Sunday, 19 February 2012


... I've been invited to join BBC Lincolnshire and Humberside Radio presenter James Hoggarth on his new daytime show on Tuesday to celebrate Shrove Tuesday... or Pancake Day as it has lovingly become known here in the UK... they're going to set-up a special sound booth in the radio station kitchen so that I can make the pancakes live on air... yes, you will be able to tune in to hear me toss... and maybe toss along with me!

... to make sure I don't make a total fool of myself I thought I ought to have a little practice and share with you my learnings... and much like my little omelet tutorial here's how to make the perfect pancake...

1. give yourself plenty of time... this may seem crazy but these 12 pancakes took me nearly an hour to make... I did it nice a slowly so that there would be no mess or mistakes and after the first few I did speed up quite considerably

2. do yourself a favour and buy a decent frying pan... if you read my omelet tutorial and took anything away from it you would have sorted this out by now

3. get the oven on... it's impossible to make 12 pancakes and serve them all at the same time unless you have 12 pans and 12 hobs, which I assume you don't... so you'll need the oven on a low heat to keep everything nice and warm

4. have a strong wrist... there's a lot of times during this pancake making that the pan is hovering in the air need to become the ultimate triumvirate of hob, pan and arm... the hob and pan are your friends... go gently gently... if everything is getting too hot, don't turn down the heat, take the pan off the hob... its all in the wrist... see below...

these are your standard common or garden thin 'crepe' style plan pancakes that can be either served sweet or savoury and the applications are endless although the classic sugar and lemon and perhaps a squidge of golden syrup is my ultimate delivery.

110g plain flour
2 large eggs
200ml milk
75ml water
a large knob of melted butter
a little salt

- sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, break in the eggs and begin to gently whisk it together adding the milk a little at a time - don't worry about any lumps they will go...

- melt the butter in the microwave and set aside

- pour this mixture into a jug with a handle so you have control over pouring it into the pan

OK... here comes the method... pay attention in the back...

- place the pan on a medium to high heat... only YOU now your hob.... its what I call a gentle hotness

- once the pan is nice and hot take it off the heat but hold it up as you place a small knob of butter into the pan and swish the butter to coat it...

- quickly pour enough mixture into the pan to coat the bottom, it's roughy 2 tablespoons but you're not using tablespoons so use your eye and brain instead...

- now, again, NOT on the heat, just above it, swish the pan around until the pancake mix is evenly coated on the bottom and the mix starts to thicken, eventually there will be no more movement from the mixture and its at this point that you place the pan back on the hob

- gently fry the pancake, using a small pallet knife to test the golden colour before you toss... i'd say roughy 3 minutes per side...

- tossing is easy (oy vey!!) - make sure the pancake is loose in the pan and then shimmy it to the far edge... with a supple wrist simple flick the pan so that the pancake turns... don't be dramatic, it doesn't need to fly through the air!

- fry again on this side and then slide the pancake onto your oven dish

and that's it!... every one was a success for me today and hopefully i'll be able to pull it off on Tuesday live in the 4pm if anyone wants to listen... we served ours today as breakfast stuffed with sauted mushrooms, followed by some with lemon and sugar... divine!

eat and of course, enjoy!



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