Making pancakes. Sounds easy. Is not.
From lumpy batter, to getting your creation stuck to the pan, making the perfect pancake is fraught with obstacles. And that’s before you’ve even tried to flip it.
But it doesn’t need to be that way. And if you want to ensure your pancakes actually make it to the plate, rather than getting stuck to the ceiling (been there, done that, got the greasy patch to prove it), here are six simple tips to ensure your Shrove Tuesday isn’t a flop.
Choose the right pan
Flipping faux-pas can all but be averted with the purchase of a good pan. Not only will the right pan prevent pancakes from sticking, they will also maintain a consistent level of heat, necessary to cook the perfect pancake.
But don’t be tempted to buy a cheap pancake pan especially for the occasion as they tend not to last. Instead invest in a good solid plan with a rounded join between the rim and the base. Happy flipping!
Learn from your mistakes
First pancake end up a gooey mess on the floor? We feel ya! But don’t worry if the first one doesn’t turn out Insta-perfect – use it to test the temperature of the pan and adjust accordingly.
Perfect your timing
According to Gary Durrant, Head Chef at The Arch London, pancakes should usually only take about 2-3 minutes to cook. He suggests ignoring the timer and instead check for bubbles on the top of the pancake which means its ready to flip over. “Make sure not to cook it for much longer than 2-3 minutes though, as the batter could dry out,” he says.
Mix up your toppings
From cheese and ham to chorizo and chilli, nutella to classic lemon and sugar, there’s barely an ingredient you can’t chuck on a pancake.
“Pancakes are delicious both sweet and savoury, depending on your taste,” explains Gary. “They go very well with fresh fruit, chocolate and maple syrup, but equally well with ham, cheese and bacon for example.” If you fancy switching up your combinations Gary suggests trying different cheeses such as brie, ricotta, or blue cheese which taste amazing when melted inside a crispy pancake.
Spoon don’t dollop
Tempting as it is to dollop the mixture in with any old kitchen utensil, it’s way better to spoon the batter into the pan with a large ladle. That way it can be poured into the hot ban in one go. “As soon as the batter hits the pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with a nice thin layer of batter,” says Gary.
Follow a recipe
Yeah we know you think you’re a Jamie Oliver type who can toss in however much flour, eggs and milk they like into a bowl and for it to turn into the perfect batter. But unless you are a chef, you should probably follow a recipe. Gary Durrant has got you covered.
Thin pancakes (makes around 10 pancakes)
75g – Plain flour
120ml – Full fat milk
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
Put the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and make a dip in the centre using a spoon. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg together, and then whisk this gradually into the flour mixture. The batter should resemble the consistency of single cream. Some people swear by leaving the mixture to rest for an hour, but I think its fine to use straight away. A heavy non-stick frying pan about 16cm across is best – over a steady medium to high heat.
Thick pancakes (American Style) (serves 4-6)
135g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp of Salt
2 tsp of Caster sugar
130ml of Milk
1 Large egg
2 tbsp Melted Butter
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. Whisk the milk and egg together in a separate bowl then whisk in the melted butter. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and then beat with a fork until the batter is smooth. Let the batter stand for a few minutes then heat a knob of butter on the frying pan. Once melted add a ladle of batter and wait until the pancake begins to bubble. Cook both sides until the pancake is around 1cm thick.
Share your best pancake making tips @YahooStyleUK