I tried this recipe this morning and basically, the chickens had a pancake breakfast
So I'm wondering if there was something I did that made it so nasty, or if maybe its.. um.. an acquired taste? I kept reading that soaked grain pancakes were tender and fluffy and delicious and I'd love them so I had my hopes up. The whole, unground grains I had on hand were oats, quinoa, and millet so I mixed those. I know the millet was pretty old, but it smells fine, so I don't have any reason to believe its gone bad. Quinoa was probably pretty old.. I know I've used it more recently than the millet, but can't remember when exactly (could have been this past spring but i can't be positive). I used the last of it so I can't go sniff it. I put the flax in with the grains instead of just before cooking like the directions say. That was just an oops. So if soaking flax makes a terrible flavor.. well, we have our culprit. We did not have buttermilk, yogurt, apple juice, apple sauce, or any non-dairy milks. So I used water + 1 tbs ACV. I'm assuming that was okay? I let it soak a full 24 hours, as that was the length suggested for oats. Could that have been too much for the other grains and given it a terrible flavor? Sniffing the batter before cooking it was almost unbearable. The small seemed to burn my nose! The smell didn't permeate the room or anything, but sniffing the blender was really nasty.
Whole grains tend to turn rancid, not rotten. More so if stored at room temp. Its best to store them in the freezer if you can. (and this issue is why even early farmers and traditional people almost all removed the bran from their grains for storage, and why around the world non-whole grains are considered more of a delicacy. They keep longer and taste sweeter without the rancid outer layer. People knowingly sacrificed the nutrition of the bran for that).
Flaxseed also is known for going rancid very very fast. Its why flax oils are sold refrigerated.
Rancid grain doesn't necessarily smell bad if you give it a sniff, but tastes bitter and unpleasant on the tongue.
Add to that the general sour flavor of fermented foods -- have you worked wth sourdough before? -- and I could guess the resulting batter would be pretty noxious.
I freeze many of my whole grains, and the ones that I use fast enough to not require freezing are stored in mason jars with the white plastic caps you can buy for storage, and I use a dry erase to write the expiration date from the package on the lid. This helps me remember how old my stuff is.
So my guess is rancid grain flavor plus possibly over fermenting plus possibly there eing even more flavor issues when you blend and ferment things that are rancid already.
savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).
hmmm- great info above. also, i've had a tough time w/ quinoa. i sprout quinoa, but NEVER soak it after it's ground! I tried souring it in many recipes over the years, and the flour/ground grain always was unbearable bitter and inedible. That would be my first guess as to what went wrong. soaking quinoa overnight 8 hours, whole, causes it to sprout and be very tender and grinds up fine the next day in baked goods. the oats and millet should have been fine, as they're sweeter. the oils in quinoa can be very bitter.
i buy fresh whole grains every 3 months, but we pretty much only buy enough for that time anyway. usually quinoa and brown rice. since that's such a short turn-over time, i've had no problems with stale or old grains (i buy in bulk from suppliers, the store grains almost always smell rancid to me, especially brown rice).
i used to make blender pancakes w/ soaked brown rice. they were never bitter. now i have a grain grinder, and would not go back. that said, this recipe SHOULD make a nice fluffy tangy but not bitter or sour pancake. if it tastes bad, it is the ingredients. the flax may have been bad, and the ACV and water alone wouldn't give it the richness of a fermented dairy soaking. I've done oats alone w/ the vinegar (add in fruit vinegars for a nice twist), and it always came out delicious (i never ate them, can't do oats, but served them to 100's of people over the years, and always get rave reviews, even hard-core junk breakfast lovers enjoyed the simple satisfaction of a hearty oatmeal breakfast).
I'd try it again, different combo, hopefully w/ some buttermilk/yogurt (i used sour milk back in the day). and maybe eggs?
Thanks! I KNEW there had to have been something in my ingredients/method that made it icky. So maybe if I try again, just do an overnight soak, and only do wheat (or maybe wheat/buckwheat?) and try it with buttermilk.. then it'll be yummy?