Here is a classic and easy pikelet recipe. A pikelet is a variant of pancake, a typical Australian and New Zealand treat that is often served for breakfast or tea time. It is light, fluffy and delicious, whether served hot or cold.
What is a pikelet?
The pikelet is a variant of pancake, smaller and thicker than a traditional French crepe, typical of Australia and New Zealand. It is also commonly served in Britain.
Similar to the American pancake in flavor, the pikelet is prepared from milk or buttermilk, salt, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder and baking soda.
This type of pancake is also served much like the American pancake, with fruits, jam, cream, butter, syrup, chocolate sauce, icing sugar or standard sugar. The pikelet can also be served plain.
In Australia, the preferred way to taste a pikelet is to garnish it with cream, powdered sugar and strawberries.
This pancake is much smaller than its American counterpart, just like the Scottish pancake called drop scone.
The difference between a crepe and a pikelet
A pikelet is a type of pancake that is much thicker than a traditional French crepe, and about the same thickness as an American pancake. In terms of diameter, the pikelet is typically between 3 to 4 inches. The thickness of the pikelet comes from the composition of the batter, thanks to the baking soda and baking powder. In the French crepe batter, which is meant to be thin, there is no yeast so that it does not rise.
Unlike the French crepe, a pikelet is neither folded nor rolled. The filling is placed on top, then it is cut using a fork and a knife.
What is the origin of crepes and pancakes?
If all roads lead to Rome, many recipes lead to Athens. In fact, a large number of preparations actually come from the time of the Olympians.
The pancake was therefore born among the Greek Gods.
Crepes and pancakes are considered a tasty and easy to prepare dish and are known all over the world, or almost. They have a unique history, which has its roots in Ancient Greece. They arrived in northern Europe and finally landed in the United States of America, where pancakes are now the typical American breakfast dish.
The original recipe for making crepes was born as something very simple. The batter was first made with flour and water, which were mixed to form muffins. This was already happening in Ancient Greece, around 500 BC, when the two famous poets, Magnes and Cratinus, referred to this preparation in their works.
At that time, the pancakes were called teganites (meaning “pan”) in honor of the pan in which they were cooked.
Then this simple batter quickly turned into a mixture of olive oil, flour, honey and curd.
And, from this old preparation, how did we get to crepes, pancakes or pikelets?
History intersects with that of Ancient Rome, where it was customary to consume a dish called alita dolcia (Latin: “another confectionery”) prepared with milk, eggs, spices and flour.
Some alita dolcia were sweetened with honey or fruit while others were savory breads filled with meats and cheeses.
At the time, this food was rigorously consumed only by the nobles and according to ancient recipes. The alita dolcia was prepared without yeast and it is for this reason that it is believed that these pancakes which were eaten in Ancient Rome were much more like the French crepe.
Crepes around the world
There are a large number of crepe and pancake versions around the world, including:
- Irish boxty, potato-based.
- Okonomiyaki from Japan.
- Bao bing from China, with a delicious variant with green onions called cong you bing.
- Roti jala from Malaysia.
- The Indian dosa.
- The baghrir and the mofletta of Morocco.
- The palačinky from the Balkans.
- The oladyi from Russia.
- The Yemenite malawach.
- The qatayef from Syria.
- The Costa Rican chorreadas.
- The massa from Benin.
- The injera from Ethiopia and Eritrea.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Strawberry jam
- Whipped cream
- Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl.
- Add the sugar.
- Dig a well in the center.
- Gradually add the egg and milk, then stir.
- Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Brush the bottom of the pan with melted butter.
- Depending on the size of the pan, pour 3 to 6 large spoons of batter, spacing them out so that you can spread them out.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface.
- Turn them over and cook for another minute, until golden.
- Brush the pan with a little melted butter between each batch of pikelets.
- Serve hot with strawberry jam and/or whipped cream.