If you are invited to a breakfast where Belgian pancakes are served, you will get thin pancakes, that Americans might call a crepe.
But Belgian pancakes are so much more than a crepe!
What are Belgian pancakes, you might ask? Belgian pancakes are indeed quite similar to crepes, but their batter is enriched with butter and they are made with sparkling water.
To me, Belgian pancakes are a cross between American pancakes and French crepes, but leaning a bit more towards the French side.
Pancakes in Belgium are served throughout the day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and even on special occasions like birthdays. Belgian pancakes do not have a sweetened batter, so they can be served as a sweet or savory dish.
In this recipe, we’ll recreate that perfect light and buttery, thin pancake base. It’s good enough to eat as is with just a little butter or sugar or as a base with a whole meal, savory or sweet.
Who know something so delicious could be so versatile? Let’s get started on these Belgian pancakes!
Crepes Vs Belgian Pancakes
Crepes are sort of the French version of pancakes. They are paper thin and made with flour, eggs, milk, and a pinch of salt.
Belgian pancakes are quite thin, but not quite paper thin like crepes. Made with eggs, flour, sparkling water and butter, they are a bit thicker than crepes and are much like the pancakes from the British Isles.
As you will soon see with this recipe, Belgian pancakes are much richer in flavor and even in appearance, too.
How Do You Make Belgian Pancakes?
Just as with any pancakes, Belgian pancakes are made by simply whisking all the ingredients together and cooking briefly.
You just whisk eggs and milk, fold in the dry ingredients, and add sparkling water, plus a little butter and salt. Cook these on a gently oiled or butter greased skillet until they are done. It takes around a minute per side to cook these.
The process is basically the same as that for any other pancake, whether we’re talking crepes or American pancakes.
Why Use Sparkling Water?
Adding sparkling water will make your batter lighter and will ensure your efforts result in an airy and light pancake.
This is an ingredient you cannot skip, although you try to use a substitute. Instead of sparkling water you can use club soda or even seltzer without any added flavor.
The key is to enrichen the batter with bubbles. These will help you achieve the light and fluffy texture that makes Belgian pancakes so good.
Tips For Making the Best Pancakes
This is a pretty straightforward recipe, but there are still a few things you will want to know:
- Always use real butter. Butter will lend your Belgian pancakes an mouth-watering aroma.
- Buy a pancake pan. This is important if you are planning to make crepes some day, too, as these pans are specially designed for them. Pancake pans often have a nonstick coating, allowing you to flip pancakes with ease.
- Use mineral or sparkling water. It really does not matter which one you have, as long as it is freshly opened and loaded with bubbles. This will ensure you have an amazing fluffy and airy pancakes.
- Use whole milk. When making rich Belgian pancakes, you can forget about skim milk. I tried making Belgian pancakes with skim milk once, but they did not taste the same. I am actually pretty firm on this point and never recommend any milk under 2% of milk fat.
- Refrigerate the batter before use. Maybe you have heard about this rule before, even with the French crepes, but refrigerating the batter is a must. The resting part allows the gluten in the flour to relax and the starch grains to swell. At some point, such as if left overnight in the fridge, the batter may turn grey, but that is perfectly okay. Just give it a good stir. It is ideal to have the pancake batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before use.
How To Serve Belgian Pancakes
As mentioned, Belgian pancakes are actually not strongly defined in their taste. They are either sweet or savory, and therefore they can be served however you like them.
As I have a major sweet tooth, I like to serve Belgian pancakes with fruit jams, fresh fruits, chocolate spread and/or whipped cream.
Still, you will not go wrong if you want to serve these with, say, bacon and eggs. Or you can try Americanizing the whole thing and putting a spin on the old chicken and waffles idea.
Serve Belgian pancakes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even as a fast and light dinner. You can pair these with grilled veggies, sour cream, or fresh salad. They can really go with anything!
Now let’s get cooking!
How To Make Belgian Pancakes
Gather your ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk.
Whisk in the flour gradually.
Add butter, sparkling water and salt. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. You can also blend the ingredients in a food blender as a faster way.
It is a good idea to refrigerate your batter here for at least 30 minutes before cooking, but this is optional.
Heat a pancake skillet over medium-high heat, and gently brush it with some butter.
Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet, and swirl it gently to cover the bottom of a skillet.
Cook the pancakes until the bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for another 40 seconds.
Repeat until all the batter has been used. Serve warm.
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp melted and cooled butter
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 1 good pinch of salt
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with milk.
- Whisk in the flour gradually.
- Add butter, sparkling water and salt. Whisk until you have a smooth batter. You can also blend the ingredients in a food blender to speed up the process. (It is a good idea to refrigerate your batter here, before cooking.)
- Heat a pancake skillet over medium-high heat, and gently brush it with some butter.
- Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the skillet, and swirl it gently to cover the bottom of a skillet.
- Cook the pancake until the bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancake and cook for another 40 seconds.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the batter has been used. Serve warm.
Ideally, you should refrigerate your batter for at least 30 minutes before cooking for best results. However, this is optional.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
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