The biggest treat from Bohemian grannies made for their beloved grandchildren. The Czech sweet treasure is called lívance and you should definitely try them out!
What Are Czech Lívance?
Authentic Czech lívance are sweet pancakes prepared from liquid batter with added yeast.
Well leavened batter contains plenty of bubbles, and is poured with a ladle into a pan with heated butter. Small pancakes are then formed and fried on both sides until golden brown.
To finish this Czech dessert, lívance are covered in sugar and cinnamon, or brushed with jam and decorated with a scoop of sour cream.
What Do We Need to Prepare Lívance
To prepare lívance batter, you only need a handful of ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- fresh yeast (or active dry yeast)
- pinch of salt
- butter for frying
And, of course, the ingredients for finishing (see the section bellow: What to serve lívance with).
How Should a Right Lívance Batter Look Like?
Lívance batter is liquid, not solid. You have to be able to grab it with a ladle and pour it into a pan.
The base for the batter is yeast, so all ingredients have to be at room temperature. Don´t forget to take also eggs out of the fridge early so they´re not cold.
The batter leavens for 40 minutes or until its volume doubles.
A great trick how to help leaven the lívance batter is to put the bowl with batter covered with a clean dishtowel into an oven, which is turned off. Then put a pot with hot water in the bottom of the oven and close the oven door.
The hot water will build warm steam and humid conditions, which are great for well leavened yeast dough (or batter) generally.
Leavened lívance batter has a lot of bubbles. Do not mix the batter, the bubbles would disappear. Carefully scoop the batter and pour it on a hot pan so it forms small lívance pancakes.
How to Prepare Lívance?
Preparing lívance is easy. The biggest time-sink is leavening of the batter. Also consider the time it takes to fry the lívance in a pan.
- Prepare batter from milk, flour, sugar, eggs, a pinch of salt and some yeast and let it leaven.
- Warm up the butter in a pan.
- Pour a bit of the batter on a pan with a ladle, form small pancakes, fry on both sides until they turn gold.
- Garnish the finished lívance with fruit, sour cream, or with cinnamon.
Which Pan to Use When Frying Lívance?
A non-sticky pan is ideal. If you have one, use a pancake pan with lowered rim, lívance will be easier to flip.
In the Czech Republic we have a special pan with four “eyes”, called lívanečník. Lívance fried in this pan have a nice round regular shape.
What to Serve Lívance With?
Lívance are sweet. There are several ways of serving them here in the Czech Republic:
- Coated in a blend of sugar and cinnamon
- With jam and a scoop of sweetened sour cream
- With fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) and sweet quark (Czech tvaroh)
Lívance taste also great with plum butter, sprinkled with grated tvaroh and powdered sugar.
TIP: Spread melted butter mixed with rum over the pancakes whilst they’re on the pan. After frying one side and flipping it, spread the butter-rum mixture over it. There’s nothing like lívance with butter and rum! Then decorate them according to my advice above (jam, fruit, etc.)
Ready to go to the kitchen and make some Czech lívance? Let´s go for it!
Lívance, Czech Yeasted Pancakes With Cinnamon Sugar
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk lukewarm
- 4 tsp active dry yeast or 30 g fresh yeast
- 2 2/3 cup (400 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (70 g) granulated sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- pinch of salt
- butter for frying
- 2 Tbps butter melted
- 2 Tbsp rum mix with melted butter
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- Add yeast to lukewarm milk, mix in flour, sugar, pinch of salt and eggs. Make a smooth runny batter out of it, and let it leaven for 40 minutes, or until it doubles its volume.
- After leavening, don’t stir the batter, preserve the bubbles.
- Grease the pan with butter and heat it up at medium temperature.
- Pick the batter with a ladle and form pancakes on the hot pan – circles about 5-6 inches in diameter.
- Fry on both sides until they turn gold.
- Heat up the butter and rum.
- In a soup-plate, mix both granulated and powdered sugar with ground cinnamon.
- Spread the butter and rum on the lívance while still in the pan, and the cover them in sugar and cinnamon while they’re still warm.