Out of the frying pan…

February 21, 2012

Pancakes. As the only food that gets its own official ‘day’ you’ve got to admit, they’re pretty special.

And while making them isn’t exactly rocket science, we were pretty stumped trying to remember a recipe off the top of our heads. So this Pancake Day, we’ve done the legwork for you…


  • 110g/4oz plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt

Making it happen:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, crack in the eggs, and whisk.
  2. Gradually add the milk, still whisking – and once it’s all in, scrape any escaped flour back into the mixture with a spatula and whisk for Britain, until any lumps have disappeared and the batter is smooth, like thin cream.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan, spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter, and put the rest to one side ready to grease your pancake pan with.
  4. Grease that pancake pan! Then get it really hot before turning the heat down to medium, and ladle in a small amount of batter for a test pancake (I find the first one usually goes Pete Tong, so calling it a test pancake means moving on to Pancake #2 with your dignity intact). As soon as your batter hits the pan, fling the pan about in a circular motion to get an even coating – then leave to cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Lift the edge of the pancake with a knife. If it’s golden in colour, you’re ready to flip. If it’s black, announce the completion of Test Pancake #2 to any spectators present, pray silently for salvation, and start again.
  6. Now for the flip. Put that spatula down, you’re a pro – you’ve just cooked a pancake for crying out loud! – and you’re going to flip it like one. Give the pan a quick shimmy to loosen your creation, adopt the position of a champion fencer pre-lunge, bend at the knees, and GO!
  7. If it lands on the floor and no one saw, then the 10-second rule absolutely applies. If it lands in the pan, try to appear nonchalant (pride comes before third degree burns) give it a few seconds on the hob, then whack it on a plate – or, if you’re serving a few people in one go, stack between sheets of greaseproof paper, and keep in the oven under some foil until your batter-based banquet is ready.
  8. To serve, smother in lashings of sugar and lemon, syrup, Marmite – whatever floats your boat – and enjoy (while pondering who on earth would actually choose Marmite).

Happy Pancake Day!