Belgian Buckwheat Pancakes | Doubles de Binche
Traditional Belgian pancakes eaten during the Carnaval de Binche, a 600 year-old carnival festival that lasts three days and has many rituals and costumes. These pancakes are made with buckwheat, beer, and lard, and sandwiched together with a strong Walloon cheese called boulette. Shredded, strong cheese can be substituted for the boulette.
- 200 g buckwheat flour 1⅔ cups
- 200 g all-purpose flour 1⅔ cups
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 300 ml whole milk, room temperature 1⅓ cups
- 250 ml Belgian strong blonde beer (not ale) 1 cup
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp lard, melted (can substitute unsalted butter)
- shredded Gouda (or the traditional Belgian boulette, if you can find it)
- salt and pepper
- dollop of lard or butter
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and then make a well in the center.
- Add the wet ingredients into the well, except for the lard.
- Whisk until you have a smooth batter, adding in the melted lard once the batter is smooth. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the lard.
- Using a small skillet over medium low heat, heat a teaspoon of lard or butter. Let it coat the pan and get really hot, but not smoking. Your first two pancakes will be less perfect than the rest because they will soak up the excess fat in the pan.
- Add about ¼ cup or 60 ml of batter to the skillet at a time. Use the bottom of your pouring ladle to spread your batter into about a 4 inch or 10 cm circle. Bubbles will appear throughout the pancake. When the whole surface has bubbles across it and the underside is golden, flip it and let it sit for about 30 seconds. This side should have a blistered, lightly golden look to it.
- To serve the pancakes, briefly warm the pancake in the skillet with a little bit of butter or lard. Top it with shredded Gouda (or the traditional Belgian boulette). Top that with a second pancake. Once the cheese is melted, flip the sandwiched pancakes to warm the top pancake. Remove them to a plate and top with a small dollop of lard or butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with a strong blonde Belgian beer like Binchois or Duvel.