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British Pancakes for Pancake Day

Introduction & method

Virtually every country in the world has its own version of the pancake. This recipe shows you how to make British pancakes, traditionally eaten on Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). British pancakes are thin, with a crispy, lacy edge to them, unlike their thicker and stodgier American cousins. Quick, easy and cheap, they deserve to be eaten more than once a year!

British Pancakes for Pancake Day Recipe

Make the pancake batter

Stir the salt into the flour, add the eggs and whisk them together. Add the milk and water a bit at a time  and whisk until fully incorporated. You should end up with a fairly thin and runny batter. Put it into the fridge to rest for about 15 minutes.

Prepare / assemble the pancake fillings / toppings

While the batter is resting, do whatever is needed for your toppings - if using whole lemons, you'll need to quarter them. If using cheese, it'll need to be grated. If using bacon, that'll need to be fried or grilled. You get the idea.

Ducks in a row

Cooking the pancakes is very quick, so you need to set up a kind of production line. You'll need a pan with some simmering water and a plate on top to keep your growing stack of pancakes warm while you cook more. You need your butter and a knife to cut it next to the frying pan. A few sheets of kitchen paper will be useful in case you need to wipe out the pan. And you'll need a spatula handy to fiddle with the pancakes

Cook the pancakes

Melt a small amount of butter in the frying pan or skillet on medium-high heat. Pour in a small amount of batter, and as you do so, swirl it around the pan so the whole bottom of it is covered. Allow to cook for a minute or so, and when the underside seems set, loosen the edges from the pan with the spatula. Shake the pan a few times, and when the whole pancake moves freely, you can toss it in the air to flip it over. Or you can be boring and turn it with a spatula, but your kids won't admire you for that.

The first pancake of any batch is always, ALWAYS a disaster. Don't worry, look upon it as a cook's perk, you can nibble on it while you cook the real pancakes.

As you cook your pancakes, slide them onto the hot plate over the simmering water to keep them warm.

To serve the pancakes

I usually put all of the topping ingredients on the table, bring the stack of pancakes, and let people build their own.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of British Pancakes for Pancake Day on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 110 grams plain white (all-purpose) flour
 200 ml milk
 75 ml water
 3 medium eggs
 50 grams unsalted butter


You can top your pancakes with whatever you want. A sprinkle of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice is traditional. Things like golden syrup, Nutella and dulce de leche work brilliantly. But they can also have savoury toppings. Chopped ham and grated cheese are good, as are fried bacon and maple syrup. Use your imagination, basically!

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 12 pancakes in a 18cm (7 inch) pan
Prep time: 5 minutes.
resting time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes.