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Perfect Pancakes (with video - click on picture to watch)
Perfect Pancakes (with video - click on picture to watch)
added by Every Day

Thin, crêpe-style pancakes have a bit of a reputation for being tricky, but I think that’s because a lot of us only make them once a year. I like to eat them with a light dusting of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice, but we also top them with sliced banana and honey, with fridge jam, or sometimes with a slosh of maple syrup. Click on the picture on the right to watch the video.

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Prep time
  • 5 Minutes + 30 Minutes to rest
Cook Time
  • 2 Minutes
  • Makes about 16
  • 250g plain white or fine wholemeal flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • About 600ml whole milk
  • A little sunflower oil
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Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the eggs, add about 50ml of the milk and start to whisk, gradually incorporating the flour into the wet ingredients in the centre.

When you have a thick batter forming in the middle, add a bit more milk and whisk in a bit more flour. Keep going in this way until all the milk has been added, all the flour is incorporated, and you have a smooth batter, about the consistency of single cream.

One of the mistakes people make with pancakes is to leave the batter too thick. So if your batter is still more double than single cream, whisk in a little more milk. You can also make the batter by whizzing everything up in a food processor. Either way, let it rest for at least 30 minutes, then check the consistency again.

If it’s thickened up a bit, add a dash more milk to bring it back to the right consistency. To cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick frying pan or crepe pan, around 20cm in diameter, over a medium heat. When it’s hot, swirl1 tablespoon of oil around the pan, then tip out the excess.

Add a small ladleful (around 50ml) of batter – just enough to coat the base of the pan – and swirl it around quickly until it covers the base. Cook for a minute or so, until lightly coloured underneath, then flip over and cook for a minute more. Depending on the pan, you may need to loosen the edges of the pancake with a palette knife before you flip.

Almost without exception, the first pancake will be a bit rubbish. Don’t worry, this is normal; the next one will be much better. Dole them out as you make them, so they can be eaten hot – sprinkled with caster sugar and lemon juice.

11 replies
Replied on

I tend to use melted butter in the mix, and a knob of melted butter in the pan - the first one comes out rich and thick but I call it the 'allbutter' and my dearest will prostrate himself for it! Aside from the all time fave lemon and sugar, I'm loving maple syrup with blueberry jam (made with a touch of desert wine). Nom nom nom (burp)!

Replied on

Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) was one of the big days of the year when I was a kid (in England). It still love pancakes (crepe style) and this recipe and video catches things perfectly. Better get some batter made up and into the fridge for tonight. Also interesting that the "Scottish Drop Scones" look to be the same as North American pancakes (which are also great ... especially with Maple Syrup you made yourself :-).

Replied on

second one is always the best - first one always too thick and rubbery - no idea why.

i leave my batter for around 2 hours - as you say, seems it is crucial for some reason.

great idea for savoury pancakes (which i used to detest) - add chives to the batter mix and a tiny bit of grated horseradish.... when cool smear creme fraiche mixed with horseraddish over it and lie smoke salmon on it. roll it into a long pinwheel, and slice into little rounds - really pretty for nibbles too


Replied on

For that lovely, thin, crepe style pancake, go for 50% milk and 50% water - that is the mix they use in the Paris crepe vans. Also, add a table spoon of oil to the mixture. Ideally leave it around 2 hours and then just add a table spoon of cold water and beat again just before you start using it.

Rather than swirl oil around, which might mean you end up with too much oil, use a paper kitchen towel that has been wetted with oil. Just wipe it around the hot pan - but watch your fingers!

If the first pancake fails, it is because the pan is not quite up to heat - leave it a couple of minutes.

Replied on

This is nearly exactly the recipe I came up with - though I whisk just eggs and flour first to ensure a smooth lump free batter.

The 'leaving it alone for 30 minutes' step seems quite critical to success. Is it something along the lines of bread in which something (gluten?) in the flour changes the chemical composition of the mix from simply 'flour + eggs + milk' to 'glutinous homogeneous batter'? On a related point - is it possible to 'ferment' a batter mix, to makes something along the lines of sour-dough-pancakes?

Also it is only me that finds the second pancake worse than the first?

Happy Shrove Tuesday everyone :)

Replied on

We had pancakes for dinner. Tonnes of pancakes with lots of fresh homemade fruit salad and fresh cream, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce and the old favourite sugar and lemon and anything else that the kid's thought might be nice on a pancake.<BR><BR>Everyone had a great time making their own individual treats, they were even competing to see who could eat the most

Replied on

Last night I served up 100 pancakes to a very appreciative crowd of our parishioners.
I did make them in advance at home so as not to set off the smoke alarm in our Church Hall kitchen as I didn't have enough to share with Fire Brigade.

Replied on

we had pancakes with fresh bananas crispie bacon and maple syrup we had these in New Zealand

Replied on

Just made the batter so waiting 30 mins before we get the party started. Chocolate spread, Golden syrup and good old Lemon & Sugar ready and waiting!!!!

Scrummy :)

Replied on

We have had pancakes forestiere with scrummy herby mushrooms bon appetit !brianne

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