PROPER Pancake Day.

One sharp February morning in Cheltenham…

Happy Leap Day!  And if you are Ja Rule, Happy Birthday, you unlucky so-and-so!

As you can probably tell, I am on holiday at the moment; a forced holiday as the office needs to balance out some days in prep for the Olympiad, so I have a bit of free time at the moment.  This free time seems to be taken up with watching a bit too much Jeremy Kyle… and making wicked bad breakfasts.  Today: proper pancakes… aka ‘American Pancakes’, frequently referred to as ‘pancakes’ in the US.

I have a few issues with traditional UK pancakes.  They are limp, sad little things, aren’t they?  Also, there is little consensus as to what should really go on them; one camp baying “Lemon and sugar” the other camp (my camp) shouting “Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food!”  From now on, I’m going to put up with them on the one day of the year we’re practically forced by the government to eat them; the rest of the year I’m going kiss Uncle Sam’s arse ass and make pancakes the way nature intended.

I fell in love with proper pancakes in Scotland, funnily enough.  The restaurant I worked in up there served them for breakfast.  Little did I know that Scottish Pancakes are pretty much identical to US ones.  I had them pretty much every morning in New York; even Lindy’s did good ones (and I heard pretty bad things about that place).  Always served with muchos Maple Syrup.

So, yesterday morning, I popped in to Asda (or should I say WalMart?) and made my own.

I burnt one of the bastards and the other somehow turned into an omelette.  I blamed the pan.

So this morning I got a new pan and tried again.

Here’s what I used…

I adapted a recipe I found on the BBC website.  It makes five pancakes (each one was about 7 inches in diameter), so a decent serving for two plus one left over for the dog.

  • 270g Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 270ml Milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp Melted butter (cooled) or Olive oil


Combine flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt.  Don’t worry too much about sifting as the batter will naturally even out.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, butter/oil, and milk and lightly whisk together.  Now I didn’t let the butter cool properly and it went funny in the bowl, however the end result was 100% fine, so the recipe is pretty low maintenance!

Combine the liquid mixture to the flour etc and whisk with a fork until you get a very thick, wet batter.  At this stage, if you wish, you can add in other things like blueberries, banana, chocolate chips, cooked bacon even!  Let your mind run free!

Take a non-stick pan (this is where I went wrong) and drizzle with a bit of oil.  Let the pan warm over a medium heat.  Take a ladle of the batter and pour into the centre of the pan (it will settle and flatten by itself).  A normal-sized ladle (apple-sized) is enough for one pancake.

Let the pancake cook until it bubbles all over the surface.  Use a slice or knife to loosen the edges of the pancake (should be pretty easy) and flip over.  The cooked side should be golden brown and slightly blotchy.  Let the other side cook until it can slide around the pan by itself.  Turn out the pancake onto a warm plate and repeat the cooking process.

You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, though not for too long.  Serve with oodles of maple syrup a Diet Coke or muddy coffee and spend the rest of day lying on the sofa, stuffed, watching repeats of Top Gear on Dave HD.

Classic.  I will start the diet tomorrow.

. . .

Originally published 29th February 2012.

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