Pancakes can be a delicious treat. You can have them for breakfast or even as a dessert after dinner. But how do you make them? You might be used to visiting your local diner, or perhaps having them made for you by someone else. That’s all well and good, but what if you want to make your own pancakes? The reality is that they’re actually really simple and easy to make. But if you don’t know how, where do you start?
If you want to know how to make pancakes quickly and easily, as well as a bit more about pancakes in general—then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to show you. Pancakes aren’t just easy to make, they also have super-simple ingredients that you probably have in your home most of the time. That means you can whip them up in no time without too much trouble, no matter when you want them. They’re also really affordable, and a great way to fill yourself up without breaking the bank.
There are actually two different types of pancakes, American and European. If you’re used to one sort, you might be surprised when you order a pancake somewhere and get something completely different. In this article, we’re also going to look at the main differences between European and American pancakes, so you know what to look out for, and when to order what (as well as how to make each of them at home).
The difference between European and American pancakes
Some people refer to European pancakes as English pancakes, as they’re commonplace there. If you order pancakes or have them on pancake day, they’ll be this sort of pancakes. However, they aren’t actually English, they’re French. That’s why some people refer to them as European pancakes, but they’re a lot different to what you might find in American diners and restaurants (and homes). But what are the differences?
They’re actually made with very similar ingredients except European pancakes use plain flour instead of the self-raising flour that is used in American pancakes. You might think this slight difference doesn’t change much overall, but it really does. English or European pancakes end up being much thinner and crispier. They tend to have much less definition to their shape and can come in lots of irregular shapes and sizes.
Alternatively, the self-raiding flour in American pancakes creates a much thicker finish which is fluffy inside. These pancakes are normally smaller in size and more rounded and consistent in form. English or European pancakes are actually called crepes in France, which is where they’re originally from. Except French crepes might be even thinner than regular European pancakes, and can sometimes be cooked on a special crepe iron.
How to make English pancakes
Now you know the difference between American and English/European pancakes, you might want to make some. That’s what you’re here for, after all. So how do you make English or European pancakes? Let’s have a look…
Start by gathering your ingredients. This is for enough pancake mix to make about 4 pancakes, although this can vary depending on how much you put into the pan. The great thing about pancakes like this is that they use super-simple ingredients. That makes them a good store-cupboard treat for a rainy day, rather than something you have to go and explore the supermarket for.
For the pancake mix, put 200g of flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Into this well, pour in 250ml of milk and 2 whisked eggs. Whisk the entire mixture until there is a smooth batter mix, and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil before whisking some more.
If you haven’t got a crepe iron, you can use a standard large frying pan for the next step. Lightly grease or oil the pan, but not too much. Heat the pan on medium for a couple of minutes. A non-stick pan works better when trying to make pancakes. You don’t want it to stick!
Ladle in around a quarter of the batter. No more than a ladle’s worth if you mad more batter. Let the batter run to the edges and swirl slightly to make a circle and so it is spread evenly.
Cook four about 40 seconds, and use a spatula to check the underside has gone golden brown. When it has, carefully flip or turn the pancake so that you can cook the other side for a similar amount of time. You can then transfer to a plate and eat, or keep them warm while you cook the other pancakes.
It’s at this point where things get much more fun, as you can be creative and choose the toppings you want to serve with your pancake. Wrap them up for an even better finish and taste. A classic combo is brown sugar with lemon juice and golden syrup. You can also add banana or ice cream, or anything you want really.
How to make American pancakes
To make American pancakes, the process is similar but varies slightly. You can either use self-raising flour or a plain flour and baking soda (1 tbsp) mix to get the same effect. Sieve about 200g of this into a bowl and then add a tablespoon of sugar and a bit of salt. Make a well, and pour in 200ml of milk, 1 egg and 25g of melted butter. Blend until the mix is smooth.
Heat a frying pan on medium after greasing it with a bit more butter and some vegetable oil. Get the pan hot and then ladle in a ladle’s worth of batter. Cook on one side until lots of bubbles appear on the surface then flip it. Should be about a minute or two on either side. Then you can cook another ladle’s worth and keep stacking these up.
You can serve American pancakes with syrup as well. Some people enjoy them with bacon or other savoury mixes. Get creative.