My usual breakfast is a bowl of Tesco Value Cornflakes, drowned in about a pint of milk. I think the flakes are made by collecting the dust which falls from the overalls of the factory workers and squishing it together with a bit of glue. But at 31p for a big box that lasts me a week, I can't really complain about their relative lack of quality.
This morning I thought it'd be nice to have something a little less dull.
Pancakes are ace. Everyone KNOWS this to be true, and yet most people in this country still insist on eating them just once a year. This is one area where Americans are better than us. They understand that pancakes are not just for using up the flour, sugar and eggs before lent. Pancakes can, and should, be eaten whenever the mood takes us.
Quick. Cheap. Tasty. What's not to love?
Here's a recipe which my mum gave me, for Scotch pancakes. I don't know where she got it from originally, I just remember it being scrawled on a Post-It note in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. It's probably the exact same recipe as everyone else already uses, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway.
9oz self raising flour
2oz caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients, apart from the milk, in a big bowl, like this:
Now, add a bit of milk. Not too much. You want the batter to be quite thick, so take it easy. A little splash, then do some whisking. Like this:
You're aiming for a batter which is thick enough to drop off the end of the whisk slowly, but which does drop off. Like this:
The bottle of wine in the background is for when you add too much milk and need to drown your sorrows.
Once the batter is the right consistency (or it's the wrong consistency, but you're drunk enough that you don't care) you're ready to make the pancakes.
I use our Cuisinart sandwich press/contact grill/cook everything thing, heated to 180 degrees centigrade. If you haven't got something like that, just heat up a big non-stick frying pan with a good flat area. Don't use a wok. That would be silly.
Pour the batter onto whatever hot thing you're using. A blob about 6cm across will spread out to make a good size pancake:
Leave them on the hot thing until bubbles start appearing and popping on the surface of the pancakes:
Once those bubbles are there it's time to flip them over. They ought to look something like this:
You should have enough batter to make about 12-14 pancakes. Depending on how gluttonous you are this will serve anywhere between one and four people.
Once all the pancakes are cooked pile them on a plate while you cook some bacon.
Stack the pancakes on top of one another, with the bacon sandwiched between them. Pour some (lots of) maple syrup over the top. If you're feeling particularly healthy, as I was this morning, maybe pop a little bit of butter on the top of the stack too.
Here's what mine looked like this morning, just before I devoured it:
Hot damn. That's a good breakfast.
In the unlikely event that you don't want bacon with them, these also go really well with some fresh berries, or you can throw a handful of dried fruit into the batter before you cook them. Whatever really, the pancakes themselves are just the start. They're definitely a better start than a bowl of nasty cornflakes.