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How to make pancakes - English style!

English style pancakes are commonly known in the rest of the world as

Too many eggs?  Not enough recipes?  Here's a very simple homemade pancake mix which takes minutes to make and is delicious to eat.

No need for a store-bought mix - you really are better off without all those additives.  Fresh eggs from your chickens and organic flour is the way to go - and much less expensive.

A word about pancakes and the UK.

Traditionally, pancakes in England are thin and usually eaten rolled up, dressed with sugar and a squeeze of the juice of a fresh lemon. In the US, they'd probably be called "crêpes" and eaten with a variety of fillings, both sweet and savoury.

I love the English version, though. Even the sight of them makes my mouth water.

'Pancake Tuesday' - also known as 'Shrove Tuesday' - in the UK (and 'Mardi Gras' elsewhere) is the day before Ash Wednesday and traditionally the day when pancakes are eaten at at least one meal. 

Historically this has a religious background - eating all the rich foods before the beginning of 40 days' fasting during Lent.

How easy is it to make English-style pancakes?

When I was young and about to leave home, I'd tell my family "You'll miss my pancakes when I'm gone".  Why?  Because English pancakes are so, so easy to make - they were about the only thing I could cook successfully.

To this day - many years later - I make them every Pancake Tuesday and occasional days in between.  And I am not known for my cooking skills!

That's how easy they are.

This is a very simple recipe I learned from my mother.

English pancakes, known in the rest of the world as crêpes, are traditionally served with sugar and lemon juice.English pancakes - thinner than the US version and served with lemon and sugar.


This is plenty for 4 - 6 pancakes in a 10" pan.

100 grammes (3.5 oz / 0.75 cup) flour

2 fresh eggs

300 mls (0.5 pint / just over 1 cup) milk

A small amount of olive oil

Sugar and lemon juice for topping.

Ingredients for a simple pancake recipe

How to make pancake batter.

  • Measure the flour into a bowl, make a 'well' in the middle and add your eggs and a dash of milk - like this ...
  • No need to beat them first, although you can if you want.  Add a dash of milk into the well.
  • Using a hand whisk and starting at the centre, pull in some flour from the walls of the well, a little at a time, until all the flour is mixed in. 
  • Beat the mix well, adding in the rest of the milk.  Don't over-beat it - it will make the pancakes hard.  When it's done you'll see lots of air bubbles like this.
Pancake batter mix
  • The batter should be left to stand for at least 30 minutes - it's much easier to cook with - and if you want to, you can prepare it several hours in advance and leave it covered with a cloth until you're ready to eat.

How to cook your pancakes.

  • Take a non-stick frying pan (you can buy special pancake pans but I just use my favourite  heavy-duty Le Creuset model) and add about a teaspoon of oil.
  • Heat it on a medium setting, swirling the oil around until it coats the pan.  You can use kitchen towel to make sure it's completely covered and to wipe off any excess oil - otherwise the pancake will be too greasy.
  • Take a ladle of the batter and add it to the heated pan, just enough to cover the bottom.  Don't add too much - English pancakes are traditionally thin.
Cooking a simple pancake recipe
  • Tilt the pan so the bottom is covered with the batter, and depending on how thick your batter is, cook it for between 30 and 45 seconds.
  • If you're brave enough, you can toss it.  If not, just use a non-stick spatula to turn it.  But tossing it is more fun!
  • Cook the second side for a very short time - no more than 30 seconds.  Now slide it out onto a plate.
  • Sprinkle over a teaspoon of sugar, squeeze lemon juice over the top and fold the pancake into an oblong.
English pancakes - thin, with lemon and sugar.


Here are the utensils I use to make my pancakes.

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Want some other scrummy egg recipes?  Try these!

Scrumptious bacon and egg casserole recipe link
Scrummy Spanish omelette recipe - click here.

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