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RECIPE: Breakfast pancakes with barley

Staff reporter/PA

Barley pancakes make a delicious savoury breakfast.

“A traditional dish in Sweden are these small, thin and eggy pancakes made in a special pancake pan with indentations controlling the diameter of the pancakes,” explains chef Magnus Nilsson.

“In this recipe, the batter is made with equal parts wheat and barley flour and the pancakes are wrapped around a filling of sprouted barley and sliced onions, slowly cooked in the acidic whey from cultured milk.”

Barley pancakes recipe with sour onions and sprouting barley from Faviken by Magnus Nilsson


(Serves 6)

For the pancake batter:

2 eggs

600g milk

75g wheat flour

75g barley flour

5g salt

Butter, for frying

For the filling:

500g crystal-clear whey, obtained from yogurt or buttermilk

20g butter

3 onions, cut into paper-thin slices

1–2 spoonfuls cream

30g whole barley seed, sprouted to roughly 3cm-long green sprouts, to serve


1. Make the pancake batter. Beat the eggs and half of the milk together in a bowl, using a stiff whisk. Add both flours and the salt and stir briskly to get rid of any lumps. Add the remaining milk and stir until fully incorporated. Cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Make the filling. Pour the whey into a wide pan and start reducing it over a medium heat, and when you are left with about a tenth of the original volume add the butter and onions. Stir around to fully glaze the onions before flattening them out into an even layer and covering them with a cartouche (parchment lid). Continue to cook the onions over a low heat for another 10 minutes or so. The onions should soften but they should not fall apart, and the pan should be almost completely dry. It is important, though, that there is no coloration. Just before serving, add the first spoonful of cream and stir. If the texture is pleasant and creamy it is ready, if it is still a bit dry, add the other spoonful too.

3. To finish, heat a small pancake pan to a fairly high heat, butter each indentation very lightly and spoon batter into them. Swirl the pan around to coat the inside of the indentations evenly and thinly. Cook until just set before spooning some of the onion onto each pancake.

Place some strands of sprouting barley on each mound of onions before rolling the pancakes up and serving them immediately.

Faviken: 4015 Days, Beginning To End by Magnus Nilsson is published by Phaidon, priced £45. Photography by Erik Olsson.

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