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Pancakes essentials

Bread baking essentials
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Everyone has their favourite version of pancakes — whether thick or thin, sweet or savoury, sprinkled in sugar or topped with tasty vegetables... the possibilities are endless.

YOUR SAY: Do you have any favourite pancake recipes? Share them below!

Not only are they versatile, but also cheap and quick to make, so ensure you're equipped with all the right skills by following these simple tips to cooking the perfect pancakes.

The more the merrier

Make a big batch of pancakes and freeze them for a later date. Simply layer them between sheets of greaseproof paper and place in resealable plastic bags. Label, date and freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, place them in the fridge for about 2 hours, then preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan. Remove stacks from plastic bags and wrap in foil. Place stacks on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until heated through. You can also reheat pancakes on a plate, covered with foil, over a pan of simmering water.

Useful utensils

Tools for cooking the perfect pancakes are minimal but important. You'll need:

  • a whisk for the batter
  • a good non-stick or seasoned frying pan
  • a silicone brush to grease the pan between each batch (non silicone ones will leave burnt fibres in the pan)
  • a large silicone spatula to help you flip pancakes without scratching the pan

Best batter

"Pouring" batters are used to make crepes. They have the same consistency as thin cream and contain no raising agents. "Drop" batters are used to make pancakes, pikelets and blinis, and contain a raising agent such as baking powder.

More ideas for crepes…

In its most basic form, crepe batter consists of flour, butter, milk and eggs, but you can vary them in many ways:

  • Substitute half the milk with soda water or beer, or add a tablespoon or two of cognac, Grand Marnier, vanilla extract, cocoa powder or whatever other flavouring you like.
  • Use another type of flour, such as buckwheat, cornmeal or wholemeal, to alter the texture and colour.
  • Swap full-cream milk with skim or light milk. The flavour will not be as rich.
  • Butter adds tenderness, flavour and moistness, but you can use oil instead.
  • Fill them with leftovers, meat, seafood, cheese or sauteed vegies for a tasty, healthy meal.
Pan preparation

To season your pan, half fill it with oil and heat very gently. Keep on a low heat for at least 30 minutes. Remove from heat and leave the oil to soak the pan overnight. Pour off oil and wipe pan with a paper towel. After each use, dry pan over a gentle heat and brush with a little oil.

Eggs-periment

Eggs help to give crepes and pancakes their enticing melt-in-the-mouth delicacy. This is why three eggs are used in a proper French crepe batter and less are often used for the everyday breakfast pancake. But feel free to experiment by adding an extra egg or two to the batter and reducing the amount of milk or water used, if necessary.

Top toppings

Pancakes are delicious with lemon curd, nutella, pan fried apple, maple or golden syrup, banana and honey butter.

Check out our pancake favourites

YOUR SAY: Do you have any favourite pancake recipes? Share them below!

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