Soft, delicious and the healthiest spelt pancakes that I make over and over again. Overnight soaking and fermenting of the batter improve nutritional value and digestibility.
Once I started using spelt flour in pancakes, I was hooked. Spelt pancakes taste better than wheat flour pancakes with a mild, slightly sweet and nutty undertone. Whole grain spelt flour is significantly lighter in texture than whole wheat, I was pleasantly surprised by how airy and soft the spelt pancakes are; this recipe quickly became a family favourite.
Kefir-Fermented Spelt Pancake Batter
Spelt is an ancient grain, similar to wheat, but has higher mineral contents and easier to digest in comparison. Since spelt still contains gluten, I would caution those with gluten-sensitivity against using it. I try to incorporate as much variety of nutritious foods as possible in my diet, as I believe it’s one of the important components to good health.
When it comes to grains, I have practiced soaking, sprouting and fermenting for years, to neutralize anti-nutrients like phytic acids and lectins, to unlock the minerals and to make the grains more digestible. I use a sprouted whole grain spelt flour in this recipe, and then soak and ferment the batter overnight using homemade kefir. If you don’t have sprouted spelt flour, just use a regular kind and the overnight fermentation process will help to release the nutrients in spelt; the probiotic cultures in kefir can help break down gluten by pre-digesting it. I found the fermented spelt pancake to be much easier on my digestive system than many other foods that are often hit-and-miss.
It’s worth noting that there is a raw egg in the spelt pancake batter. I have never had problems or concerns fermenting batter containing eggs with kefir, as there is a good amount of live culture in the kefir to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. If you are worried about having egg in the batter in room temperature, just leave the egg out the night before and add it to the batter in the morning.
Making the pancake batter the night before has an added benefit – waking up to a quick breakfast the next morning. I have been able to whip up a batch of these spelt pancakes during school weeks, thanks to the overnight batter.
More soaked and fermented grain recipes you will love:
- Kefir Fermented Honey Thyme Sourdough Cornbread
- Turkey Quinoa Pumpkin Soup (with a Bone Broth Base)
- Instant Pot Forbidden Rice & Red Bean Congee
Purpose of Baking Soda in Overnight Spelt Pancakes
All of the ingredients of this overnight banana spelt pancake are mixed into the batter the night before, except for the baking soda. See details of the instructions below in the recipe section. The baking soda is only to be added into the batter in the morning right before cooking. Here is why and there are 2 purposes of the baking soda:
- To react with the acidity of the kefir in the batter right before cooking. This will help the pancake to rise and become even fluffier.
- To cut the tanginess of the batter. Especially after a night of fermentation with kefir, the batter becomes more acidic. When neutralized with baking soda, the pancakes taste less tangy and more delicious.
But what if you prefer a tangier tasting pancake? If you have given ample time to ferment the batter, it should be obvious to the eye that the batter is light and leavened. In this case, you can skip the baking soda in the morning for a tangier taste without missing out on the fluffiness.
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Overnight Banana Spelt Pancakes
- In a mixing bowl, combine spelt flour and salt.
- Gently stir in the milk kefir, and then add the other wet ingredients, including egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Make sure the batter is well combined and there is no lumps.
- Cut up the bananas into small pieces. I cut the bananas length-wise into quarters and then cut cross-wise into 1/8 inch thick slices. Stir the banana pieces into the batter.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a lid, bee's wrap or a plastic bag, to prevent the top of the batter from drying out. Let the batter ferment in room temperature overnight. I usually make the batter right before going to bed, and cook it first thing in the morning, which allows for approximately 8 hours of fermentation.
- In the morning, dissolve the baking soda evenly into the batter, right before cooking.
- Heat a cast iron pan on medium-high heat. Grease the pan with a healthy cooking oil. Pour the batter into the pan to form 2 to 3 inch diameter rounds. Cook each side for about 2 minutes or until golden. Make pancakes in batches until all the batter is finished.
- If you are worried about fermenting egg in the batter in room temperature, then leave it out the night before and add the egg into the batter in the morning instead.
- You can skip the baking soda if you prefer tangier tasting pancakes.