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The perfect pancake

I used to be the WORST person at making pancakes. In fact I was so bad, it really started to get to me: especially when I posted my frustrations on social media and was bowled over by a wave of people telling me how easy it is!

So then I investigated.

The do’s and don’ts of pancake making

Straight off the bat: don’t use self raising flour! Ok that was my first mistake. And easily resolved.

Make sure the pan is really hot

Next: there’s a reason the second pancake is always better than the first, and it’s because the pan tends to be nicely heated. You want the pan hot enough so that when you splash a touch of water on it, the balls bubble and skim across the surface!

A touch of butter or oil

And decent lubrication is important. Oil is fine but butter is better for taste. However, butter can brown very quickly. Tip: use unsalted butter to help prevent browning too quickly. Another tip: mix the butter and oil so you get the buttery taste and the oily benefits.

How much to use? I ALWAYS struggle with this one. How much is a knob of butter? And doesn’t the amount of oil/butter you need to use depend on the size of the pan you’re using? What’s the optimum amount to prevent burning?

I scoured the internet and asked a lot of pancake ‘experts’ (neighbours) about this one. I’m still not entirely satisfied. But what I have worked out is you don’t need very much. Just enough to ‘make sure it doesn’t stick’ (quote from a guy who used to own a creperie).

Go for whole milk

And then there’s the milk. It seems skimmed milk may be ok to use. But semi is better. And whole milk is the best of all!

Ingredients and technique (from the creperie guy)

125g plain flour.
1 egg
1/2 pint milk.
Pinch of salt.

Mix flour with egg.

Add milk gradually at a time and mix in.
Finally beat well.

You need a hot frying pan, oiled not buttered.

( I once owned a creperie)

Essential ingredients (from my neighbour)

“Add a big dollop of Nutella!”

Happy Shrove Tuesday!