Saturday, February 19, 2011


My kids know that Saturday morning means one thing, and one thing only: pancakes! They can choose between crepes (pancakes) or these classic American pancakes which we call "hotcakes". They differ from the English drop scones that I grew up with which are slightly floppier and more rubbery. The combination of buttermilk instead of milk, oil instead of butter and a dash of cornflour makes these so light and airy they could float off by themselves.

Toppings depend on the person. For me it has to be Vermont maple syrup, salty butter and if available hickory smoked American style (streaky) bacon fried till crisp. And they have to be stacked up. My children love strawberry jam or Nutella as well.

These are great to serve for a brunch for friends, or even for a quick easy afternoon tea. I put a clean napkin or tea towel on a plate and cover them in it as soon as they come off the frying pan to keep them soft and warm. They will hold happily like this for about 15 minutes or more. But really they are at their prime steaming off the pan.

If you have any left over you can freeze them or keep in an airtight bag for a couple of days. When you want to eat them just pop them into the toaster on low to reheat.

I got the idea for making a big batch of dry mix from the wonderful Food to Live By by the founder of Earthbound Organic Farms, Myra Goodman. It is a great idea, as then making pancakes can be virtually done in your sleep with minimal measuring!


7 cups white plain flour
2 cups finely milled brown flour
1 cup cornflour
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp baking powder

Mix all dry ingredients up in a BIG bowl. Store in a glass jar. Make sure to label it!!

Then next time you want pancakes the ratios are:
1 cup pancake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter milk (if you can't get it then just ordinary milk, don't add yogurt as this makes them a bit solid!)
2 tbsp sunflower oil (canola oil)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
This makes 6 pancakes (enough for 2 people). For more, just increase quantities according to this ratio.

Put a frying pan on a reasonably high heat, put in about a tablespoon of sunflower oil and then wipe it over the bottom with a paper towel.

Get a napkin or tea towel out and pop it onto a plate ready to receive the freshly cooked hotcakes.

Measure the dry mix in a bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix up briefly with a balloon whisk - do not over mix.

When the pan is fully heated (test by wetting your fingers and flicking the droplets of water onto the hot pan. If it is hot enough they will jump and fizz).

Using a serving spoon put 4 dollops of mix onto the hot pan (about 3 inches) diameter. When they start to bubble (about 2 mins), turn them over with a spatula and cook for about a minute on the other side, until light golden.  Pop them straight into the waiting napkin to keep warm.

Serve with love to your adoring fans.

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