It's been a struggle. it's been a tough, tough task. But over the last few days I've been trialling a few different pancake recipes to see which ones are the best.
Don't say I never do anything for you.
Below I have listed the ingredients, method and my verdict on three different pancake recipes:
- BBC Fluffy American Pancakes
- Jamie Oliver's One-Cup Pancakes
- Delia Online Basic Pancakes
Each recipe deffinitely has it's plusses and minuses so have a read through and decide which one will work best for you.
The Good - The tastiest of the bunch. Not difficult to make.
The Bad - Lots of ingredients and more equipment than other recipes. More unhealthy due to the added sugar and butter.
Notes: This made us around 5 small american pancakes. The recipe didn't seem affected by the fact that I forgot to put the sugar in until the last minute...
- 135g/4¾oz plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 130ml/4½fl oz milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly)
or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.
- Serve with lashings of real maple syrup and extra butter if you like.
The Good - Not many ingredients or equipment needed. No weighing required and easy to make with children.
The Bad - Just not quite as tasty as the BBC ones. I missed the extra sugar and they weren't quite as fluffy. The mixture was also runnier.
Notes: Makes about 7 small American pancakes. I didn't use the blueberries but served with ice cream and strawberries.
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 cup of self-raising flour
- 1 cup of milk
- sea salt
- 200 g blueberries
- olive oil
- 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
- To make the batter, crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, milk and a tiny pinch of sea salt and whisk everything together until you have a lovely, smooth batter. Fold through the blueberries, if using.
- Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and after a minute or so, add ½ tablespoon of oil. Carefully tilt the pan to spread the oil out evenly.
- Add a few ladles of batter to the pan, leaving enough space between each one so they have room to spread out slightly – each ladleful will make one pancake, and you’ll need to cook them in batches.
- Cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes, or until little bubbles appear on the surface and the bases are golden, then use a fish slice to carefully flip them over.
- When the pancakes are golden on both sides, use a fish slice to transfer the pancakes to a plate.
- Serve the pancakes straight away, topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt, and some extra berries, if you like.
Delia Online - Basic Pancakes
The Good - Actually really easy to make considering how long the method is. I could write it in half as many words. It was also lovely to have the classic sugar and lemon combo again.
The Bad - I think my mixture came out a bit thin. I didn't end up using all of the liquid and if I made these again i'd probably leave out a little more.
Notes: I actually used a ladle full of mixture to make the size thin pancake i'm used to. I also used a normal frying pan rather than the 'Delia' one she obviously suggests!
I have eaten 3 so far and there is enough left for at least 2 more.
- 110g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 200ml semi-skimmed milk mixed with 75ml water
- 2 large eggs
- 50g butter
- To serve:
- Caster sugar
- Lemon juice
- Lemon wedges
- First of all sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with the sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.
- Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so. When the mixture starts thicken, gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk).
- When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream.
- Now melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it when needed to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round. Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. I find 1¾ tablespoons (35mls) about right for the Delia Online Frying Pan.
- It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle or a small coffee cup so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. Hold the ladle so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan then pour in.
- As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. If you have any holes in it, add a teaspoon of the mixture just to fill them in. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be.
- Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan on to a plate. Overlap the pancakes as you go on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest. (Or if you are freezing them stack them with a piece of baking parchment between them and pop them in a freezer bag).
- To serve, sprinkle each pancake with caster sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up.
I hope this has helped you decide what pancakes will be on your table this Pancake day.
For us it'll be the BBC Fluffy American Pancakes with lots of icecream and strawberries for me and Maple Syrup for my husband.