Last week I vowed to get my kids into the kitchen so that they could help prepare some food and gain some cooking skills to set them on the path of preparing fresh food. So yesterday, I got them out of bed and let them prepare the batter for their pancake breakfast. If they were a bit older than they are, I probably could have let them cook them, but at their age (six and five) I thought the possible trip to the A&E would not be an ideal way to spend my Sunday
morning. Still the kids did love mixing the batter and watching the gooey substance in the bowl become a delicious morning meal.
The recipe we used is a traditional recipe that has been around my family for years. I am not sure of the origins, but pancakes have been around for years, and there are literally thousands of recipes out there to choose from, most of which will result in ultimately the same pancake as theses.
Skill level: beginner
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
- 135 g/4¾oz plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 130 ml/4½fl oz milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.
- Serve with lashings of real maple syrup and extra butter if you like.
The beauty of pancakes is you can do things to them to sort your tastes. To make blueberry pancakes, just add a handful of blueberries to the batter before cooking. To makes these pancakes even more fluffy, use self-raising flour instead of the plain flour. You could add one teaspoon of cinnamon to make cinnamon pancakes. You could throw in a handful of strawberries, and I could go on and on, but I think you have gotten the idea.
For me pancakes should always be served with some extra butter and maple syrup, but I suppose that comes from my Canadian background. The English like to eat pancakes with lemon juice, sprinkled with sugar. My wife likes to make them healthier by serving them with some strawberries and maple syrup, but really just enjoy them any way you like!