Lívance – Czech raised pancakes

What’s not to love about pancakes? They’re almost infinitely variable — you can use different flours, incorporate fruit or nuts or even bacon, make them thin as a crepe or fluffy… I’m making myself hungry here.

I’m an unapologetic pancake fan, and it’s a good thing because I get requests to make pancakes at least a few times a week. While it’s a bit tricky to make a perfect pancake, what with getting the batter to the right consistency and maintaining the pan at the right heat, it’s a breeze to make darn good pancakes, even with the “assistance” of small children.

Lívance are a bit different in that they are made with yeast, so you can’t just whip up a batch in three minutes. That said, they aren’t otherwise very difficult to make. They’re typically made in a special pan with indentations like a crumpet or egg poaching pan to cook the pancakes to a uniform shape, but that’s not necessary. The batter doesn’t spread too much on a standard frying pan anyway.

Any leftover lívance can be stashed in the freezer, and being sturdy and even a bit cakey, they stand up well to toppings like peanut butter to make a more substantial meal. We had a big ol’ dinner planning disaster last night, when the slow cooker failed to take a pot of bean soup beyond crunchy. Happily, we had pancakes in the freezer, and after a couple of minutes under the broiler they were ready to go. Dinner saved! Yep, if you have pancakes in the freezer, you’ll be a hero to almost any kid, I’m telling you.

Lívance – Czech raised pancakes

These are traditionally served with jam, but there’s no reason not to go the maple syrup route if you’re so inclined. I like to fry them in butter, for extra fattylicious crisp edges.


Makes about 1 dozen pancakes

  • 1 C/250 ml milk
  • 2 Tbs/25 g butter
  • 1½ C/200 g flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 egg
  • oil or butter for cooking


  • Warm the milk and butter together in a small pan, until the butter is beginning to melt.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Checking that it’s not too hot (about body temperature is good), pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well. Beat in the egg.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour, or put it in the fridge overnight. You should have a very bubbly, quite liquid batter.
  • To cook the lívance, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Coat the pan with a film of oil or butter; if the butter sizzles gently, it’s time to cook. Using a ladle or muffin scoop, drop about ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. I can usually fit about three pancakes on my largest pan.
  • Cook about three minutes, turning the pancake when bubbles form on the surface and the the first side is a rich golden brown. Cook about three more minutes. Serve warm with jam, syrup, or just plain.


2 Responses

  1. I never knew the beauty of dinnertime pancakes until I married a German. He makes German pancakes (go figure) – slightly thicker than crepes. He makes a mushroom sauce for them upon request from the wife, but they are most often eaten with applesauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. The kids love pancakes for dinner, and it means that I get an evening off from dinner prep. Good all around! Oh, and if there are leftovers we make Flaedlesuppe – pancake strips in broth with chives. Very soothing and homey.

  2. nice post, one of my favourite. 🙂 you should really get those special frying pans for this meal, makes “nicer”, smaller ones and is more easy to fry them. and you can use it for eggs for the spinach as well. Isn’t the salt too much in the recipe?

    (off: I sent the recipe to Valer as promissed)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *