According to most food historians, the earliest pancake-like dish, known as Alita Dolcia ("another sweet" in Latin), was made by Romans in the 1st century from milk, flour, egg, and spices. Since then it has become a popular dish across the world, with different countries adding their own touch to create the perfect pancake.
Here in the UK we're used to the thin crepe-style pancake, although the thicker American-style pancake is becoming increasingly popular.
The difference between the two types is raising agent. That and the lack of a flip! Traditional British pancakes are intentionally thin and don't use anything to make them rise.
Here's our foolproof recipe to make the most thin, tasty and positively flippable pancakes from Mark Little, Head Chef at Blandy's restaurant at Inglewood in Berkshire.
- 125g sieved plain flour
- 2 large eggs
- 300ml full-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon of honey or golden syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ a vanilla pod
- Add the vanilla pod, honey/golden syrup and eggs to a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl.
- Add 100ml of milk to the bowl and whisk all the ingredients together.
- Once smooth, gradually add the remaining milk and continue to whisk.
Note: Getting the batter smooth before adding the rest of the milk is the key to making your pancakes light and thin.
- Heat up a non-stick frying pan and spray with oil spray for an even coating.
- Let the pan heat up a little more, lift the pan and add the batter with a ladle, swirling the pan to thinly coat the base of the pan with batter.
- Return the pan to the heat and cook for 1-1½ minutes, at which time you can then flip your pancake. Give the edge a lift first and if any part of the pancake seems to stick, fry it for a little longer. When you are ready to flip your pancake, it should glide easily as you move the pan.
- You can try the fun way, flipping the pancake in the air, or use a spatula.
- Cook for a further 1-1½ minutes, then turn out onto a plate.
- Repeat this process until all the batter is used.
There is so much you can do... The classic British pancake is sprinkled with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Another popular favourite is Nutella with strawberries!
Some of the most popular serving suggestions include maple syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, egg muffin, fresh berries, banana slices, and blueberries with yoghurt.
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