The Perfectionist’s Pancakes

For several years, I have risen early on a Saturday morning.  I have risen to make pancakes.  I have experimented with many formulas and recipes, but feel that I have finally created a simple and healthy recipe for a pancake which would satisfy the discerning perfectionist.  It has a moist, almost juicy texture – and it is slightly sweet, but not diabetes inducing.  It is hearty but not fatty – it does not clog your heart with melted butter. It is not a crepe, but perhaps its healthy cousin.  For accuracy you must weigh your ingredients, as digital kitchen scales are now inexpensive – you no longer have any excuse to make freehand errors in recipe amounts.


Some of the key imperfections in pancakes are lumps – my countermeasure is to utilize the blade on a magimix to eliminate any chance of lumps.  I’ve been using these for 20 years, they cannot be faulted for lumpless sauces.  In the UK and certain other places the flour might not be as fine – I suggest using Italian “00” or French Type 45 flour.  I assemble my pancakes batter in the following order 20 minutes prior to the cooking the first pancake on a medium high gas flame, in a 28cm Tefal non-stick frying pan with about one quarter teaspoon of groundnut oil.  I use the latter because it is flavourless, and performs well without burning at high temperatures.

White Horse Pancakes recipe:

225g Type 45 flour (from Shipton Mill)

500g Full fat organic milk

2 Medium free-range chicken eggs (organic eggs often give a good colour to the pancake)

1 teaspoon soft brown cane sugar

Pinch of unrefined sea salt (Sel de Guerande)

Half-a-capful of Nielsen Massey vanilla essence

The method is very simple.  Put all the ingredients in the magimix with the metal blade, and mix for 1 minute.  Pour into a 2 litre glass pyrex bowl.  Now rest the batter for 20 minutes.  This gives the flour particles a chance to swell with milk.  Use a two ounce ladel (holds 60mL) filled to the brim to measure the pancake mix into your hot oiled pan (nearly smoking).  Rotating the pan in a circular motion with your wrist as you pour the batter in to the pan.  After about 1 minute, jerk the pan back and forth to release the pancake (or use a silicone spatula).  When done to perfection put the pancake on a plate lined with kitchen roll.  Continue until you have built a stack.

All utensils except the frying pan will go in the dishwasher, although the magimix plastics last much less long in that case.  I use only two toppings: maple syrup, or light brown sugar and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Unused batter can be stored in the fridge for 24/48h.  If time is of the essence, get two pans going at once about 90 seconds between pancake pours. Let me know how you get on!


About jonnyr9

I'm an enthusiastic amateur "scientific" cook and baker, and former scientist, and I like to bring scientific thinking to my cooking: thinking about what might be happening at a chemical or biological level during food preparation (including its growth, and preservation), and applying exact methods of mass and volume to core recipes, before varying them. I use an accurate weighing scale (to 0.1g). I like growing my own herbs, constructing my own raised beds, and constructing my own wood-fired pizza oven. I bring a certain level of OCD to the kitchen, and therefore my baking includes sourdough, and my pizza-making includes "reference" to the protected specifications for true pizza. If I can source "the right" ingredients for a dish, I will at almost any length (within reason) - before I find an equivalent in-country supplier. Therefore - if you've never eaten Lancashire cheese bought at Bury market near Manchester - you've never eaten Lancashire cheese. I'm going to try to include links to the same products I use in my blog, so my readers don't end up using sub-standard alternatives - "experimental replication" is key to scientific cooking. I was born in the North of England, but I live in the South, though I would prefer to live on an island in the Ionian Sea.
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