Select Page

#cookit: Pancakes (Proper British Pancakes)

by | May 17, 2023 | Cook It!

Proper, old-fashioned British pancakes are the real deal.  Much closer to a French crepe than American “fluffy”pancakes, their awesomeness is in their simplicity.

5 ingredients plus butter for frying are all that’s required, job done – and there is only 1 trick and 1 secret to success.  The trick is in having a great, smooth (preferably non-stick) flat pan in which to fry them up, the secret is to use butter and not oil for the frying, simples!

Classic Pancakes (makes 8 dinner plate sized pancakes)

Ingredients You Need:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 5g salt
  • 2 eggs (free range and fresh of course!)
  • 250ml milk (not skimmed!)
  • 50 ml water
  • Large knob of unsalted butter

Gear You’ll Need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Ladle
  • Spatula
  • Plastic fish slice
  • Large, flat-bottomed skillet or crepe pan at least 12″ in diameter
  • Whisk or Electric hand or stand mixer
  • Silicone basting brush

How To Make It:

  1. Get the flour into the bowl, chuck the salt in and turn over with a fork to mix
  2. Crack in the eggs and mix in well until you have a very thick batter
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk until totally mixed
  4. Whisk in the water to thin the mixture to a consistency like emulsion paint
  5. Get the pan on a medium heat and leave for at least 5 minutes to bring it up to a consistent temperature
  6. Shove the butter into a cup and melt in the microwave – if you don’t have a microwave use a small pan and melt on the heat for the frying pan
  7. Use the silicone brush to moisten the frying pan with melted butter, it should sizzle
  8. Use the ladle to scoop a FULL ladle of the batter into the pan and swirl to the edges – it should be wafer thin!
  9. Leave it for 90 seconds – if the pan is hot enough this will perfectly cook the first side
  10. Lift the edge with the fish slice, if it’s golden, you’re golden – flip away.  If not, check every 20 seconds and turn the heat up a notch.
  11. Once you’re flipped, 60 seconds more and you’re done.
  12. Scoop onto a warm plate and keep making ’em!
  13. Chow down.

Worktop Tips:

  • Like lemon and sugar?  Then do it!
  • Other combo’s:
    • Cheese & Ham
    • Marmite (trust me!)
    • Nutella and peanut butter
    • Ice cream of any flavour with nuts of any type
    • Caramelised fruit of any type (sliced fruit in a pan with lots of sugar, leave to melt)
    • Bananas and cheese (again, trust me!)
  • Mixing the egg/flour with the milk before adding the water helps to eliminate lumps if you’re patient
  • Make sure your pan is hot, but evenly hot.  It’s better to wait longer before frying – in fact, wait longer!

Wine Paring:

Wine with pancakes?  I like your style!  Personally, I’d enjoy sweet or savoury pancakes with a nice chilled Prosecco.  Not too threatening on the palate, and not so expensive that you will wince at drinking it with something so ordinary.