Welsh pancakes are also known as ‘crempog’ (see this traditional crempog or crempog furum recipe for more regional recipes) and are made with an acidic buttermilk and a rising agent (which used to be yeast before bicarbonate of soda replaced it). The history of these types of pancakes stretch a long way back in Wales, and were once very popular; they were made for Shrove Tuesday and Birthdays, and have been a celebratory treat for many generations. The pancake (crempog) shapes are smaller, rounder and thicker than the traditional English Pancakes, which are larger, thinner and rolled up before serving. To learn more about pancakes, the history and a few tips on making them, read this Pancake Masterclass.
Welsh Pancake Recipe
- 500g flour
- 50g butter (softened)
- 350 ml buttermilk
- 150 ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- optional: to get the right ‘acidity’ you might need to add in a few drops of vinegar
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and using your fingers rub in the softened butter to make ‘breadcrumbs’. Measure out the buttermilk into a jug, then add the normal milk. Gradually stir this into the flour, use a spoon to start, then use a whisk. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk thoroughly to make a smooth, thick batter, add a little extra milk if necessary. Then let the batter stand for an hour covered in the fridge.
After one hour mix in the 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, and give the whole batter a final whisk. Don’t forget to add the bicarbonate of soda in just before you want to use the batter! When you want to use it the batter will be quite thick, about the consistency of lightly whipped double (thick) cream. Taste the batter, if there is not enough ‘acidity’ from the buttermilk add in a few drops of vinegar and mix.
Use a traditional Welsh bakestone (planc), and for each pancake (crempog) grease it lightly with a little butter first – carefully wipe the surface over with a little softened butter dabbed onto a piece of kitchen paper, folded over to thicken it, keeping your fingers from the heat. For the first pancakes heat the bakestone until the fat smokes, then turn the heat down a little. Pour about 4 tablespoons of the batter onto the bakestone. With the back of a ladle smooth it out to about 12cm, but let it retain a compact, round shape.
Cook the pancakes (crempog) like this on a medium-high heat for about 1 minute, until the batter has just set, become ‘bubbly’, and the edges are turning light brown and crisp. Turn over each pancake (crempog) carefully with a palette knife or spatula, and cook the other sides for about another minute, until they are golden brown underneath.
Turn out the pancakes on to a hot plate and as they stack up keep the plates in a warm oven until you are ready to serve them all at once.
SERVING: Welsh pancakes (crempog) are traditionally served with a little butter and jam spread on them, or drizzled over with a little golden syrup (corn syrup), black treacle (molasses) or honey – a little lemon juice and sugar can also be used. However modern toppings also go very well with these pancakes, banana and chocolate chip or ice-cream and lemon curd with mascarpone etc. see this crempog with orange caramel recipe.