Given the name of my blog it’s only appropriate that there be a post on pancakes. You will not be surprised to hear that I love pancakes. A good stack of American pancakes is like manna from heaven, especially when slathered in maple syrup with bacon and banana and/or blueberries on the side.
Before I headed to California for a road trip a couple of years ago, a friend told me about the IHOP – that’s International House of Pancakes for the uninitiated. Understandably, having heard of the existence of a restaurant dedicated to the production of pancakes, I spent every minute on the road trying to spot one. Unfortunately the reality did not live up to the dream – pancakes that tasted as though they were from a shake and bake packet, slathered in blueberry jam not maple syrup. My pancake dreams were crushed.
But, fear not, dear reader, I have recently discovered the Breakfast Club which has completely restored my faith in the restaurant-produced pancake. If you can brave the queues then you are in for one of the most divine breakfast experiences available in the UK. The pancakes there are incredible (limitless maple syrup available for slathering), and I can also vouch for the Bacon and Banana French toast, again slathered in the maple syrup. Yes, you may notice a trend here…
When it comes to making my own pancakes I’ve tried numerous recipes: ones involving buttermilk, ones with whipped egg whites, and ones with cornmeal. But the most fail-safe and easy version is one I’ve taken and adapted slightly from BBC Food. It literally takes 3 minutes to put together, another 10 to cook (much quicker than a Breakfast Club queue), and results in the most divine, fluffy pancakes. Get that maple syrup ready, it’s pancake time!
Adapted from BBC Food’s “Fluffy American Pancakes” recipe
Serves 2 (makes about 8 pancakes)
135g plain flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Butter/oil for the pan
Maple syrup, blueberries and/or bacon to serve
- Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl, then pour in the milk and egg.
- Using a whisk, beat the mix together until it’s pretty much smooth. A few little lumps don’t matter, just don’t over whisk otherwise you’ll end up with chewy pancakes, not light and fluffy ones. Let the batter stand for about 5 mins.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and a tiny knob of butter/drizzle olive oil. Once melted, add a ladle of batter to make a pancake about 10cm across. Wait until the top of the pancake has lots of little bubbles then turn over and cook for about 1 minute on the other side – both sides should be golden brown and the pancake well risen (just under 1cm).
- Transfer to a heated plate and put in a low oven (about 50°c), covered lightly with greaseproof paper.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up.
- Serve with maple syrup, blueberries and/or bacon.
The pancakes will keep in the oven for about 30mins but are best eaten immediately.
You can make the batter the night before you need it but omit the baking powder and add that in the morning to make sure it’s at its bubbly best. You might need to add a little milk if the mix is looking too thick and it’s best to let the mix warm up a little before cooking.