The Dutch pancake falls somewhere between the American pancake and French crêpes – not too thick, not too thin. Essentially there’s no real difference in the pancake recipe, but, not being able to settle for ingredients on the side or rolled into the pancake like a crêpe, the Dutch have aspired to cram as many possible tasty foods into the pancake batter itself. Pannenkoeken are quintessentially Dutch, and the ideal indulgent dinner.
As anyone knows, pancake batter is definitely the simplest thing in the world to make. Dutch pancakes require slightly different ratios of flour/milk to make them that little bit thicker than crêpes, but in essence it’s the same. This is the recipe I opted to use:
pinch of salt
Evidently I missed the tip that said this mix made about 6-8 pancakes. I also didn’t think to save the batter in the fridge for the next day so that, between two, we had 3 giant pancakes each.
To make them proper Dutch, pour most of your batter into the pan to fill it. Then grab your fillings, quick! Chuck them into the pancake while the batter is still runny and then pour extra batter on top so they cook inside the pancake. Careful when flipping though – it’s possible a stray banana slice or chunk of veg might fly off your pancake mid-flip.
It’s futile suggesting ingredient combinations for pannenkoeken as literally anything goes. We opted for green beans, courgette, and cheese (the remnants of our fridge veg) for a savoury pancake and a classic banana, cinnamon and honey for a sweet; however, the Dutch also love combinations of sweet and savoury ingredients. A combo of bacon, apple, and dark sticky syrup (the infamous Dutch stroop) is a firm favourite. Stroop can be poured on just about anything – it’s especially delicious if your pancake has cheese on it (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it), and can also be drizzled on yoghurt.
If you don’t think you could manage a pizza-sized pancake, another Dutch delicacy is poffertjes, teeny tiny little pancakes, also served with syrup and fruit. These are the cutest pancakes you could ever imagine, but require a specialist poffertje pan to make. If you want to try these, or are feeling too lazy to make pancake batter, I recommend heading to My Old Dutch Pancake House in Holborn/Chelsea/Kensington. They do a wide range of pannenkoeken and poffertjes, and even offer stroop, which you can freely drizzle all over your pancakes.