Pancake recipe – how to make them

Pancakes are the ideal comfort food for the cold winter nights and are not really hard to make.

Pancake cooking in the frying pan

Pancake cooking in the frying pan

Creating a pancake batter involves eggs, milk and plain flour.

It is the same basic batter you would use for making Yorkshire puddings.

You do not need to buy shop made pancakes, or Yorkshire puddings as they really are easy.

Just have the confidence to try and have fun making them. We did…

How to…

To make a stack (around 10-15) of pancakes you will need…

Ingredients Equipment
2 large fresh eggs

300ml of milk

125g of sifted plain white flour

Pinch of salt

A pinch of cinnamon or another flavour  to suit

Some olive oil for your frying pan

Good solid frying pan and spatula

Whisk or blender

Large mixing bowl

Measuring jug

Scales

Ladle

Glass tumbler

Heat resistant serving plate

Making the batter

Put the flour into a bowl. Create a well, a deep indentation,  in the middle of the flour in which you are going to put the wet ingredients.

Always crack an egg into a glass before adding to mixture

Always crack an egg into a glass before adding to mixture

Pour the milk into the well.

Add the pinch of salt and any other flavours to suit. A pinch of cinnamon or other spice is great for that different taste.

Crack the eggs into the glass, one at a time. Then checking they are ok,  put them also into the flour well.

TOP TIP – cracking eggs into a glass before putting them into a mixture, ensures that you don’t ruin your mixture if you happen to get a bad egg. You will know if they are off – they will stink.  It also gives you the chance to remove any shell.

Starting from where the liquid meets the flour slowly work the two together using the whisk or blender.

This is to ensure that lumps don’t form.

Mix with a whisk to fill mixture with air

Mix with a whisk to fill mixture with air

Once the batter has formed and all the flour is mixed in,  continue to whisk until you get a yellow bubbly solution similar in consistency to single cream.

Not too thin or thick but so it falls from the whisk easily. Custard from a can is too thick, milk is too thin.

Depending on the eggs you may find that you need to add a little bit more liquid or flour to get this consistency. If adding flour add very gently and through a sieve to avoid lumps forming as you mix it in.

Cooking

Place your frying pan on a hot stove and wipe the pan with some olive oil or butter.  This is to stop the pancake from sticking. A wipe around is all you need.

The pancake should not float in the oil.

TOP TIP  – We find that if you use a piece of paper kitchen towel to spread the oil or butter this gives good coverage around the pan.

Pancake cooking in the frying pan

Pancake cooking in the frying pan

Using the ladle pour in some of the batter into the middle of the pan. Lift the pan slightly to swirl the mixture around.

If the pan is hot enough you should see the batter start to cook instantly.

Using the wooden spatula it should start to lift from the side and bottom of the pan.

After around one minute to 90 seconds  you should be able to look under the pancake to see if it is starting to turn golden .

Stack of fresh pancakes

Stack of fresh pancakes

TOP TIP  – for some reason the first one or two pancakes just do not seem to work.  By the third usually all is well.

It is now time to turn the pancake over to cook the other side.

This bit can either be a disaster or a success.  You could use the spatula to lift the pancake over or you could try and flip it… 🙂 Your choice…

Once cooked eat straight away or stack the pancakes as you cook them, on a heat proof plate and place in a warm oven for no more than 15 minutes or they will start to dry out.

Eating suggestions

Lemon quarters

Lemon quarters

The most common way to eat a pancake is with syrup and lemon juice or sugar and lemon.  However, we asked the Twitter community and our friends and family what they would have on theirs…

1)    Nutella (The Children’s Favourite)
2)     Syrup and Lemon Juice  (an old favourite)
3)     Jam (any kind) preferably strawberry and ‘Squirty cream’
4)     Banana and Ice Cream
5)     Cooked Ham and Cheese rolled and heated in oven
6)     Cooked Ham and Mushroom in a sauce placed in dish covered with sauce in oven.
7)     Seafood (Prawns, crab, or any other shellfish)
8)     Cooked Bacon and Maple Syrup (American)
9)    Fresh Orange & Cinnamon – Cinnamon in batter, orange in microwave with brown sugar and orange juice to create syrup cream on top
10)    Strawberry and Cream (either squirty or fresh)
11)    Honey and Yoghurt
12)   Apple with Sultanas and Cinnamon – as strudle.   Poach apples with sultanas and cinnamon  creating thick unctuous pulp.

Pancake history

Different countries have different pancakes. The recipe above is for the British pancake frequently made to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, or pancake Tuesday.

This is the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent, a period of religious fasting for 40 days ahead of Easter in the Christian calendar.  The pancake was a way of using up flour, eggs and milk ahead of the fasting.

In America and Canada the pancake is used almost daily often as a supplement for bread. In the UK these pancakes are known as Scotch pancakes and contain a raising agent such as baking powder.

Further information

Here are a few websites we came across whilst researching and producing this article which are worth a mention.

Woodlands Junior School in Kent – All about Shrove Tuesday and the many names it has around the globe

Wikipedia – Pancakes

Pancakeology

Pancake recipes – a free source for recipes for pancakes.

BBC Food – pancake recipes

Pancake physics – the mathematical equation for the perfect pan.