The best treat from Bohemian grannies made for their beloved grandchildren, yeasted pancakes. This amazing treasure is in Czech called lívance, and you should definitely try them out!
What Are Czech Lívance?
Authentic Czech lívance are sweet pancakes prepared from the liquid batter with added yeast; also yeast-raised lívance.
The well-leavened batter contains plenty of bubbles and is poured with a spoon 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.
My tip: Try out PALAČINKY, famous Czech crepes!
I recorded a short audio clip on how to pronounce the Czech word "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
Of course, you’ll also need the ingredients for finishing (see the section below: Serving).
Lívance batter is liquid, not solid. You have to be able to grab it with a ladle and pour it into a pan.
The batter base is yeast, so all ingredients have to be at room temperature. Don’t forget to take eggs out of the fridge early, so they’re not cold.
The batter leavens for 40 minutes or until its volume doubles.
TIP: A great trick 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 oven's bottom and close the oven door.
The hot water will build warm steam and humid conditions, which are generally great for well-leavened yeast dough (or batter).
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, forming small lívance pancakes.
Making lívance is easy. The biggest time-sink is the 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, 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 cinnamon.
A Pan for Lívance
A non-stick 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 has a nice round regular shape.
Lívance are sweet. There are several ways of serving them here in the Czech Republic:
- Coated in a mixture 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.
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.)
🍰 More Czech desserts:
- Dukátové buchtičky – little yeasted buns with vanilla sauce
- Míša řezy – black & white Czech sheet cake
- České koláče – the very authentic Czech dessert
- Krupicová kaše – cream of wheat
Lívance, Czech Yeasted Pancakes With Cinnamon Sugar
- 2 cups (480 ml) milk (lukewarm)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (or 30 g fresh yeast)
- 3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ 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, a 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 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 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 cover them in sugar and cinnamon while they’re still warm.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart
TIP: Lívance could be also a part of a typical Czech breakfast!