Tuesday 28th February is Pancake Day and while pancakes can be the simplest thing to make, they’re also the easiest thing to get wrong. This Easy Basic Pancake Recipe is so simple and makes thin and light pancakes every time, without fail, stress or tears!
Until recently, Pancake Day – Shrove Tuesday – used to be a bit of a hit-and-miss affair in our house. While I had visions of making the kids light and fluffy pancakes, the reality was usually a stressful evening conjuring up lumpy, soggy batter that even large heapings of sugar failed to make appealing. Then there was the time I actually set light to the pancakes, and that other time one of my kids burned their hand on the handle of the frying pan while trying to flip one. Fond memories.
That’s why I had to laugh when I read that one in five adults in the UK don’t know how to make pancakes and admit to passing off ready-made shop-bought ones as their own, according to a survey by Lyle’s Golden Syrup. I’ve been tempted to do the same. I mean it’s easier in the long run.
The secret to great pancakes, however, is ultimately about finding the right recipe. And on that note, look no further, because after many months of trial and error and consulting numerous cookbooks, I’ve got the absolutely perfect pancake recipe for you. You won’t need another after you’ve tried this, I promise you.
The quantities of flour, eggs, milk and water all add up to batter that’s the perfect consistency to deliver lovely, thin, lacy-edged affairs that don’t leave everyone feeling like they’ve swallowed a bowling ball afterwards. They’re light, they’re delicious and they’re so easy and quick to make – and they get 10 out of 10 from the kids, even before they’ve added the toppings. They also look good, so much so I can’t quite believe I made them
Speaking of toppings, there’s only one way to serve traditional English pancakes in my book, and that’s with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar. Pancake Day is the one day of the year I bring out the sugar bowl and don’t wince when the kids help themselves to a teaspoon or two (or ten). Other favourite toppings in our house include Nutella, but we’ve recently converted to the lower-sugar Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread from Jim Jams (see our Friday Dish review). And of course, there’s Golden Syrup if we’re being traditional and as a nod to my own childhood.
You can make this batter ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a day or two. Or make whole pancakes, allow to cool and store them in the fridge or freezer ready to be reheated.
For this recipe I used a 20cm omelette pan – the perfect size for a pancake. You only need to add enough batter to cover the base of the pan, about 2/3 of a standard soup ladle, and this will give you around 6 to 8 pancakes.
- 110g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 200ml milk
- 75ml water
- 50g butter
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
- Add the pinch of salt and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it.
- Whisk with a handheld whisk or electric mixer on a low speed until the eggs and flour have combined. The mixture will be quite thick and stiff.
- Mix the water and milk together.
- Gradually add the milk and water mixture, whisking thoroughly as you go.
- When all the liquid is added, scrape around the bowl with a spatula to make sure you get all the flour mix. Whisk again until you have a smooth batter the texture of single cream.
- Next melt the butter in a pan or microwave.
- Add 2 Tbsp of melted butter to the batter and whisk to combine.
- Put a 20cm frying pan on a high heat.
- Using kitchen paper, wipe the surface of the pan with melted butter to thinly coat.
- Next use a ladle to scoop around 3 to 4 Tbsp (2/3 of the ladle) of batter.
- Add the batter to the centre of the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
- Cook for around 1 minute until you can easily lift the edge of the pancake away from the pan with a spatula.
- Flip the pancake onto its other side using the spatula and cook for a few seconds more until golden brown.
- Slide onto a plate, sprinkle with lemon and sugar and serve.
- If you're making a large batch, layer the pancakes on a plate in between sheets of greaseproof paper and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.