We must all have them; recipes that you have know so long or have taken completely for granted but when asked about them you go “Uuuhhhh… I actually never made that!!” I had that realization when Nurit of FamilyFriendlyFood asked me if I had a recipe for poffertjes… Eh… well no, and now that I think about it; I have never made them myself!! When we were little my parents did have a poffertjespan and they made them on regular basis as we loved those little pancakes, but that was sort of the last time that I had tasted homemade poffertjes. During the summermonths in one of the town that I used to live close by, there is always a typical “OudHollandsche Poffertjeskraam” and we would go there every summer, at least once. The poffertjes there are fantastic and now that I have made them myself I might actually ask them for their recipe next summer!
Anyway, I did look up a Dutch recipe for Nurit and send it to her via email at which point we started to think about blogging about this together. How fun is it that we can virtually cook together?? You should really check out Nurit’s blog. She has great stories and a fun way of writing and great photos too!! I especially love her photo-journeys through every day life.
For making poffertjes the first thing you need is a poffertjespan, which is a castiron plate with “holes” (not actual holes ofcourse, but some kind of dents) in them to support the poffertjes and to give them their round shape.
Since I had never made poffertjes before I had to go and buy one first before I could start making them. In the meantime Nurit had also done some additional searching and come up with a couple of additional recipes which I ended up using. I actually think I sort of mixed them all together and made my own version of the recipe. The funny thing is that I think just one day before Nurit asked about these poffertjes I read a post about a Danish specialty which was called Aebleskiver and looks exactly like poffertjes! They use buttermilk in it so I imagine that the taste might be very different but I am certainly going to try those next. Nurit are you gonna join again?
They were first baked around 1795 om monastery where they made the holy bread (sorry I have absolutely no idea how those are called in English!! I’ll look it up!). There was a shortage in wheatflour and an abundance of buckwheatflour so they started experimenting and that is how the first poffertjes came to be.
Marketpeople and salesvendors who bought products from the monastery took the recipe and during the french revolution they marched with the army of Napoleon to the Netherlands and sold the poffertjes at yearmarkets and fancy fairs. And that is how the “Dutch” poffertje came to be Dutch. I actually don’t think you can find them in France anymore. Have never seen them there!
So how did I do with baking my first ever poffertje. I found the process slightly more difficult then I had anticipated. The batter needs to rise for about 45 minutes but then becomes quite thick so getting small amounts in the holes was hard and by the time I was at the 6th hole, the others were already starting to go to fast. So I ended up with baking them for a little bit too long. Turning them quickly also requires some practice so that didn’t help ofcourse. I did think the taste was very good and I can see how they would work great if you bake them a little shorter and serve them a little warmer. lol.. I was so busy trying to turn them and then getting them out of the pan, that by the time I had them all the first ones were already beginning to cool down. Plus I then forgot to put the butter on top so the butter didn’t particularly melt very well. Poffertjes are traditionally served with butter and powder sugar, but you can vary with them to your liking. Rum in the batter is a very well known variation here and the list is quite frankly endless.
I decided that it would be a fun comparison test to make the Danish version and also make a ready made batter for poffertjes. Since they are popular here, especially among kids you can buy a flourmixture already complete for poffertjes. Add milk and you’re good to go. I am just curious to find out how that might be different in taste to homemade flourmixtures. So stay tuned for more poffertjes to follow! For now here is the recipe!
125 gr all purpose flour
125 gr buckwheatflour
3 dl lukewarm milk
7 gr dried yeast
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
1 tsp of salt
Officially it’s probably wise to sift the flour but I couldn’t find the sieve so didn’t do that part. It worked fine… Add the yeast and the sugar to the lukewarm milk and let it dissolve. Make a little hole in the flour and put the yeast mixture in. Stir it all together and gradually add the rest of the milk, the (beaten) eggs and a little bit of melted butter to give the dough the desired consistency. Stir once more.
Let the dough rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, under a humid cloth in a warm place.
Put the poffertjes griddle on the stove and lightly grease the cavities. Fill them only halfway or less with the dough (and that is the tricky part!!) Bake the poffertjes quickly until they are golden brown, then use a fork to turn them around, baking the other side golden brown as well. Arrange the baked poffertjes on a warm plate. Dust with powdered sugar and put a lump of butter on them before serving. Serve hot!
Don’t forget to check out Nurit’s poffertjes adventure too!