How to make perfect pancakes
Forget buying store bought pancakes or that bottle of pancake mix, it’s easy to make the perfect pancakes at home! Scroll down to find out how.
Pancakes and crepes
Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfast treats. Who wants porridge or cereal when you could have a mountain of pancakes covered in your favourite sauce and topped with fruit, or cream, or bacon and eggs! The possibilities are endless.
There’s a time and place for big, fat, fluffy American style pancakes but my heart belongs to thin and light pancakes, also known as crepes.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves and talk toppings, it’s essential you master the basic recipe.
‘What’s the ratio of milk to flour in pancake batter’ and ‘should I use vegetable oil or butter for cooking pancakes’ are questions you’ll never need to Google again! I’ve been using this pancake recipe for years – it will not fail you.
Use the right pan
Sure, you could invest in a crepes pan. Crepes pans are non-stick and made of cast iron, they also have really low sides which makes it easier to use a spatula to flip them. I’ve used one a few times but they are far from essential.
Whether you use a crepes pan or a frying pan, make sure it’s non-stick.
Whisk, whisk and whisk again
For perfect pancakes you really want to whisk it good. When I’m in a hurry I use a blender to whizz it up. Whether you’re doing it by hand or with a little help the key is to make sure the batter is thin with little bubbles.
The batter is much more thin than American style pancakes but its light, airy texture is what makes beautiful, delicate pancakes.
Take a break
Pancake or crepe batter really should rest for at least half an hour. It’s tempting to skip this step but they will be even lighter if you do.
Don’t use too much fat!
It’s tempting to smother the pan in oil or butter to make sure that they don’t stick but you really only need a light coating. Butter can burn easily so I use a flavourless oil that has a high burning point and doesn’t taint the flavour of the pancake.
Find the sweet spot
Its tricky finding the perfect temperature to cook your pancakes. Too low and they won’t cook quickly enough making them slightly chewy and rubbery. If you cook it too high it will already be cooked by the time you swirl the rest of the batter around the pan.
The first couple of pancakes are always trial and error so don’t worry if they don’t turn out quite right. Those are chef’s perks!
Basic Pancake Recipes
- 100 grams plain flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 250 millilitres milk
Put your flour and salt into a large bowl and again make a well in the middle.
Add the egg first and whisk to make a paste.
Next add in half the milk and bring it into a smooth batter.
Stir in the rest of the milk slowly and then whisk until it’s smooth and bubbly!
Get your pan piping hot and brush it with oil.
You don’t want too much fat in the pan.
Ladle a large spoon of batter into the pan and tilt the pan until the whole bottom is covered in a thin layer.
Allow to cook for 2 mins until crispy on the bottom.
Flip and cook for a further 2 mins or until golden!
Repeat until you have used up all of the pancake batter.
Keep them warm
Place the cooked pancakes on a plate and put in the oven on a low heat covered with tin foil while you cook the rest if you aren't going to eat them immediately.
If you want to store them for later, cool your pancakes on a wire rack so that steam can evaporate. Place a square of grease proof paper between each pancake and place in a freezer proof plastic bag. They can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and in the freezer for a few months.