Some twenty-five centuries ago. People have gathered to watch theatrical performances.
From the scene of the Athenian theater, the characters of gourmands and gluttons talk about food and what a pleasant breakfast could be. The personages of the ancient Greek comedy (from the plays of authors, such as Cratinus and Magnes) all agree that there is nothing tastier than PANCAKES!
No matter what you have thought about, pancakes have not been an invention of the modern culinary. They have sweetened the life of the ancient Greeks too.
As one of the favorite breakfasts, they were prepared very early in the morning, at dawn. If one wanted breakfast in Ancient Greece, they had to get up early enough; otherwise they skipped it and ate later in the day. (For more on Greek meals and eating habits, you can check outthis post).
The Greek pancakes were far from the sophisticated modern French crêpes but had much in common with the American pancakes and the Russian blini.
In the Modern Greek cuisine there is a great abundance of similar recipes for "tiganites" - the Modern Greek word for that sort of fried dough.
The ancient one calls for a simple mixture of flour and water.
However, some honey can be added - enough for transforming a simple pancake into a warm delicacy that “raises steaming dew”, according to one of the Cratinus’ characters.
Although sesame is not explicitly mentioned in the original texts, we decided that it would be a good supplement, as well as some nuts. They both have been used very often in the ancient Greek cookery, so we thought we could boost the healthy properties of the pancakes. Following that, we added a moderate amount of olive oil for frying the tagenites and - here it is! – We got FRESH, STEAMING, HEALTHY PANCAKES!
Very healthy, indeed. On the one hand, the sesame seeds are rich in beneficial minerals. They are an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
On the other hand, these pancakes are absolutely vegetarian (or even vegan) as they do not contain any animal products. Not a single egg!
And what about the nuts? Their health properties are well known, so I won’t keep nagging about any longer.
Believe me, your body will thank you for maintaining your cholesterol levels in the norm with that delicacy.
For preparing 10 super healthy pancakes with 17 cm (6.5 ") diameter:
1. 500 ml / 17 fl oz lukewarm water
2. 400 g / 14 oz flour
3. 100 ml / 3.5 fl oz olive oil
4. 1 tsp salt
5. 2 tbsp sugar
6. 1 ½ tsp dry yeast
7. Honey, sesame, and nuts at your choice
1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water
2. Add the olive oil, the salt, and the sugar
3. Add the flour to the ready liquid (See below *Val's tips)
4. Whisk the mixture into a smooth batter
5. Leave it for 20-30 min. in warm environment
6. Set a medium pan, grease it with olive oil
7. When the pan is hot, scoop a batter with a small ladle and put it in the middle of the pan
8. Cook until the down side is golden
9. Flip and cook the other side
10. Pour honey on the top until the pancakes are still hot
11. Add sesame and crushed nuts at your choice
WATCH THE VIDEO!
At first the kids approached the pancakes with doubts. How could this possibly be a pancake? Thick, no chocolate around, not even a touch of cream! Then they smelled the aroma of the evaporating honey and agreed to give it a try. We added some sesame seeds and crushed nuts of their favorite almonds, hazelnuts, and cachou.
The pancakes were swept away in the blink of an eye!
1. To produce smooth batter, put the flour into the liquid and not the other way around. The flour dissolves easier and does not leave lumps.
2. If you like (and you are not allergic to) sesame, you may add 2/3 tbsp in the batter. It makes the pancakes crunchier and gives a particular taste, very characteristic for the desserts of the East.