Saturday, 15 January 2011


There's no bread in the house this morning, so it's back to the pancakes. Kit loves pancakes and that's motivation enough, since she doesn't eat enough (I'm filling the gaps, sadly, all of them, add our sizes together and divide by two and all would be well in the wardrobe).

Kitty favours the Dairy Book of Home Cookery (1977) recipe for pancakes. It's a book my mother used to have, and I found copy in a charity shop. I think the mixture doesn't have enough egg, (100g flour/1 egg/250ml milk). In my Bases de recettes book the proportions are better (200g flour/2 eggs/250ml milk) and they add two spoonfuls of oil, and recommend letting the batter stand. I don't have time to let the batter stand, and my 1977 English oeuvre says 'modern science shows' there's no need. I'm not letting a forty year gap bother me, in defining what is modern.

My mixture works well. Give it a go. It makes about 12 pancakes, depending on the size of your pan.

Cooking pancakes can be a bit anti social, and hot. I like to make a pile and then reheat them.


ingredients (alternative measurements at bottom of the recipe - cups, oz and mugs)
125g flour
2 eggs
125ml milk
125ml water
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
pinch salt

oil for pan


  • sift flour into large bowl (I use a plastic jug and stir it with a whisk)
  • add sugar and salt
  • make a well in the middle, crack the eggs into it and add the oil
  • stir it all together vigorously
  • add liquid bit by bit, beating all the time until smooth (if it isn't smooth, resort to the hand blender)

I use a heavy based frying pan, which is not non-stick. I have a heatproof pastry brush and a little pot of oil, and I brush the pan between each pancake. I use a small ladle, which measures about 1/4 cup. I don't like non-stick, and I think the pancakes taste different if you pour the batter into a thin layer of hot oil.

It might seem obvious how to cook pancakes, and if you've got it down pat, ignore this. If you're like me, and sometimes end up with a thick layer of batter sticking to the pan then read on.

Heat the pan for a couple of minutes before starting the pancake cooking, and get the pan good and hot, then  brush with oil quickly and pour in the batter - just enough to coat the base of the pan. You'll know the pan is hot enough, because the batter starts to cook straight away, roll it around the pan to cover the whole base. Once the pancake starts to bubble a bit and the edges curl, it's ready to turn. Watch the pancake bubble a little bit, then remove it from the pan. And so on.

I turn the gas down a bit once the pan is hot, otherwise it gets too hot.

other stuff
if you don't have scales, or can't be bothered, about one mugful of flour and half/half mugful of milk/water is the right amount, adding a tiny bit more liquid. Providing it's an average mug, and I'm not debating what's average.

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