The plain ol’ pancake has always perplexed me. Which recipe should I use? Should it be fluffy or thin? What the heck is a crepe? How hot should I have the element? What about the pan?!!! Well have no fear, I am here to help …
Pancakes have been around hundreds of years; and according to Wikipedia, evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies.
In Britain a pancake is often thin, is referred to as a “crepe” and has more eggs in it. In America, a rising agent is added to make it fluffy. Here in New Zealand (and in Australia!), small pancakes are known as ‘pikelets”.
Pancakes are often served with sweet toppings such as fruit, syrups, cream and lemon juice; and Crepes served with both sweet AND savoury toppings. If you haven’t tried a melted cheese and bacon filled Crepe, then you NEED TO!
This post is all about perfecting the pancake. Below are four tips and two recipes – all you need in one place!
1. Mixing The Batter
When you mix your batter together, one of the keys is to NOT over-mix it. If you see lumps in it, you might be tempted to keep mixing but DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
As you mix the batter together, gluten starts to develop; so the more you mix the batter, the more the gluten continues to develop. What happens then is the batter can become overworked, and will result in tough chewy pancakes; instead of light fluffy ones.
For crepes – your batter will be MUCH thinner. Don’t stress though! This is because there is more liquid in it.
2. Resting The Batter
Once you’ve mixed your batter, it’s easy to want to pour that sucker out and start cooking. However you do need to be patient. Resting the batter might seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s a crucial one!
When you rest your batter, ideally from 5-30 minutes (depending on the recipe), it allows any activated gluten (from the mixing) to rest and relax. Meaning that the batter will get a thicker consistency, and ensure the pancake is fluffy and soft.
3. The Pan
In my person opinion, the pan is key to cooking the perfect pancake. You can add a million amazing ingredients, yet burn it in the pan and ruin it. I have used MANY pans over the years, and even tried a toasted-sandwich press to perfect it … so I feel I have enough experience to comment on this.
Recently I got sent the Sunbeam DuraCeramic , and began experimenting with it. I haven’t had much luck with ceramic pans in the past, so I’m not going to lie: I was extremely skeptical of this product.
However I believe I have put it through it’s paces. I have cooked pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages and a whole range of other food items in here.
It heats up quickly, because it’s got it’s own element within it. The base is curved, making it super easy to flip pancakes, and from research can see that because it’s got a lid, can be converted to a small oven. So if you needed to cook anything extra, and oven space is limited, you can add it in here.
The Sunbeam DuraCeramic has a higher scratch resistant surface, and is four times more durable than non-stick coatings. The ceramic based coating is stain resistant and free from PTFE and PFOA chemicals.
One of the things in the past, with ceramic pans, is that I notice they start going black, and scratch easily. So far I haven’t come across this – which I am very pleased about.
4. Cooking The Pancake
Cooking the pancake, in the right pan, definitely has an art to it. The temperature needs to be perfect. The pan surface has to be magical, and the wind needs to be blowing in the right direction.
Heat your pan up to a medium heat – if you heat the pan up too much, your pancakes will cook unevenly; and burn.
Once you’ve added a tablespoon (or more) of batter, let the pancake cook. You might be tempted to flip once the bubbles start to appear, however give it another minute.
For a crepe, the idea is to pour a small amount, and then tilt the pan to spread it out.
You should only need to flip the pancake once, during cooking (as long as you didn’t flip them too soon). If you flip pancakes too many times, it can cause them to deflate (if you want the fluffy ones!).
That’s right – I have a Sunbeam DuraCeramic (valued at $139.99) to give away to one of you! To be in to win, all you have to do is:
- COMMENT below telling me if you want it or not!
- LIKE Happy Mum Happy Child on Facebook
FOR EXTRA ENTRIES: Be sure to LIKE + COMMENT on this Facebook post (or the one that brought you here). Tagging friends (on each new line) will get you extra entries as well, but is not mandatory.
Giveaway open to NZers only. Normal T&C’s apply. Closes 9th December 2016.
Thanks so much to Sunbeam DuraCeramic for making this post possible, and restoring my faith in ceramic surfaces.