Hints for Making Pancakes

Making pancakes of any type is fairly simple: mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. But there are a few guidelines that are worth bearing in mind.

Lumps can be okay

Ignore lumps for thick mixtures like Hotcakes but for thin pancake mixtures like Crepes you have to strain the batter or use a blender.

Wait as long as you can

Leaving the batter to stand makes a big difference to the texture. This allows the flour to expand and gives a more tender result. Leave out the rising agents (baking powder and baking soda), pop in the fridge and leave at least 30 min or even overnight for the thicker mixtures (e.g. Hotcakes). Add the rising agent (sifted) just before cooking. This is important as both baking powder and baking soda begin to react as soon as they are wet; if you add the rising agent too soon the resulting pancakes will be flat (as I discovered once to my disappointment).

Moderately hot pan

All pancakes should be cooked on a moderately hot pan. The pan is hot enough when water dropped on it bounces and sputters before disappearing.

Grease the pan

Lightly grease the pan with a thick wad of paper towel dipped in oil or melted butter. If the mixture contains enough melted butter this will be the only time you have to grease the pan; otherwise grease for each batch.

I grease the pan even if using a non-stick pan.

Sweet Pancakes

Certain styles of pancake suite a Sweet Topping:

Crepes – personally I love the simplicity of lemon juice and sugar with a rolled crepe.

Hotcakes, Pikelets, Scotch Pancakes – honey and butter does it for me. But some like the chocolatty flavour of nutella on their pikelets.

Wheat Free Pancakes – gluten-free doesn’t mean flavour free. Any of the sweet toppings will do.

Roti (Malaysian pancakes) – fantastic filled with banana, cooked a bit until the banana melts, then sprinkled with sugar.

Savoury Pancakes

Crepes – serve with a protein packed filling.

Yemenite Pancakes – serve with something spicy

Roti (Malaysian pancakes) – serve with Malaysian Chicken Curry.

Tortilla (Mexican) – chilli plus beans or chicken or meat

Wheat Free Pancakes – use like you would a normal pancake, just don’t expect it to roll nicely.

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