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Top tips for perfect pancakes!



So, how do you make pancakes? There are tons of pancake recipes out there; from the flimsy European crepe, to the big fluffy American pancakes (or buttermilk pancakes). Making pancakes, the seemingly simple task that is reputed to be fraught with danger! Here’s my top tips to help make pancakes from scratch.

Tip 1: Takes a Beating
Don’t over mix it; having a few lumps in your pancake batter is OK. If you over-work the batter the gluten will go into overdrive and you’ll get rubbery pancakes. And if you are making American fluffy style pancakes; once you’ve mixed in your baking powder don’t stir as it will knock out the air bubbles resulting in a flatter pancake.

Tip 2: Flipping ‘eck..
Flipping pancakes is synonymous with the whole making pancakes experience – but do yourself a favour and use a spatula. Cooking fats will fly everywhere, the pancake will only flip half way turning into a mess. Instead, gracefully slide your spatula underneath and flip over in the pan.

Tip 3: Take One For The Team
I don’t know why but the first pancake is almost always is the worst. It sticks, it doesn’t cook right, basically, it flops.. I have no idea to the science behind this but chalk it up to mysterious superstition – let the first pancake take one for the team, the rest will be great.

Tip 4: To Butter or Not To Butter?
I’ve never found cooking pancakes in just butter very good. The butter burns, the pancakes taste charred. I recommend using a tablespoon of butter and oil. Add both to your pan, once hot, pour the excess into a cup and add to the pan as you cook more pancakes.

Tip 5: Mix Things Up
Don’t. Make your pancakes plain and then add your toppings or flavourings afterwards. Mixing in berries, chocolate, cheese, whatever is taking your fancy disrupts the pancakes cooking evenly. Think: cook, top, eat. Not: mix, cook, eat.

Tip 6: Make ’em and Stack ’em
There is nothing worse than feeling like a conveyor belt of pancake making. The thing is; it is quicker to eat a pancake than it is to cook, or at least in our house it is. So turn on your oven to 80C, start piling up your pancakes on a plate, keep covered in foil in the oven. Once you’ve used up your batter – bring them to the table.

Tip 7: Be Prepared
You can make, almost, all of your batter in advance. If you’re making thin crepes simply make your batter the night before or in the morning and you’re good to go. If you are making the American style pancakes with baking powder in – make the batter in advance and mix through the baking powder just before cooking.

Tip 8: Less is Not More
Make lots, I mean tons. You’ll always end up eating more than you thought.

Tip 9: Bubbles
Once you’ve started frying your pancakes; when you see the top start to turn opaque and bubbles are forming you are good to flip.

Tip 10: Shake It Up
If you are making American style pancakes; pour them in the pan and don’t touch! You want them thick and fluffy. If you decide crepes are more your thing this pancake day; thin is the way to go. Pour in your batter and tilt the frying pan around to spread it out.

Enjoy your pancake day meal and feel free to check out my other pancake recipes on Theocooks.com!

About the author

Theo Michael’s cooking first came to light during Masterchef 2014 when he reached the heats of the semi-finals and started to gain recognition as championing modern Greek cooking. Besides Masterchef, Theo has appeared on BBC Breakfast News, Sky TV and The Food Networks, The Big Eat with Lisa Faulkner and Matt Tebbut. He's has also published several cookbooks. www.theocooks.com

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