Ena Scheerstra introduces herself as a new contributor and shares the recipe and story behind Dutch pancakes.
By Ena Scheerstra
Hello everyone. I am Ena, a new contributor to Honest Cooking. I always like to know the person behind the posts a little bit better than a small bio can take care of, I assume that this applies to you as well. So I will tell a little bit more about myself in this first post. I live in the Netherlands with my boyfriend, luckily a foodie as well. At the moment I am a university student, but I will graduate soon, after which I will start to look for my first job. My spare time is mostly used up by things related to food. I love to cook and to bake, browse the internet for new ideas, read in one of many cookbooks that I own and write posts for my own blog. I believe in honest food, sourced locally and produced sustainable. Not only because it is better for the planet and for me, but also because it just tastes better. I culture herbs and some vegetables and fruits on my balcony and I hope to have a small garden to grow some more of my own vegetables very soon.
On my own blog I write about everything that I cook, which is very varieted and international. Here on Honest Cooking I will focus on Dutch food. People often make jokes about Dutch food and food culture, calling it poor and inferior, or even calling it non-existent. With my posts I want to show the international food community that Dutch food has a lot to offer.
For this festive first post I have a festive recipe: pancakes. Pancakes always make me feel good, I associate it with having a good time with my family during holidays. When I was little, my dad baked pancakes for dinner during holidays as a special treat. We all loved pancakes and because we did not get them that often, it really was special and memorable. Nowadays, I bake pancakes when I fancy them, but still they give me that warm feeling of special occasions.
Many countries have a version of pancakes, so does the Netherlands. The pancakes themselves are not very unique, they are the standard European pancake, slightly thicker than a French crepe, but much thinner (and bigger) than American pancakes. The real special thing is that in the Netherlands you can eat pancakes always and with whatever you want. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snack, sweet, savoury, simple, elaborate, it is all possible. You even have restaurants that only serve pancakes!
Classically pancakes are always served with stroop (Dutch product, similar to light molasses) and brown sugar, and they are either not filled at all or filled with bacon or with apples and raisins. But the possibilities are endless. When people bake pancakes at home they usually keep it quite simple. But pancake restaurants go all out. People go there for dinner with kids parties, as a family activity, office or birthday party or just because they like pancakes and don’t want to bake them themselves. Pancake restaurants are also quite popular with students, because of the big servings and the low costs. The pancakes are enormous and filled or served with anything savoury or sweet you can imagine. A few examples are a pancake with bacon, ham, salami, cheese, onion and mushrooms. Or a Greek inspired pancake, with lamb mince, tomato, cucumber, Greek herbs, feta cheese, pine nuts, tzatziki sauce and a fresh salad. Or even a pancake with bacon, molten cheese, onion, Frankfurter sausages, chorizo, sauerkraut and curry sauce. Sweet pancakes like with ice-cream, fruit and whipped cream are also very popular. And if your desired pancake isn’t on the menu, there is always the option to customize a pancake to what you want. By the way, it is completely normal to eat a sweet pancake as a main dish, even as an adult.
When we eat pancakes for dinner I always bake lots of different pancakes. I make enough unfilled pancakes, to serve with brown sugar, stroop, jam and nutella. Furthermore I bake pancakes with bacon and Gouda cheese, and apple and raisin, and sometimes with brie, sausage, pineapple or banana. I always bake too much pancakes, but these can be stored very well on a plate and covered with cling film and are very nice the next day (cold or reheated in a microwave) for breakfast or lunch.
I will give you some tips and tricks for baking good Dutch pancakes:
- By adding a small pinch of cinnamon to the batter, you will give it extra flavour, a little something. It will not taste at all like cinnamon pancakes and works also well with savoury pancakes.
- Rest the batter at least 30 minutes before baking. In this way the flour will hydrate, ensuring an evenly bake and a nice texture. After resting you might need to add a little more milk to get the right consistency for baking.
- Use multiple pans (2 or 3), otherwise it takes ages to bake enough pancakes. Use pans with a thick bottom to ensure an evenly bake. And use smaller pans rather than large, because with smaller pancakes you can eat more different flavours before you’re full.
- Prepare all the fillings in advance, while baking you don’t really have time to slice and prepare things.
- For a filled pancake, pour batter in the pan and then add your filling. But with bacon it is nicer to fry the bacon a little, and then pour over the batter.
- You can keep your pancakes warm while baking by putting them between two plates, on a plate on top of a pan with simmering water, or in an oven on low heat.
A simple recipe for very tasty pancakes, that can be combined with many different accompaniments.
- Author: Ena Scheerstra
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8-12 pancakes 1x
- 250 g (2 cups) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 450 ml (2 cups) milk
- Margarine or butter
- Brown sugar
- Anything else you like
- Mix the self-raising flour with the salt.
- Make a well in the middle, add the egg and half of the milk.
- Make a smooth batter of it, starting in the middle.
- Add in the rest of the milk while stirring.
- Leave to rest for half an hour.
- Heat a small amount of butter in a frying pan.
- Pour in enough batter to just cover the bottom of the pan, add in filling if using.
- Bake the pancake on medium heat until the top is dry.
- Flip the pancake and cook the other side till golden.
