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How to cook the perfect pancake - MW


With the hot cross cakes on sale on the shelves, and the pies chopped for sure for a few more months, plum pudding and pancakes are the only two foods I can think of combining. water for a day. While those who are more subtle claim to find Christmas too heavy, I have yet to meet anyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, who has avoided a Tuesday Shriver party. Why we dare not throw them away at Easter, or on the beautiful mornings of September, is a mystery to me.

Pancakes are a remarkable versatile food: French pancakes, Indian dosas, same Ethiopian food, all under the same interesting banner. As Ken Albala, author of a comprehensive and comprehensive story, one of the starchy dishes is cooked in a small amount of fat on a flat surface. But in the UK, as any student knows, modern pancakes come from people who were specially designed to use fat before the start of Lent, which means they tend to be heavy. more on eggs and butter than, for example, the smooth American husband or the squatting Russian blini.


Pancakes Elizabeth
Interestingly, the oldest pancake recipe we know of comes from an English cookbook - Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchen (version 1594) - but it is even richer than reincarnation. Modern: a pint of Creame Thicke Creame, 5 egg yolks, A small number of fine flowers and 2 or 3 tablespoons, impregnated with large quantities of sugar, cinnamon and ginger.

Albala assured me that the result was a horrible mess with these ratios (one could only imagine that the author was reckless or had big hands), but once I added enough flour to make one more achievable consistency, I managed to create a pie, of all kinds, from the mix. It is very rich, it is very rich, but it cannot be turned over, which is obviously not good at all: delicious, but more than one that pursues a roast peacock and a cup of bags more one for the kitchen. modern.

Pancakes
The 17th century ushered in a more sober flavor - Gervase Markham's Formula 1615 uses two eggs, a decent amount of faire juice, clove juice, mace, cinnamon and nutmeg, all made with together. wheat flower. (No one can accuse these old-school food writers as prescribers.) Leaving aside, they do pretty dull things; rubber and heavy. Cream may be taken too far, but milk is a must.

Butter batter?
Food writer Telegraph Xanthe Clay uses melted butter in his flour to compensate for any loss of flavor by cooking them in vegetable oil. BBC Good Food, meanwhile, adds some vegetable oil. The first one gives a better pancake, but since I quite like the chestnut flavor of brown butter, and the slight crunchiness of the dough (all of which is better for a crunchy layer of sugar and lemon juice) I decided not to include. However, I took a tip from Xanthe, using an extra yolk to give the pancakes a rich flavor without the slight toughness that egg whites create.

Standing or delivery?
Resting dough, like soaking rice, or washing mushrooms, is one of the ideas I've always lazy to choose to ignore - after all, what kind of busy executives have time to make their pancakes mix. half an hour before they plan to eat? Gordon Ramsay said that there was, immediately, no need, Nigel Slater and Hugh Fearnley-Whmitstall disagreed: and suddenly the idea seemed almost appealing (even if Nigel didn't insist on calling them. is crêpes).

Standing or delivery?
Resting dough, like soaking rice, or washing mushrooms, is one of the ideas I've always lazy to choose to ignore - after all, what kind of busy executives have time to make their pancakes mix. half an hour before they plan to eat? Gordon Ramsay said that there was, immediately, no need, Nigel Slater and Hugh Fearnley-Whmitstall disagreed: and suddenly the idea seemed almost appealing (even if Nigel didn't insist on calling them. is crêpes).

I form two batches of the dough and allow one person to sit for 30 minutes while I do and swallow the other. The first batch was not a disaster, but the second was more explicit in texture - Hugh suggested this because the starch had more time to absorb the liquid and air bubbles to disperse.

Heat
Although Hugh and Good Food magazine advises making pancakes at a moderate temperature, I prefer to follow Professor Peter Barham, physicist and advisor to Heston Blumenthal, in making hot pans, because I like bread Thin and crunchy - you can turn it down before cooking if you prefer a softer finish. Sprinkle the dough as thinly as possible for delicate edges - and consider the first pie as an experiment; It often has problems, it's a good excuse to treat it as a cooking dish. When Nigel wisely observes, you can argue that the perfect crêpe is always the first among hot wolves and hissing from a pan, squeezing lemon and a thick layer of sugar - this is not a pancake. fit your eyes and eyes. "

Leaving aside, these are also wrapped around a piece of creamy seafood seafood, stuffed with spinach and ricotta and gratinated - or, if you must, mixed with cream and chocolate sauce. I even heard the whisper that the sky will fall in the fall if you do them tonight, as well as next Tuesday.

Perfect pancakes


Makes about 8

125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
225ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
Small knob of butter

1. Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, and pour the egg and the yolk into it. Mix the milk with 2 tbsp water and then pour a little in with the egg and beat together.

2. Whisk the flour into the liquid ingredients, drawing it gradually into the middle until you have a smooth paste the consistency of double cream. Whisk the rest of the milk in until the batter is more like single cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

3. Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium-high heat – you only need enough fat to just grease the bottom of the pan. It should be hot enough that the batter sizzles when it hits it.

4. Spread a small ladleful of batter across the bottom of the pan, quickly swirling to coat. Tip any excess away. When it begins to set, loosen the edges with a thin spatula or palette knife, and when it begins to colour on the bottom, flip it over with the same instrument and cook for another 30 seconds. (If you’re feeling cocky, you can also toss the pancake after loosening it: grasp the handle firmly with both hands, then jerk the pan up and slightly towards you.)

5. Pancakes are best eaten as soon as possible, before they go rubbery, but if you’re cooking for a crowd, keep them separate until you’re ready to serve by layering them up between pieces of kitchen roll.

Why don’t we eat more pancakes in this country – and which recipes are good enough to change our minds? What are your favourite toppings, and do you have any top tips for foolproof flipping?

MW

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