Recipe: wholemeal pancakes

Just ahead of pancake day, here is my go-to recipe for dreamy, thin, crepe style pancakes. For me they don’t come better than this, and are absolutely perfect with a little sprinkle of sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or with a slathering of Nutella and some soft banana slices.

I always make my pancakes partly with wholemeal flour (the same Letheringsett kind that I usually bake with), as I enjoy the nutty flavour and extra bite, but if you’re not that way inclined then feel free to use all white flour. I don’t normally go for 100% wholemeal pancake, as I like that the white flour keeps the batter not too heavy.

My top tip when making pancakes is to get the oil so hot that it’s almost smoking. That way you’re going to get really lovely crispy edges. In my house this is when I usually set the smoke alarm off, and have to run round opening all my doors and windows! I also recommend using a mug or ladle to pour out uniform amounts or batter each time, or you may find that you have quite a variation in thickness and here we’re aiming for the really thin kind.

Wholemeal pancakes

  • 50g wholemeal plain flour
  • 50g white plain flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • ½ pint milk (about 280ml)
  • A little sunflower oil for frying

Mix together the egg and milk, and whisk until frothy.

Weigh out the flour into a bowl and slowly pour in the liquid, whisking all the while to avoid lumps forming. Give it a really good mix until you think your arm is going to fall off, and then cover the bowl and put the batter in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour, or even better, overnight.

When you’re ready to make pancakes, take the batter out and beat the mixture lightly again – it’s totally ok that it will separate in the fridge and look a bit grey and watery, it will come back together with a bit of a stir.

Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan on the stove. Pour in a little oil and leave it until you can see the the edges start to smoke. If you don’t feel that brave, you can test whether the surface is hot enough by trickling a few droplets of batter into the pan and observing what happens. You’re looking for it to start crisping up right away. Ladle out a portion of batter and quickly tip the pan to make sure that the surface is thinly coated evenly.

Fry each pancake for about a minute on each side. You can do some fancy showman flipping if you like, but I always use a spatula because I think it’s much more reliable. Anything that poses the risk of my food going on the floor is a no-no in my book.

Serve straight away, piping hot, with your choice of toppings, or if you’re me, with simple old lemon juice and sugar.

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