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Ingredients

  • 100g (4oz) organic wholemeal or organic plain white flour
  • 1 organic free-range egg
  • 250ml (1/2 pint) organic milk or milk substitute
  • A little salt to taste
  • A little fat or oil for frying

Alternatives

  • Soy, rice and almond milk substitutes all work fine, although almond is probably better with sweet rather than savoury fillings
  • You could use any sort of flour (white, rye, spelt or a mixture). Try rice flour for a gluten-free version
  • You can leave out the egg
  • You can use self-raising flour, or add baking powder or bicarobonate if you want a fluffier pancake
  • You could add flavourings, such as vanilla essence or cocoa powder for sweet pancakes and seeds or herbs for savoury pancakes

Pancakes

Recipe and filling suggestions from Bruce Denney

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Beat the egg and work it into the sifted flour mix.
  3. Slowly add the milk, beating until there is a smooth batter.
  4. Leave to rest for half an hour, if possible
  5. To stop the pancake from sticking, melt just enough fat or add just enough oil to coat the bottom and sides of the frying pan (or use a non-stick pan).
  6. Once the pan is hot, add a little of the pancake mixture (around 2 tablespoons) and spread it around.
  7. Cook until the pancake is brown underneath and then toss it so that it turns over.
  8. Cook the other side (it won’t take long).
  9. Fill (see below) and serve while hot.

Fillings

  • The traditional filling is to sprinkle the pancake with lemon juice and sugar, then roll it up and serve with some more sugar and lemon wedges
  • Lots of other things would make great sweet fillings: chocolate spread, dolce de leche, jam, maple syrup, chopped or puréed fruit ...
  • Savoury fillings are also tasty and possibly more healthy: try anything that could go into a burrito, or spinach and ricotta, wild mushrooms, ratatouille, bolognaise sauce, left-over curry ...

Tips and other ideas

  • Practice makes perfect: a not-too-thick batter that has rested for half an hour is a good starting point. Ingredients are cheap, so if it all goes wrong (or so right that you need more pancakes!) then you can always start again.
  • Develop your own batter and method, one that works for you, your pan, your cooker and your taste buds! Try experimenting with different combinations of flour (rye, white, spelt or a mixture) and different milk substitutes. Baking powder or bicarbonate will make the pancakes foam up and rise.
  • Use a good solid pan with a smooth base and don’t wash it between pancakes. In fact, some people would suggest that you reserve a pan especially for pancakes and never wash it.
  • If you’re not daring enough (or strong enough) to toss the pancake, then it’s fine to use a pan slice or palette knife to turn it over.
  • Pancake batter can also be used for Yorkshire puddings or toad-in-the-hole. Try making toad-in-the-hole with roasted parsnips (or other vegetables) instead of sausages.
  • The Roll: Roll up a filling in the pancake to make a sausage-shape and then bake in the oven. You could put a sauce over it if you like soft pancakes or no sauce if you prefer your pancakes crispy.
  • The Cake: Stack layers of pancakes and filling in a cake tin, and warm or cook in the oven. Then turn it out and slice it like a cake - looks a bit like a lasagne.