For the Pancakes
- 100g plain flour (spelt and rye flour also work well)
- pinch of salt
- 2 organic eggs
- 300ml whole milk
- knob of butter (for frying)
- blackberry compote
- lemon & sugar
- drizzle of honey
- all manor of savoury options from bacon and maple syrup to ham and cheese
Pancakes – every child’s favourite option for breakfast and a thoroughly versatile base for all manor of savoury dishes (one of our favourites being delicate, lacy pancakes stuffed with our Market Garden leeks in a delicious cheese sauce – all baked in the oven with a little more cheese scattered over the top).
A traditional pancake base is easy and quick to make, but the challenge always comes when the pan hits the flame. The crucial tips? Well there are a few:
A good, heavy bottomed non-stick pan
Once you own a good non-stick pan, your pancake making efforts will be transformed.
Maintaining that optimal temperature for a consistent golden brown
If the temperature is hard to maintain, use your instincts to remove and return the pan from the heat as the temperature rises and falls. Senses are key – use your ears to assess if the mixture is frying too vigorously, smell for any initial signs of burning and sight for when the pancake begins to brown.
Enough butter and oil to grease – but not too much
Using too much butter will result in burnt butter and a soggy pancake – too little and the base will burn. Try to maintain an even film on the pan – having a knob of butter and some kitchen roll to hand is the best way to do this. Re-grease the pan every 2-3 pancakes and spread evenly around the pan with the kitchen paper.
Keep them thin
The best technique is to ladle the mixture into the pan and then tilt the pan until it is evenly covered and returning any excess to the bowl. If the mixture is thin enough it should spread out evenly and a lovely thin pancake should result. Just add a little more milk if your mixture is looking too thick.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and in a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and whole milk.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk and egg mixture. Starting whisking from the centre, gradually drawing in the flower until you have a lovely creamy batter. Give the mixture one last good whisk so as to ensure that there are no lumps.
Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease a non-stick pan with a little butter and spread evenly so that you have a thin film of coverage. Place over a medium heat and bring up to temperature. Ladle some of the mixture into the pan before tilting in each direction until you have an even layer of coverage – return any excess batter to the bowl.
Return the pan to the heat. The pancake should turn a lovely golden brown in around 30 seconds if the pan is at the right temperature.
Flip the pancake using a fish slice (or for the more confident, perhaps you might like to ditch the fish slice in favour of the toss). Make sure the pancake is lying flat before frying for another 30 seconds.
Repeat with the remaining batter – re-greasing the pan as you go.
Serve warm with your favourite toppings or chill in the fridge to bake in a casserole with savoury stuffings such as organic bolognese or delicious cheesy leeks.
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