In my house crêpes, or what we call palačinke in Croatian, are a staple meal. I’ll make them for breakfast at least once a week and at the same time add some to the kids school lunches. When I’m in a pinch for time and ingredients they also make a yummy dinner. I like that they have protein in them with the eggs and calcium from the milk. I also now add chia seeds which ups their fiber and protein content (see our Zombie Brains Breakfast Cereal for some chia seed nutrition facts). Also, since we roll them, they are easy for little hands to eat on-the-go.
Unlike pancakes which are thicker and more doughy, palačinke are meant to be paper thin. And while some people may be intimidated by the idea of making them, it’s really not that difficult and with a little practice you’ll be a palačinka expert! The key is to ensure that the texture of the batter is quite runny (almost completely liquidy) and you start with a hot skillet or frying pan. I use a large pan and a soup ladle that’s ¾ full of batter to make each palacinka- you’ll need to try a few times to find the volume that’s right to coat the bottom of the pan you choose. Also, make sure the pan is hot before starting to cook. I find though that about halfway through cooking the batch I need to turn down the temperature a bit to keep the palačinke from scorching.
Ingredients (makes 9-10 large palačinke):
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 cups of milk (or soy milk for a dairy free options)
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tbsps chia seeds (optional)
- 2-3 tbsps oil or cooking spray
- Whisk together the eggs and milk until well combined.
- Gradually whisk in the flour until all lumps are gone (I find that a good quality flour helps with this and prefer to use Robin Hood brand all-purpose flour). While not completely necessary, it’s best to let the batter “rest” for about 15 minutes (even overnight in the fridge). This seems to help the flour blend with the other ingredients and makes a better consistency.
- Stir the chia seeds into the batter just before you are ready to fry the palačinke.
- Add ~½tbsp of oil to the frying pan and heat on medium-high heat. It’s important to start with a hot pan to prevent the batter from sticking. You’ll know it’s ready once a drop of batter in the pan sizzles. I add more oil/spray to the pan after every third palacinka or as needed to keep them from sticking.
- Holding the frying pan in one hand, pour a ladleful of batter onto the top center of the pan. Immediately and slowly start twisting the pan around to cover its surface with the batter.
- You’ll hear the sizzling of the palačinka start to slow down and the edges start to curl up when the side is done (approximately 30 seconds): flip the palačinka over and cook the other side again until the sizzling slows down (about 30 seconds). You are aiming for a slightly golden finish but not too dark.
Our favourite toppings for the palačinka are Nutella spread or jam (any are great but our faves are strawberry and raspberry). Spread a teaspoonful of your desired topping onto the palačinka. Then roll! If your rolls are too long you may want to cut them in half. Otherwise, eat them as the French do: open-faced topped with your favourite fruits, berries and whipping cream!
These palacinke are great for a brunch with friends or overnight guests: just double the recipe and prepare the batter the night before. Refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning (just add in the chia seeds right before cooking). Or, prepare a make-ahead healthy and filling cottage cheese crepe casserole!
What toppings would you add to your palačinke rolls?