Breakfast/ pancakes and crepes/ polish/ sweet breakfast

Polish apple pancakes (with yeast)

23 April 2021 By Aleksandra

Polish apple pancakes look exactly like regular apple pancakes but the batter is leavened with yeast and not baking powder! They taste absolutely amazing – yeast adds a wonderful flavor and makes them super fluffy. They are filled with lots of apples, have crunchy golden edges, and soft plushy centers, mmhm!

A stack of apple pancakes on a white plate.
a stack of apple goodness!

Polish apple pancakes

.. or in Polish: racuchy drożdżowe z jabłkami (literally translated: yeast pancakes with apples, the word pancakes can be translated either to racuchy or placki) – I challenge you to pronounce that! 🙂 it goes like this: rah-tsoo-he drosch-tsch-owee ze jah-boo-kah-mee (racuchy or placki is already plural).

They are traditionally made with yeast, although a lot of recipes nowadays call just for baking powder (for convenience since you have to wait for the dough to rise) – BUT believe me – there is a HUGE difference in flavor. The yeast adds flavor and just fills your kitchen with the smell of fresh homemade yeast dough. YUM.

These pancakes are not overly sweet, there should be generously sprinkled with powdered sugar after being fried. I haven’t made that for the pancakes on the photos because if you would dust them with powdered sugar grandma-style you wouldn’t be able to see the pancakes at all, just the sugar 🙂

Apple pancakes on a white plate. One pancakes is being held by a child's hand.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make Polish apple pancakes:

Apples – choose soft apple variety, no crunchy/crispy apples! I used Gala apples.

Yeast – please use fresh yeast if you can find them, they are always in the fridge. They provide the BEST gentle yeast flavor. If you can’t find them, instant yeast or active dry yeast will also work (I tested all 3 yeast types). Polish people use most often fresh yeast, they are easily available in every grocery store, and sometimes instant yeast. There is no active dry yeast in Poland.

Vanilla – Polish people use rather vanilla sugar but I’ve used vanilla extract in this recipe since it’s more easily available in the US. If you have vanilla sugar (the best is with real vanilla !), add about a tablespoon instead of vanilla extract. What is vanilla sugar? It’s just regular sugar that has been infused with vanilla beans.

Cinnamon – just a touch, don’t add too much or it can overpower apple flavor.

Other ingredients (flour, milk, sugar, salt) are pretty standard for pancakes.

For frying the pancakes – you can use regular vegetable frying oil or clarified butter.

Version with baking powder: you can theoretically add 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of yeast, the pancakes will turn out just fine, but they lack this ‘wow factor’ in terms of flavor and are less fluffy. I plan to develop a separate recipe for these with baking powder but I think I will add something like yogurt or buttermilk for better texture. I’ll keep you posted!

Labeled ingredients for Polish apple pancakes.

How to make Polish apple pancakes step by step

Milk in a pot. Milk with yeast in a pot. Pancake batter ingredients in a white bowl.

STEP 1: Heat the 1 cup of (240g) milk until pleasantly warm to the touch (it’s best to check its temperature with a thermometer, it should be 100-110°F (38-43°C)). The milk can’t be too cold or too hot or the yeast won’t work.

STEP 2: Add yeast to the milk (20g fresh yeast or 1 packet/7g instant yeast or 1 packet/7g active dry yeast), stir until yeast is dissolved (if using fresh yeast, add 1 Tbsp of sugar to the milk). If using fresh yeast or active dry yeast, set the milk aside for about 10-15 minutes. You should see foam on top of the milk (if there is no foam, you need to start over). If you’re using instant yeast, there is no need to wait.

STEP 3: Add 2 cups (250g) flour, 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar), 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt into a large bowl.

Proofed yeast with milk are being added to the pancake ingredients in a white bowl. Pancake batter is being mixed with a mixer.

STEP 4: Add the milk-yeast mixture.

STEP 5: Mix with an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes.

So normally you would just stir the batter until the ingredients are just combined making sure to not overmix it, but this time the batter must rest so that the yeast can leaven the dough.

Risen pancake batter in a white bowl. Chopped apples on a wooden chopping board.

STEP 6: Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic foil or kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume, this should take 45-60 minutes (I’m putting it in a turned off oven with a light on and my dough always needs 45 minutes to double its volume).

