“Poffer-what?” is the usual reaction when I begin to explain to someone how delicious these little pancake-like snacks are. I then follow this with a quick lesson.
“You can think of it like paw-fur-chuhs.”
Difficult pronunciation aside, these treats are a common snack food in the Netherlands and can often be found at amusement parks and outdoor vendors – akin to funnel cakes in the US. Unlike many of the miniature pancakes that you see sold here, these contain yeast, require about an hour to rise, and are topped with lots of butter (of the Dutch variety if you have access to it) and confectioner’s sugar as soon as they come out of the pan. No syrup allowed!
These have been a favorite of mine since my mom acquired her very own poffertjes pans (sent to her by a Dutch friend) and began to make them on the weekends whenever we had some Dutch butter in the house. Any mini pancake pan and your favorite butter will do though!
Makes about 64 poffertjes
300 grams of flour (I use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 package of dry yeast (4 grams)
10 grams of granulated sugar
4 deciliters of lukewarm milk
Butter and confectioner’s sugar for serving
Mix the flour with the salt, yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Warm up the milk in the microwave until it’s lukewarm (not too hot). Break the egg into a bowl, pour the egg into the warm milk, and mix it up. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it with a spatula by hand. You want to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet ingredients, but the mixture will still look very lumpy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a place where there is no draft – sometimes inside the oven (with the oven turned off of course!) You have to wait about an hour for it to rise as much as it should (it almost doubles but not quite.) Then you can butter the depressions in your pan. Once the butter is hot and bubbling, start to spoon the batter into the depressions. Cook until they are easy to flip and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once flipped, cook until the other side is done. You can cut one open to make sure that it’s not raw in the middle. Serve immediately with butter and confectioner’s sugar.