermented grains and ¼ cup of the liquid into a mixing bowl.
- Gently fold flour into starter, just enough to soak the flour. Add salt. Don't overmix!
- Let sit overnight (ideally), or at least 2 hours to acidulate and let the flour hydrate. Note: The batter texture is chunky and watery.
- Feed the starter by adding more dry grains and top off with water. Use half the volume of the soaked grains you removed.
- Heat a griddle or pan to medium (350F). Lightly butter.
- Pour enough batter to make a 4-5" pancake.
- Press fresh or frozen berries into batter.
- Cook 5 minutes, then flip and cook another five minutes, until golden brown.
- Warm up maple syrup; add syrup and pastured butter.
When making pancakes (or cooking at all), the live lactic acid bacteria will die. However, they already “did their work” on the grains by neutralizing phytic acid, and adding other enzymes to make the grains more digestible and the minerals in the grains more bio-available.
Makes four 6-inch pancakes. Don’t worry; they’re quite filling as they are denser than normal pancakes. (The “batter” is very chunky and liquid at the same time. Its texture is not like normal flour-based batters.)
NOTE: I usually keep my starter going perpetually for about a month. After that period, I use it all up without topping off, then clean the jar and start a fresh one.