Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. Soft, fluffy, filling, versatile. I’ve been known to judge hotel buffets and diners based on their supply (or lack thereof) of the little cakes from a pan.
The most common recipes used throughout Ireland are reserved for Pancake Tuesday. We don’t tend to associate this recipe with breakfast time either, sadly. This aforementioned recipe commonly result in big, thick and soggy crêpes, which was something I could never get accustomed to, so for me, American pancakes win every time.
I blame Colorado for this doting affair. Living in Denver as a child, I remember long leisurely drives up the winding roads of the Rocky Mountains, stopping at a diner in the very quaint town of Silver Plume, a former mining camp. I would order pancakes with maple syrup every single time we stopped by, to the point where the guy at the diner didn’t need to ask anymore. That was dedication.
In order to chase those mountain memories, I tried a few recipes over the years. To my despair, they either flopped or they just plain didn’t taste right. Where’s the need for baking powder? Is buttermilk really a necessity? I longed for the holy grail of pancake recipes. One that I could memorise and feel smug about, one I could whisper into someones ear on my deathbed, as if it was the only pancake recipe worth making.
It wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Those Americans don’t realise how good they have it, I thought.
Sad times they were indeed.
Until last Tuesday!
I tried out the BBC’s take on an American Pancake Recipe, for Pancake Tuesday, naturally. And it does not disappoint. It’s not just a winner in taste and simplicity, but it takes me right back to all my memories of Denver, sixteen years on.
I’m sure many of you have a great pancake recipe under your belt but if you want to try this easy recipe below, the pancakes will turn out perfectly in terms of texture, size and taste. Perfect for the weekend.
Your regular go-to pancake recipe won’t mind the affair….they’ll understand.
Makes 6 pancakes
- 135g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp caster sugar (Please ignore my stolen sugar sachets. I knew they’d come in handy one of these days!)
- 130ml milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp melted butter (cooled slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
Sieve flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl
Whisk the milk and egg together until smooth (or there’s no yolk floating on the top!) Melt the tablespoons of butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave, allow to cool slightly and whisk it in with the egg and milk mixture.
Dump the whisked mixture right on top of your dry ingredients and whisk with a fork for about 60-90 seconds until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
Put a pan on medium heat and use butter/oil. If you use butter, it will stay in the middle but smokes and you’ll have to wash the pan between pancakes. If you use oil, although it has a tendency to swim around the pan, it’s easier to work with. Use half a ladle of mixture each time. It won’t seem like much, but once you blob it on the pan (which can be tricky enough as it’s such a thick, sticky mixture) it’s easy to spread out with a spatula to the desired size and shape.
When the pancake starts to bubble, flip it over and cook the other side. They take no time at all, so keep watch, or they’ll end up a little too brown. Serve with bacon, maple syrup, honey, yoghurt, fruit, Nutella, peanut butter..whatever you feel like! Don’t forget the coffee. Or mimosas.
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