Dutch pancakes known as poffertjes, a delicious alternative to traditional pancakes and just as easy to make.
I first tasted Dutch pancakes or poffertjes on a Christmas trip to Berlin, they are pancake perfection. Then again on a trip to London with Michelle, where I insisted that she try some too. I really enjoy poffertjes and decided I had to find a recipe that worked for me. Since then I have cooked these deliciously simple pancakes many times. They are a perfect, yet simple sweet treat.
All cultures have a pancake tradition of some sort or another. From Galette Bretonne eaten in Brittany, France to the Italian Crespelle or large fluffy American pancakes enjoyed with a slug of maple syrup, most countries have a recipe for a pancake. The flour used and thickness of the finished article might differ, however the basic batters remain largely the same.
Poffertjes are Dutch street food, usually sold by vendors in batches of 6 or 12 and eaten with a wooden fork. Traditionally served with just a dusting of icing sugar and melted butter. However I do love to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to mine (as is my want with most pancakes). I asked my Dutch friend Paula when she would typically eat these? Like the Scotch pancakes I had as a child, she said she tends to eat them as an afternoon treat although they are certainly filling enough to be eaten as part of a meal. In fact she said there is a really cool place where she grew up that serves them at dinner, something Paula and her family, particularly the kids, have enjoyed.
Poffertjes are small buckwheat and yeast risen pancakes. Made using a basic batter recipe with the addition of yeast, they are quick to prepare and simple to cook. The addition of yeast means that they puff up nicely when you cook them. We have a traditional poffertjes pan, however they can be cooked in a non-stick frying pan. Simply spoon in a small amount of the batter and flip it as you would any other pancake.
If you like these pancakes then why not try our simple recipe for Scotch Pancakes, a simple cook with kids and a great basic recipe to start with.
dutch pancakes (poffertjes)
- 150 g buckwheat flour
- 100 g plain flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 350 ml whole milk
- pinch of salt
- 7 g sachet of dried yeast
- 1 egg - beaten
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil - for brushing/greasing pan
- icing sugar - for dusting
- Heat the milk in a saucepan to warm, remove from the heat and mix in the caster sugar and the yeast. Set the pan aside for 5-10 minutes during which time the mixture will become foamy.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and slowly add the yeast mixture, then the egg to the flour and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and allow it to rest for an hour, by which time it should have doubled in size.
- Now to make the pancakes. Our preferred method is to pour the batter into a large jug and pour small quantities into a pan, you may prefer to use a tablespoon to spoon out the mixture.
- Heat a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Grease the pan with some butter and spoon in a small amount of pancakes at a time. The pancakes should be approximately 4cm in diameter, cook quickly on both sides and remove to a clean towel on a warm plate until you have made all the pancakes and are ready to serve.
- Once all the pancakes have been made transfer onto serving plates and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.