Where Did The Polish Crepes Recipe Originate?
Crepes are popular all over the world. If you compare Polish crepes vs French crepes you might think they’re very similar or that perhaps Polish crepes originated in France. That’s what many people believe.
Well, although French crepes have been around since the middle ages, they have been eaten long before that in different forms. To learn the history of the crepe we have to understand that it was derived from a pancake.
Scientists have found the remains of something like crepes or pancakes in the stomach of Otzi, The Iceman. So some versions of the pancake were eaten by humans 5300 years ago in 3300 BC. The scientists concluded that his last meal was wheat pancakes, “along with red deer meat and alpine ibex”.
Jump a few thousand years and you’ll find that the ancient Greeks ate a dish of wheat flour cooked in olive oil over a griddle. Called tagenites, they were often eaten for breakfast.
The Athenians ate something similar made with spelt flour served with honey or cheese. The Romans ate something called libum that looked like the thick American pancakes.
By the time the Middle Ages came around, most cultures had their own version of crepes or pancakes. The Dutch have pannenkoek, the Germans have crepes, the Finnish have räiskäle and the Greek have krepa. Spain has krepa, Austria has palatschinken, Russia has blini, and so on.
The modern version of crepes eaten worldwide originated in the French region of Brittany in the 13th century. In this post, I will share with you the traditional Polish nalesniki recipe that is pretty much similar to those in France.
How To Make Nalesniki?
You don’t have to worry about how to make Polish crepes. This nalesniki recipe is really easy to make.
Heat the pan with oil til it’s really hot. After heating, You can add the excess hot oil to the batter and mix it in. This way you won’t need to add much oil while frying.
Make the pancakes as thin as possible while frying them. Watch this video to see how I do it. Keep repeating the steps till all the batter is finished.
Serve hot with sweet or savory toppings!
Tips For Making Thin Crepes
Be ready to throw away the first crepe.
For some mysterious reason, the first crepe is usually falling apart. You can either eat it or throw it away. The second one should look just fine.
Fry them on a very hot pan.
The pan needs to be really hot. Be sure to add a bit of oil every time you pour the dough.
It’s good to make a dough 30 minutes before frying.
Crepes will taste better if you let the dough sit for about half an hour. It’s not necessary though. You can use this nalesniki recipe batter right away if you want to.
Sparkling water is better than the still water.
The sparkles will make the dough more delicate and fluffy, and the nalesniki will be tastier.
Let the dough run down the pan.
If you want to have perfect, thin crepes, hold the hot and greased pan at a 45° angle. Use a big spoon or a ladle to pour the dough on the higher side of the pan. Let it run down, moving the pan a bit to make sure it covers the entire surface. See the video below of how I do it.
Oil the pan before frying every crepe.
If there is too much oil on the pan, pour it into the dough in the bowl.
Turn the crepes while they are light brown.
Don’t wait for them to get dark brown. Turn them while they are still light brown so that they can be flexible and easy to roll or fold.
FAQS About Polish Nalesniki Recipe
How To Pronounce Nalesniki?
Nalesniki is pronounced nah-lesh-nee-kee.
How To Serve Polish Pancakes?
You can either roll or fold these Polish crepes. To roll it, first lather it with a spread of your choice and then roll. To fold it, first lather it with the spread and then simply fold it into half and then quarter like a triangle.
What To Serve Nalesniki With?
Naleśniki taste great solo (it’s actually the only way my hubby has them). However, you may use various things to fill crepes in.
If you want sweet crepes, use:
- jams such as homemade pumpkin orange
- fruit spreads
- whipped cream
- sweet cheese
- any sweet spread
- fresh fruits such as oranges, pineapple, bananas, papaya or others
If you want savoury crepes, use any of these fillings:
- cabbage (see my full Polish croquette recipe)
- minced meat
- or anything you would put on a sandwich
What Kind Of Frying Pan Should I Use?
It’s best to use a non-stick frying pan or griddle, but if you don’t have those, a regular frying pan will work too. Just add a touch more oil.
Can I Make The Pancakes Sweeter?
Yes, you can add more sugar or a pinch of cinnamon to the pancake batter to make them sweeter.
How To Store Nalesniki?
Nalesniki pancakes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. Reheat with butter in the frying pan or microwave before serving.
Authentic Polish Nalesniki Thin Crepes Recipe
- 1 cup of milk
- 3/4 cup of water (preferably sparkling)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- a pinch of salt and sugar
- Mix all the ingredients for the dough using mixer or whisk.
- Heat the pan with 3 drops of oil (it should be very hot, for my oven it's volume 7 with 9 being the max).
- Start frying the pancakes, make them as thin and light as possible. Smear the pan with oil every time, or simply pour 3 drops of oil and move the pan a bit.
If the dough is too watery, add more flour. If it's too thick, add some milk or water.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix
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