My Favourite (American-style) Pancake Recipe
Life has been beyond crazy lately, and I’ve been feeling like I’ve been stretched too thin. So I decided that this weekend I would go full hermit to have some me time and recharge the batteries. Only venturing out to secure sustenance…. I’ve stayed in bed ‘til midday, slept loads, caught up with housework, paid bills, done some online shopping, practiced my ukulele, cooked, drank a few good beers and watched all of ‘Great News’ on Netflix. It’s been bliss.
Whenever I’m having a chill weekend comfort food always plays a big part and for breakfast that usually means pancakes at least once. And while I love crepes, when it comes to a serious treat what I really want is thick American-style pancakes with LOTS of maple syrup, sometimes with bacon, sometimes with lashings of chocolates chips. This weekend was a chocolate chip one, and boy did I go to town!
Up until about 5 years ago when I made this type of pancakes, I used an edited version of an old Scotch pancake recipe, it was good but quite right. Then a dear friend, Marie (aka Skatepants) made me pancakes and after scoring her recipe I’ve never looked back. When you first look at it there seems to be quite a lot of baking powder, but no worries, you’ll just get super fluffy pancakes.
While having a great recipe for pancakes is important there are lots of other factors that are equally important in getting a good result:
Temperature of the pan – you’re looking for a medium heat, too cool and your pancakes will never cook and too hot and they won’t cook through in the middle or will burn. Might take a bit of experimentation to figure out works best. Sometimes I switch around temperature mid-cooking if I feel the pan is getting too hot or cool.
Consistency of the batter – it should be pretty thick, just at the stage where it pours freely. I always add about ¾ of the liquid and then slowly add a little more until I think the batter is the right consistency.
Butter in the pan – I think just a light brush of butter on a good non-stick pan or griddle is the best. I like to melt the butter for the recipe in the pan then scrape out with a silicone spatula, leaving just a thin coating in the pan for cooking.
Amount of batter per pancake – I think about a third of cup is reasonably good, but perhaps a half cup if you like ‘em big!
Utensils for flipping – a long thin flat spatula/fish slice is best.
When to turn – Wait until there’s lots of bubbles bursting on the top, and the sides look like they’re cooked before flipping. I would usually cook a pancake at least twice as long on the first side as the second.
The first one is usually a dud – don’t worry if the first one is rubbish, 9 times out of 10 I throw my first one away. This can happen for lots of reason: the pan wasn’t at the right temperature, there was too much butter in the pan, I didn’t get the batter consistency right…
Ultimately, it’s all about practice. The more you make the better they’ll become, and who doesn’t want to eat lots of pancakes?
1.5 cups Plain Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Baking Powder
0.5 tsp Salt
1 Egg, Beaten
3 tbsp Melted Butter
1.25 cups Milk
1. Place the pan on to heat at a medium temperature, add the butter to melt.
2. Measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together, make a well in the middle.
3. Add the egg, butter and 1 cup of the milk.
4. Mix with a balloon whisk until combined.
5. Add the rest of the milk a little at a time until the batter is the right consistency.
6. Add the batter to the pan/griddle making sure there is plenty of space for each pancake (this might mean cooking them one at a time).
7. Turn when the bubbles on the top are bursting regularly and the sides look cooked.
8. Remove from pan after about another 30 seconds and place on a plate (cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm while cooking the rest.
9. Serve with lots and lots of maple syrup!
Other Type of Pancakes
Chocolate Chip: Mix in about 100g of chocolate chips to the batter before cooking. I prefer dark chocolate as a counterpoint to the sweetness of the syrup.
Blueberry: Mix in about two handfuls of fresh blueberries into the batter before cooking.