On a rainy afternoon in June we waited our turn in the tiny entrance way of the famous Pancake Bakery in Amsterdam, cursing the slow eaters and drooling over the weird and wonderful concoctions that were being transported from the kitchen. Dutch pancakes were a must try for us while we were in the country, with pancakes being one of my all time favourite foods. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, give me pancakes smothered in Canadian maple syrup and I’m a happy girl.
Who knew, however, that this humble, subterranean restaurant would provide us with an education in the simple griddle bread, presenting us with a menu of pancakes ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous!
What did I learn in the Dutch Pancake Bakery? Well, the Dutch sure do like a pancake. Big, small, sweet, savoury, thick, or thin – whatever your pancake preference the Dutch have you covered.
Armed with hot coffee (and the world’s most decadent hot chocolate for Damian), we perused the vast menu and settled on three different pancake creations, all featuring cheese, which was a hitherto unexperienced pancake topping. Cheese on a pancake? Now that’s just craziness.
Not only were the pancakes that were presented to us huge, they were also delicious and exactly what one needs on a cold and dreary afternoon. although my mom’s spinach and brie pancake was somewhat soggy, we had all become converts to the savoury Dutch pancake and the world of delicious opportunities that it presents.
Fast forward a few months to a late Saturday morning breakfast and our first attempt to replicate the delicious savoury pancakes of Amsterdam. Using a Nigella Lawson pancake recipe as a starting point, and armed with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach, we get started. What have we got to lose? The final product was delicious and is sure to become a weekend staple in our house!
Savory Dutch Pancake Recipe
(recipe should make about 4 dinner plate sized pancakes)
100g plain white flour
125g plain whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp sugar
30g melted butter or oil
wilted spinach (make sure to squeeze out extra moisture)
crumbled goat cheese
sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- Mix together dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another.
- Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix until combined. Be careful not to over mix. You want a batter that is thin enough to run around the pan but not as thin as crepe batter.
- Heat a greased frying pan over medium heat and pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan at about a 1cm thickness.
- When the top of the pancake is full of bubbles and looks almost completely cooked through flip and turn off heat after about 1 minute.
- Heat the grill (broiler) of the oven and place a rack near the top. Add toppings to your pancake and place under the broiler until everything is nicely browned.
- Remove from broiler and eat! Yum!
The final product isn’t hugely different from a pizza, but is much easier and faster to make. It’s definitely worth giving it a try, and adding your own choice of toppings to it. I’m sure kids would love to help with it to.
Another ‘cooking the world’ success!