Basic pancake recipe: How to make pancakes – the simple method you should try

Sarah Ferguson attempts to flip a pancake

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Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, falls on February 16 in 2021. Pancake Day has been celebrated by Brits for hundreds of years, and its exact date changes every year. Shrove Tuesday ushers in the period of Lent, and is always followed by Ash Wednesday. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be ‘shriven’ before the start of Lent. Traditionally, Anglo-Saxon Christians would go to church before Lent to confess and be absolved of their sins on this day. But in this day and age, it’s a great excuse to gorge on pancakes.

Basic pancake recipe

To make crepe-style pancakes, you will need:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml or half-a-pint of semi-skimmed milk
  • One tablespoon vegetable or sunflower oil, plus extra for frying

Start by putting the flour in a large bowl and making a well in the centre of it.

Crack the eggs into the well, pour in a splash of the milk and using a wooden spoon or whisk, start stirring from the centre of the bowl, drawing the flour into the eggs and milk.

Beat the mixture until smooth, ensuring to get any lumpy bits out now while the consistency is thick.

Then, stir in the rest of the milk until the consistency becomes thin, a bit like single cream.

Stir in the oil. At this point, the batter will keep covered in the fridge for up to one day so this is a great recipe if you’re looking to prepare.

Just make sure that if you are putting it in the fridge overnight, you stir well before using again.

Put a non-stick frying pan or a crepe pan over a medium heat.

BBC Good Food recommends using a pan with a base of 20 to 23cm as the “ideal” tool.

Pour one cm of oil into a heatproof jug and keep it to hand.

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Add a drop of oil to the pan, swirl it around by tilting the pan around, tipping any excess back into your jug.

Pour in a ladleful of the batter to achieve a thin, even layer of pancake.

Leave the pancake alone for 30 seconds without prodding, poking or trying to see underneath.

A good indicator of when to turn is when the pancake starts colouring around the edges.

If this step takes longer than 30 seconds, don’t crank up the heat on your stove as you’ll burn the bottom and it won’t flip well.

With a fish slice or palette knife, ease the edge of the pancake away from the pan and then loosen the underneath.

Check the bottom is in fact golden before turning or flipping it over in one swift movement.

Cook on the other side for another 30 seconds or so before transferring to a clean plate, and eat straight away.

If you want to make the pancakes in advance, stack them on a plate and cover with cling film.

When you want to reheat them, simply pierce the cling film then reheat in the microwave for about one minute, or until the pancakes are piping hot.

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