10 Mar Lívance – Czech raised pancakes
What’s not to love about pancakes? They’re almost infinitely variable — you can use different flours, incorporate fruit or nuts or even bacon, make them thin as a crepe or fluffy… I’m making myself hungry here.
I’m an unapologetic pancake fan, and it’s a good thing because I get requests to make pancakes at least a few times a week. While it’s a bit tricky to make a perfect pancake, what with getting the batter to the right consistency and maintaining the pan at the right heat, it’s a breeze to make darn good pancakes, even with the “assistance” of small children.
Lívance are a bit different in that they are made with yeast, so you can’t just whip up a batch in three minutes. That said, they aren’t otherwise very difficult to make. They’re typically made in a special pan with indentations like a crumpet or egg poaching pan to cook the pancakes to a uniform shape, but that’s not necessary. The batter doesn’t spread too much on a standard frying pan anyway.
Any leftover lívance can be stashed in the freezer, and being sturdy and even a bit cakey, they stand up well to toppings like peanut butter to make a more substantial meal. We had a big ol’ dinner planning disaster last night, when the slow cooker failed to take a pot of bean soup beyond crunchy. Happily, we had pancakes in the freezer, and after a couple of minutes under the broiler they were ready to go. Dinner saved! Yep, if you have pancakes in the freezer, you’ll be a hero to almost any kid, I’m telling you.
Lívance – Czech raised pancakes
These are traditionally served with jam, but there’s no reason not to go the maple syrup route if you’re so inclined. I like to fry them in butter, for extra fattylicious crisp edges.
Makes about 1 dozen pancakes
- 1 C/250 ml milk
- 2 Tbs/25 g butter
- 1½ C/200 g flour
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 egg
- oil or butter for cooking
- Warm the milk and butter together in a small pan, until the butter is beginning to melt.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Checking that it’s not too hot (about body temperature is good), pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well. Beat in the egg.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour, or put it in the fridge overnight. You should have a very bubbly, quite liquid batter.
- To cook the lívance, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Coat the pan with a film of oil or butter; if the butter sizzles gently, it’s time to cook. Using a ladle or muffin scoop, drop about ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. I can usually fit about three pancakes on my largest pan.
- Cook about three minutes, turning the pancake when bubbles form on the surface and the the first side is a rich golden brown. Cook about three more minutes. Serve warm with jam, syrup, or just plain.