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Sourdough crêpes with crunch

Friday, June 28, 2013

These crêpes are based on the Malaysian street-food snack called apam balik (apam = pancake; one of the definitions of balik in Malay is to turn over) – a folded pancake traditionally filled with a mixture of peanuts and sugar, but creamed corn can also be added if you ask for it.
There's a thick, puffy version, which, when cooked by experts, have vertical tunnels of air running through the inside of the pancake. That might have something to do with the thick heavy brass pans that apam balik are cooked in – they distribute heat better and food cooked in them don't burn easily. Expert vendors often cook these pancakes six at a time!
There are also thinner, crunchy pancakes called apam balik rangup, which often shatter into splinters and crumbs as you bite into them hot off the vendor's stove – but that's the joy in eating them! These are the crêpes I have attempted in a sourdough version.
I was supposed to make them for the June Sourdough Surprises group challenge and post about them on the 20th of last month. With all that's been happening, it's taken me a while to even make the attempt.
Filled with a peanut-sugar mixture
In a traditional apam balik batter, rice flour is the most important component as it provides the crunch  plus it's a very Asian type of ingredient. I made my batter with about a cup each of fed sourdough starter and rice flour together with cornstarch, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt, and added just enough water to make a moderately thick batter. I left it overnight and the next day, it was a little puffy.
Unfortunately, the crêpes didn't turn out as I had hoped. They tasted good, and the crushed peanut and sugar mixture on the inside provided some crunch, but the shell wasn't really crisp. I think it was because I couldn't spread out the batter thin enough. In hindsight, I should have made the batter more runny so it could be swirled around the pan and just coat the base. Next time.
For now, looks like these crêpes are best left to the experts at the pasar malam (night market)!


  1. Fluffy looking crepes, I like the holes on on them, reminds me of thosai:D

  2. That was one of my favourite treats growing up! Thanks for sharing.


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