My Czech grandma’s easy, delicious, Bohemian pancakes recipe (called lívance in Czech) with yeast and whipped egg whites added to the batter. This turns them into fluffy, tender pillows with crisp edges, and golden-brown sides.
I remember sitting in her kitchen as a boy, and stuffing my face with them as they came off the griddle.
Ingredients to Make Fluffy Bohemian Pancakes
All the pancakes ingredients couldn’t be simpler:
- YEAST – active dry yeast is usually sold in a pack of small envelopes, and you can find it in the aisle with flour and sugar. Learn how to test your yeast for freshness.
- SUGAR – the batter is very lightly sweetened with 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar.
- EGGS – I separate them into 2 egg whites and 2 egg yolks. I beat the egg whites into soft peaks, then fold them into the batter—this technique helps to make it airy and light, which makes the pancakes airy and light.
- MILK – use regular whole milk.
- FLOUR – regular, unbleached all-purpose flour works the best in this recipe.
How to Make the Pancake Batter
The recipe isn’t complicated, but takes a little extra time.
First you’ll make the batter mixing together yeast, flour, milk and egg yolks. Let it sit and proof for 20 minutes.
(You’ll notice tiny bubbles popping on the surface—a sign the yeast is working).
Beat the egg whites with the sugar until soft peaks form. It’s an extra step for sure, but it aerates the batter, and adds volume to it.
The upside is an otherworldly light pancake texture.
At this point, you’re ready to make your fluffy pancakes. You can also pour the batter into a container, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
The batter will develop a wonderfully sweet and lightly sour flavor.
How to Cook the Bohemian Pancakes
Once you have your batter ready, it’s a quick, smooth ride from here. Here are my pancakes cooking tips:
- EQUIPMENT – make sure to use a large skillet or pancake pan, but either should be non-stick as it will make your job easier—you won’t have to use a lot of oil. (The black pan you see in this post is a non-stick silver dollar size pancake pan, because I prefer smaller and uniform pancakes).
- TEMPERATURE – preheat the pan over medium-high first (about 30 seconds), then add oil.
- OIL – grease, spray or rub the pan all over very lightly (it’s non-stick after all) with vegetable oil or butter. (I use a small silicone brush or pan spray).
- COOK – use a 1/4-cup (3 tablespoons) as a measure to cook bigger pancakes, or a 1 tablespoon for small, silver dollar ones. Drop the batter gently into the pan and make sure you don’t crowd your pancakes (no touching!). Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until bubbles appear (photo above: the top pancake), then flip with a spatula, and keep cooking for another minute or two. When they’re golden brown on both sides, they’re done.
Three Different Ways to Serve the Pancakes
- Melted butter & cinnamon sugar
- Sweetened yoghurt or crême fraiche with berries
- Banana, blueberries & maple syrup
My grandma brushed the pancakes on both sides with melted butter, and then dipped them in cinnamon sugar. If you normally pour maple syrup over your pancakes, you must try this Czech variation!
And this is how you dress the pancakes:
The other option is to drop a dollop of lightly sweetened crème fraiche or Greek yogurt on top, and add some berries. And of course the classic combo of maple syrup, bananas, and blueberries is also great.
Like What You See? Discover More Recipes:
- The best breakfast toast ever: Cheesy Egg Nests
- Amazing Czech Potato Pancakes
- My favorite childhood treat: Cream of Semolina With Two Toppings
- Christmas or not, these cookies are super addictive: Linzer Cookies With Raspberry Jam
- Classic Czech soup: Czech Potato Soup (Bramboračka)
- Quick pasta salad: 15-Minute Orzo Pasta Salad
- Healthy breakfast and it travels so well: Easy Savory Oatmeal Bars
- Light lunch or dinner: Spring Risotto With Peas and Corn
- Any time great salad: Easy Chickpea Salad With Tomatoes and Cucumbers
- Vegan dinner casserole to feed a crowd: Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Panko Breadcrumbs
Did you make the Bohemian pancakes? Were they fluffy? What did you put on top of them?
Tell me in the Comments.Print
My Czech grandma’s easy, delicious recipe for Bohemian Pancakes (Lívance). Tender, fluffy pillows with crisp edges, and golden-brown sides.
- 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (300 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon (13 g) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs, separate into 2 egg whites, and 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (16 g) granulated white sugar
- Vegetable oil
- Cinnamon Sugar Dip:
- 1/2 cup (90 g) granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter
- More topping ideas:
- Sweetened white yogurt
- Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- Sliced banana
- Crème fraiche
- Maple syrup
- Powdered sugar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, salt and yeast.
- Beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and stir them into the flour mixture. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let it stand in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks, and carefully fold them into the rested batter. (If you’re not going to make the pancakes right away, you can refrigerate the batter at this point, for up to 2 days).
- Heat a pancake pan, large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat for 30 seconds. Spray or brush lightly with vegetable oil or butter.
- Depending on your preferred pancake size, use a tablespoon or a ¼ cup as a measure to drop the batter into the skillet or griddle. Leave a room in between for the batter to expand. If using a pancake pan, fill it half-way through. Lower the heat to medium.
- Cook for about a minute or two, until tiny bubbles appear on the surface, and the bottom is golden brown. Carefully flip and cook for another minute.
- Continue until you use all the batter. Add more oil if the pan seems dry.
- Serve the pancakes as you cook them or place them on a baking sheet in a 200F-degree oven.
- Cinnamon sugar topping: Mix the sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl or soup plate. Melt the butter in small pot over low heat, or in the microwave. Brush each side of a warm pancake with the melted butter, then dip in the cinnamon sugar, shaking any excess of sugar.
- Berries topping: Smash the berries in a small bowl with a fork, and stir in some sugar or maple syrup. Top each pancake with a spoon or two of yogurt, or crème fraiche, and with smashed berries. Sprinkle powdered sugar all over the pancakes, if you like.
- BATTER – store any extra batter in the fridge, in a container with a lid, for up to 2 days.