STEP 7: Peel and core 5 small/medium apples, cut them into very small cubes.

Pancake batter with chopped apples in a white bowl. Apple pancakes are being fried in a pan.

STEP 8: Add the apples to the dough and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

STEP 9: Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat (you can add more or less oil, sadly, more oil = better-tasting pancakes). The oil should be well-heated otherwise the pancakes will soak up fat, you should hear sizzling while adding batter to the pan.

Spoon about 1-2 heaped tablespoons of batter (1/4 cup) per pancake.

Apple pancakes are being fried in a pan. Apple pancakes on a paper towel-lined wire rack.

STEP 10: Cook on both sides until puffy and golden.

STEP 11: Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Cut one pancake in half to make sure it’s cooked through in the middle (there is no raw batter). Don’t put anything on the pancakes or they won’t remain crispy.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Dust the pancakes with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Polish apple pancakes dusted with powdered sugar on a white plate.

Storage

You can cook the pancakes, store them in the fridge for up to 3 days then reheat in a dry pan on both sides until warm. You can also reheat them in a microwave or a 320°F/160°C oven. Unfortunately, they taste best fresh.

Tips for cooking any type of pancakes:

  • The pan and oil must be well-heated or the pancakes will soak up the fat and be flat and dense instead of light and fluffy.
  • The most important thing is to cook the pancakes over medium-low heat. If you cook the pancakes over too high heat they will just burn on the outside and won’t be cooked through in the middle. Every stovetop has a different powder so adjust accordingly.
  • Cook the pancakes longer on the first side and just briefly on the other side.
  • If the pancakes are hard to flip over, they fall apart or tear it means they not ready yet to be flipped over. Try to reduce the heat and cook them a little longer.
  • Use a non-stick pan, the best is a pancake pan (shown on the photos) which has low rims – this makes flipping pancakes very easy. This recipe will work on any non-stick pan, though.
  • Cooking time depends also on the type of pan. The pancakes will cook a little longer on a heavy-bottomed pan and it won’t be so easy to burn them. If your pan has a thin bottom you need to reduce the heat as the pancakes will cook much quicker and it will be easier to burn them. Cooking time depends also on the material and color of the pan (black pans cook quicker).
  • How to keep the pancakes warm: keep them on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 80°C / 175°F.

More Polish desserts

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Polish apple pancakes with yeast (racuchy drożdżowe z jabłkami)

Delicious apple pancakes made with a yeast-leavened batter.
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A stack of apple pancakes on a white plate.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
proofing the dough 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 588kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pancake batter:

  • 20 g fresh yeast or 1 packet/7g active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk 240g
  • 2 cups (250g) flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 small/medium apples soft variety

additionally:

  • frying oil
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Heat the milk until pleasantly warm to the touch (it's best to check its temperature with a thermometer, it should be 100-110°F (38-43°C)). The milk can't be too cold or too hot or the yeast won't work.
  • Add yeast to the milk (fresh yeast or instant yeast or active dry yeast), stir until yeast is dissolved (if using fresh yeast, add 1 Tbsp of sugar to the milk). If using fresh yeast or active dry yeast, set the milk aside for about 10-15 minutes. You should see foam on top of the milk (if there is no foam, you need to start over). If you're using instant yeast, there is no need to wait.
  • Add the yeast with milk and all the other ingredients except apples to a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic foil or kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume, this should take 45-60 minutes (I'm putting it in a turned off oven with a light on and my dough always needs 45 minutes to double its volume).
  • Peel and core the apples, cut into very small cubes. Add the apples to the dough and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat (you can add more or less oil, sadly, more oil = better-tasting pancakes). The oil should be well-heated otherwise the pancakes will soak up fat, you should hear sizzling while adding batter to the pan.
  • Spoon about 1-2 heaped tablespoons of batter (1/4 cup) per pancake. Cook on both sides until puffy and golden. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Cut one pancake in half to make sure it’s cooked through in the middle (there is no raw batter). Don’t put anything on the pancakes or they won’t remain crispy. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Dusk the pancakes with powdered sugar and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine polish
Keyword polish apple pancakes, racuchy recipe, yeast apple pancakes

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