How To Make The Best Pancakes
Our foolproof recipe for the best pancakes. It’s time to whip out the frying pan and get tossing.
It’s time to whip out the frying pan and get tossing. This year you can forget curdled messes stubbornly stuck to pans, and glutinous creations mysteriously lingering in the mouth despite 10 minutes of militant chewing. Now you have our guide to The Perfect Pancake.
You need a good solid recipe, because what is most vital in the Pancake making world is the proportions. For 12 pancakes, try using:
100g plain flour – 500g of Sainsbury’s Plain flour is 48p
1 egg – half a dozen Sainsbury’s basics eggs are 99p, or free range are £1.59
Half a pint of milk – one pint costs 45p
Despite our mothers’ best intentions and endless trips to Lakeland to buy us kitchen essentials, most of us don’t own measuring scales. Rather than entering into the dubious world of guesswork, here are some easy guidelines to follow:
Take your favourite mug. Fill it 2/3 full of flour. This is 100g.
Half a pint of milk is a whole, brimming mugful. If you don’t have quite enough milk, or need to spare a splash for that all important morning cuppa, you can substitute up to ¼ of the milk with water.
Tip all your flour into a bowl, then make a well in the centre and crack the egg into it. Not only does Delia tell us that this is the best way, but it also makes you look like a cooking pro in front of all your friends.
Start to gradually whisk the egg and incorporate bits of flour. Then start adding the milk (or water and milk if you’re stingy) gradually. If you forgot your whisk this term, then a fork does the job just as well. Once all the milk is in, mix like crazy until your batter is as smooth as the proverbial baby’s bottom.
You do need a good, big, non sticky frying pan for this part. Using a wok really won’t cut it. Take your pan and put it on a high heat with a tiny bit of butter or oil.
It doesn’t matter what you use, but bear in mind that using olive oil will give your pancakes a distinctive Mediterranean tang. Once the pan is hot, turn it down to a medium heat and tip in about 2 tablespoons of batter.
There is no escaping the fact that the first pancake will not be perfect. Apologise profusely to friends, explain it is a test run, and then eat it yourself. You will now know how much batter to use, and for the next ones use a little more or less depending on how the first pancake went.
Timing is essential to the optimal flipping. Wait until the edges of the pancake have browned slightly and started to lift, then slide a flat knife under the pancake and flip. A deft wrist action helps.
Only once you have mastered the flipping with knife can you move onto pan flipping. This is a difficult skill as it requires not only flipping, but also catching. It should only be attempted by the exceptionally confident, or those with the most understanding cleaners.
Here is the annoyingly smug Chris showing off his pancake flipping skills:
The simple: lemon and sugar. Very simple. Only an idiot can mess up this combination.
The cheap: try slicing a basics banana (from £1.15 for a bunch) onto your pancake and drizzling with melted dark basics chocolate (27p). Basic, but beautiful.
The culinary: channel your inner domestic goddess and drizzle honey and scatter toasted flaked almonds. Honey for 67p and toasted flaked almonds for £1.74 from Sainsbury’s.
The delicious: Take one mars bar, microwave until gooey and wrap in pancake. This one is particularly good for those who forget to buy pancake fillings, as it can be obtained easily from your nearest vending machine for 50p.
So there you have it: perfect, idiot-proof pancakes.