Creating pancake perfection can have us in a bit of a head spin, there is a lot to think about, from Which ingredients? How to flip? What accompaniments?, to name but a few of the decisions we need to make. Our expert team has tried to make it easier with our top tips to make the perfect pancake this Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi gras or whatever you prefer to call it.
When is Pancake Tuesday?
The first question to answer, so we are best prepared, is when is Pancake Tuesday? It’s never the same date each year, it changes so it adds to our confusion, sometimes it falls in February, this year it’s the 1st of March. It always falls the day before Ash Wednesday.
Thick or thin preference
Pancakes are made up of a combination of whisking eggs, flour, and milk to form a batter, before pouring into your pancake pan or greased frying pan. From here, the different options are countless, thin or thick, small or big, round or folded, and tons more which can only be imagined.
Batter needs to rest for half an hour
Your newly mixed batter will need approx. half an hour to rest after whisking before pouring into the pan. So, you can kick back and have a well-earned coffee while you wait. Why does it need this break? It is recommended as this will give the starch a sufficient opportunity to swell with the moisture, which in turn allows your pancake to explode gently when it hits the pan and results in a fluffy, light pancake on your plate.
Source suitable cooking equipment
Try using a non-stick frying pan, preferably with a heavier base or a specific pancake pan before you start cooking. With a heavier base on your pan, it will be less intense and more heat on it. This means that you are less likely going to end up burning your mixture. The best way is to use low to medium heat and when you notice small bubbles on the top, flip your pancake on to other side and it will create a fluffy texture and rise. Once the bottom turns a nice golden shade of brown, time to serve them up. You will of course need your essentials too including a large mixing bowl, measuring cup or jug, scales, and good quality whisk.
First-time perfection is hard
We have come to accept that the first try of a pancake is not likely to be your greatest, your cook time needs to be perfected, ensuring the right consistency in your batter and the pan temperature, so don't beat yourself up...you will get there!
Melt the butter in the microwave
Instead of adding a knob of butter to lubricate your pan, melt the butter in the microwave and brush it onto the pan before pouring in the batter. You will need to clean your frying or pancake pan with some kitchen towel before you add the batter for each new pancake, otherwise, it could affect the overall texture and taste.
If your goal is for a really soft, fluffy, and tender pancake, you could use buttermilk instead of normal milk, the higher-than-normal acid levels will combine with the raising agent to create an airy and lighter texture. Another plus for this is that buttermilk only has approx. 2% fat content.
Dry ingredients to be used
In striving for the smoothest batter possible, it is advised to sift the dryer ingredients before you add the eggs and milk to your mixing bowl. We also recommend that for crepes you use self-raising flour and for all other options, you use plain flour. For the more health-conscious you could use a mix half of your flour with wholemeal flour, a note of caution though, you will need to put in an additional teaspoon of baking powder to compensate for a mix that is denser.
Cook earlier and serve after
Let’s be honest, pancake making takes time and when you have a table full of starving children looking up at you to be fed, you need to be on you’re A-game. So we recommend cooking them a little bit earlier and then warming them in the oven (approx 180c), so they are ready to serve when the kids are craving them. Plus, any batter that is leftover can be kept overnight to use again if needs be.
Popular Pancake recipe
We loved this recipe for pancakes, it's one of our team's favourites. See ingredients and preparation details below.
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups milk, (440ml)
- 2 cups all-purpose | plain flour, (290 g | 10 oz)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (60g)
- 1/4 cup butter, (60g | 2 oz)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Mix up the sugar, flour, salt baking soda, and powder into a large mixing bowl. Then make a hole in the centre for the milk to be added with the egg, melted butter, milk, and egg.
Give the mix a good whisk together and then gradually add in the dry ingredients until you reach a smooth batter.
Follow our team’s cooking tips above for pancake perfection and ensure you make the most sumptuous treats in your home this Pancake Tuesday.
To top them all off then flavour with Maple syrup, Nutella, Jam, Sugar, Lemon juice, butter or even just plain, whatever takes your fancy. Your flipping is over now it's time to savour those delicious pancakes!