As you might know, I like making pancakes. After making French crepes it’s now time to make typical Dutch pancakes. Dutch pancakes, in my opinion, are: large pancakes (one pancake should cover the complete surface of a plate), thicker than a crepe, but clearly thinner than American style pancakes. Dutch pancakes are eaten for dinner (definitely not for breakfast).
The recipe I used as a basis is from a cookbook: ‘Het Nederlands bakboek’, p. 198. I adjusted the recipe slightly and came up with the following really easy and tasty recipe.
Dutch pancakes recipe
- 150g plain flour
- 70g whole wheat flour
- 30g buckwheat flour (you can substitute this for plain flour, however, buckwheat flour does give a richer flavour)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 575ml milk
- Mix all dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, sugar and salt).
- Mix in egg and part of the milk, whisk through and make sure all lumps are gone. If it's very thick add some extra milk. Add remaining of the milk once all lumps are gone.
- Leave to rest for approx. ten minutes.
- In the meantime, heat up some butter in a pan (or margarine or oil, I prefer butter). If you use butter or margarine, make sure it's melted completely and has turned a slight brown.
- Add a large spoonful of the mixture, enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Turn the pancake once the top has set (the bottom should have turned a nice brown) and leave to bake until both sides are nice and brown.
The recipe really isn’t hard to do, but I like complicating the recipe. Since this recipe gives a pretty sturdy recipe, it can handle quite a lot of fillings (whereas the French crepe wouldn’t be able to cope with this). So I tend to fry some bacon in a pan before adding the mixture. I also like to heat up some apple pieces in a frying pan and cover my pancakes with them (and pouring some sugar syrup or icing sugar over them afterwards!).
The pattern on pancakes
Have you noticed the nice pattern on the pancakes on the photo? This is the side of the pancake that was at the start of baking the pancake. The unevenness of the pancakes (you can see little holes) was caused by the addition of butter to the pan. Butter contains water, once the pancake batter is spread on the butter, this moisture is caught underneath. By heating the pan further this moisture evaporates, but it cannot escape. This causes small bubbles to be formed underneath the batter. Since the batter is lifted from the pan at these points, the batter will not become brown on these spots, there isn’t enough heat to initiate browning. This is what makes the nice pattern of lighter and darker spots.
If you have an anti-stick frying pan, you do not necessarily need oil or butter to make pancakes. But you will see that the pancakes look very different. Instead they will be an even brown with an even, flat, surface.
Science of baking powder in pancakes
I’ve already discussed a lot of science of making pancakes in a previous post on crepes. However, in crepes no baking powder is used, whereas this type of pancake does contain baking powder. Baking powder will make a pancake more airy.
French crepes are very thin, so there’s no ‘space’ for air bubbles. However, a Dutch pancake is thicker and uses more batter. If no baking powder is present this could potentially make a thick floury, heavy, pancake, not very appetizing. By adding baking powder small air bubbles are formed in the batter during baking, this will make the pancake lighter and nicer to eat.
Have fun making Dutch pancakes, and remember, eat them for dinner, not breakfast ;-)!