- Keep warm while baking the other pancakes.
Ena Scheerstra has a lifelong love for food and cooking, starting to collect cookbooks at age 10. She spends most of her free time on cooking and everything food related. She is a strong believer of honest food, produced sustainable and sourced locally, and cultures her own vegetables on her balcony and in her small allotment. Her blog is very internationally orientated, reflecting the variety of food she cooks, but on Honest Cooking she is focusing on showing the world the wonders of Dutch food.
Looking forward to your recipes. I found out a year ago that I have a lot of Dutch lineage. So I’m on a bit of a Dutch culture kick.
Just came back from the Netherlands and was looking for a recipe that was actually like what we had there. They turned out great! Thanks so much Ena!
I am happy to hear that!
Thanks so very much.. I had these in Amsterdam and have not forgotten how good they are. Appreciate that you situate them in their context of origin too. D
Very nice recipe.
The pancakes were great with different fillings, I used them in a plate going to the oven filled up with shrimps, and used the remaining with sugar or nutella.
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the nice comments!
I lived for 5 year in Haarlem and ate Pannekoeken at least once a week in Zandvort. Your recept ( and I have tried soooooo many) is perfect !
It might be a cheek but do you have een recept voor Indonesian chapatti/roti/ pannekoek. I used to visit a sauna in Den Hague once a week and always ate kip kerrie met sperzie bonnen & broodje from the resturant next door to the sauna. It was something between a pannekoek and an Indian roti.
Absolutely to die for.Soooooooooooo delicious.
I have tried many times to cook “them” but there is always something missing. I tried to get the recept from the Take A Way but was told each time “‘et is maar een roti”.
Beste wensen van Londen.Ik mis het Nederlandse zooooooo viel.
I’m happy to hear that you finally found a pancake recipe that you like!
The roti you are referring to is a Surinam dish; to make it confusing the flatbread is called roti, but the whole dish as well. I’m not very familiar with Surinam cuisine, so I don’t have a roti recipe for you, but you might have luck with finding a good recipe when searching for Surinam roti or looking into a Surinam cookbook.
And I guess the reason why the take-away people didn’t want to give you the recipe, was that they use ready made roti flatbread… I believe that most people, even restaurants, just buy their roti flatbread at the asian supermarket (fresh or frozen), because it is a lot faster and easier, and they seem to be of good quality.
Dankje voor je interessante vraag en veel succes met het vinden van een recept!
Hi,great recipe,works out well. In South Africa, we this is just a regular ‘pancake’,also for any meal or occasion. In the Afrikaans culture, it is traditional to make pancakes on a rainy day.
hi, i was wondering, did you bake this in an oven? or cooked in a frying pan? if you baked it, what’s the temp and the time? i want to try making this. :) thanks! i tasted dutch pancakes this morning, with apple filling, and i fell absolutely in love with it. so i wanna try it. :) thanks!
They are made in a frying pan, just follow the instructions in the recipe and they will be perfect!
Thanks for the very good recipe!
Me and my wife have just got home after a holiday at my wifes parents in Loosdrecht, and I loved the pancakes in the restaurants in the region!
Yours are very similar in both taste and consistency.
I prefer some grand marnier with bananas and whipped cream on my sweet ones. :-)
I picked up a small sack of pannenkoekenmeel at my local molen (Laren, NH) 2 weeks ago but realized I had no idea how to make them into pancakes! I am going to try your recipe above! I wish I had bought stroop while I was there…
Thank you Ena!!
I just return from Amsterdam 2 days ago. It was my third trips in 4 years. Needless to say, I am in love with Dutch food. The food are simple, practical but nutritious. I would love to take some Dutch cooking class next time I am there – I have looked for this trip, but couldn’t find any. Anyway, I love you posting for all the tips as well as spent the time to tell us about yourself. Thank you!! I will make the pancake soon!
I am so excited to find your posts on Honest cooking! My Oma gave me her recipe for Dutch pancakes a few months ago and I’ve enjoyed making them (and eating them!) several times since! We always ate them with melted butter and sugar or fruit syrup. I loved your ideas for savory pancakes, as well fruit filled and with bacon. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes!
Thanks all of you!
Thank you, Ena! Your recipe is delicious and your instructions are so clear. I’ve made them twice and can’t wait to try adding fillings.
Thank you, Ena. I used to live in Australia, where my mother (who was italian) used to cook pancakes to give us a treat, different from our usual italian cooking. I was looking for this recipe, because I don’t like the american ones.
You published the best instructions for baking pancakes on the internet! thank you for sharing. I cannot wait to bake them myself here in Canada. brings back memories from when I was visiting Amsterdam with my mom at Pancakes Amsterdam mmm http://www.reformatt.com/blog/eating-dutch-pancakes-amsterdam
May I use this recipe for making poffertjes? or do you have a poffertjes recipe?
Dank u wel!
This is awesome thanks
This looks great.
My wife’s grandparents emigrated to South Africa many years ago.
Yesterday we had pancakes at a place called “The Sweaty Dutchman”, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and she immediately recalled that they were made the same way as her Dutch grandmother had made them!
No self raising flour, but yeast is used and they are fried in butter.