I believe pancakes to be a staple food. I am quite obsessed. I was raised on thin, crêpe-style pancakes, the candy-floss of the pancake world that seemed almost to dissolve upon contact, all flavour and no substance. These were the pancakes I bought from food trucks at music festivals, spread with Nutella and wrapped in a paper plate. I would part with £6 for this sliver of chocolate smeared batter only to devour it in seconds and be left wanting. It’s not that I don’t enjoy Crêpes, quite the contrary, it is just that they make me a little anxious. They are the type of food I need to consume in horrendous amounts. I need a reassuring stack of those golden discs before I can enjoy them. I talk about this as if it is a hardship, but we all know it is simple greed.
My pancake greed has meant that I have, in recent years, had a leaning towards American style stacked pancakes; the type with so much raising agent that they almost taste soapy, the type you see in diners and movies, pulsating with maple syrup, crowned with bacon. These fluffy piles have never once left me wanting, they’ve more often left me with heartburn and a crashing sugar high. In the name of health I have experimented with other building materials; banana chia or banana coconut pancakes (no flour required), buckwheat flour (dense, savoury, robust), and oat flour (current favourite). All of these have their merits but I am forever bored, my palate dictates and I have little say in the matter.
Yesterday evening was a venture to IKEA, what I acquired there is not relevant but after the checkout is the food market and it is an offence not to sweep through this section stroking packets of Knäckerbrod and huge boxes of Pepparkakor. A bag of frozen, Swedish pancakes caught my eye and snared my attention for a couple of beats, in part because I was confused about the evident market demand for frozen pancakes but mainly because the picture on the packet embodied exactly what I wanted; piles of floppy, semisweet, pancakes folded into haphazard triangles, awaiting adornment. My palate is very suggestible, entangled with my subconscious, and I awoke this morning with an innate desire to replicate what existed in my mind.
I made mine with Wholemeal Rye Flour and I believe this to be the key to their success. They had substance and dark grainy flavour, the earthen quality of a Galette, the savoury edge of a Blini but just a little sweet and lacy like a Crêpe. Folding them into wedges is essential, they become more than waif-like pieces of batter and begin to resemble something hearty. A sprinkling of Ymredry’s (a Danish style topping mix of rye bread crumbs and brown sugar) provided texture and worked well, as always, with the dark smokey tones of maple syrup.
Rye Pancakes (Swedish Style)
(Makes four pancakes)
1/2 cup Wholemeal rye flour
1 cup Milk
1 Tbsp Sugar (optional)
Butter for frying
Maple syrup, Ymredry’s, Honey, Toasted Nuts, Banana, Cherries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Yoghurt, Cream…you get the idea…
This weekend I intend to leave out the sugar and tuck slices of ham and cheese amongst the folds until they melt and ooze. I have high hopes of success.
- Combine egg, flour, milk and sugar and whisk with a fork until combined.
- Melt butter in a medium non-stick frying pan and warm to a medium/high heat.
- Drizzle 1/4 of the batter into the pan and tilt until the batter covers the base evenly.
- Allow the batter to cook until it shifts when you shake the pan then use a thin spatula to flip the pancake over.
- Cook the other side for a short time before folding the pancake, transferring to a plate and repeating the process with the rest of the batter.