Crispy Pancakes Make Great Crackers
by Kimberly Hartke
It all starts with a magic batter of wheat flour soaked overnight in clabber. In the morning, you’ll find a risen batter that looks similar to a yeasted bread dough. What is clabber you say? It is my new preferred method of preparing baked goods of all kinds–everything from cakes to muffins, pancakes to waffles. Fermented dough is low glycemic, as much of the starch in the flour is gobbled up by the lactic acid in the clabber. Clabber is an ancient foodstuff that can only be made from naturally souring farm fresh milk.
Sometimes it happens by accident. We decant our gallon of farm fresh milk from our cow Aster, into liter sized milk bottles soon after the milk man arrives. If the two of us can’t drink all the milk in about two weeks, a liter will start to sour. Not sour as in putrid stinky spoilt milk, but sour as in yogurt or kefir. Rich in probiotic (which by the way means pro-life) healthful bacteria, this soured milk or clabber is very useful as a leavening agent in baking.
In a previous post on making waffles with clabbered milk, I linked to a website that tells you how to make clabber on purpose. How I do it is right after we decant the milk (my husband usually helps with this process) I place one liter in the corner cupboard, where I seem to do all my fermenting. I have read online that the name clabber came from the word cupboard (the rest of the milk goes straight into the refrigerator). Wikipedia definition of clabber says it comes from the word curdle. Wiki also says this food has fallen into disuse because of the difficulty of finding raw milk.
In a few days, the milk in my cupboard is thickening and separating a little into curds and whey. When it reaches that point, it will also smell a little sour. At that point, it goes in the refrigerator.
I am down at the beach house with my mom and 99 year old grandmother, Nana. I left my copy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig at home, but luckily the recipe for Sally’s Soaked Wheat Pancakes was available on The Nourishing Cook website where Kim Koch is blogging her way through the cookbook! We just had these lovely sourdough pancakes (which by the way, were not a bit sour). I am taking the leftover clabbered batter and making crispy pancakes.
Our Jenn Air range has a drying (or dehydrating mode). After we had our fill of breakfast, we dropped tiny partial teaspoons of the rest of the batter into the buttered frying pan. After they were browned on both sides, we put them side by side on a cookie sheet until it was full. Then into the oven set on drying (around 140 degrees).
We shall see how long it takes them to be crispy, maybe 4-5 hours or so. Taste them every few hours to check for satisfactory snap, crunch.
These crackers are wonderful with cheese or cream cheese spreads. Now that I follow Nourishing Traditions, I don’t prefer store bought crackers, as the whole grains have not been soaked to neutralize the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. And this is the quickest way I have found to make my own at home.
The last time I made these clabbered milk dehydrated pancakes they were deliciously crispy and the texture so lacy, I couldn’t wait to make them again. I store them in a ziploc bag so I can squeeze all the air out, which keeps them fresh a long time.
Kimberly Hartke is publicist for Sally Fallon Morell, Author of Nourishing Traditions cookbook, available through NewTrends Publishing.