Fluffy Pancakes

Recipe submitted by Laraine on February 5th, 2022

A penfriend in America asked me if I had a good recipe for pancakes using buttermilk. I told him you don't need buttermilk to make good pancakes and sent him my own recipe. He emailed me the following morning to say they were the best pancakes he'd ever had. I devised this recipe in the days of Imperial measurements and firmly believe old recipes are best left as they are rather than being turned into (usually bad) metric recipes. All you need here is an imperial measuring cup.

Prep time:   10 minutes
Cook time:   15 minutes
Servings:   about 6 pancakes

1 cup flour (8 fl.oz cup)
½ raised tsp baking soda
1 raised tsp cream of tartar
10 fl oz milk
2 eggs
3 TB sugar (or as desired)
1 oz (25 g) butter

Sift flour and raising agents, stir in sugar. Melt butter.
Beat eggs and milk together and add melted butter

Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix gently with a wire whisk until (as with muffins) the dry ingredients are thoroughly dampened. As long as you stir SLOWLY and use a wire whisk it's surprising how long you can mix without making the pancakes rubbery, which also happens if you overmix muffins. A few lumps won't hurt; you can always poke them with the pointed side of your lifter while they are cooking o the first side.

Some people say you should leave the mixture to stand for a while, but these still work out fine if you cook them straight away.

Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan over moderate heat (I use my big wok burner on its lowest setting). When you think the pan is hot enough grease a small area of the pan and try half a teaspoon of the mixture. Even if it takes a while to brown the bottom, by the time this happens the pan will be ready. Until recently I always used a cast iron pan, but these days I use a Teflon pan that has red squares in the centre. When all the squares are the same shade of red, the pan is ready.

Wipe the surface with melted butter. Pour about a quarter of a cup of mixture into the pan. Take the pan off the heat (I find this helps to stop the gas flame making the pan too hot) and swirl the mixture around until the pancake is about the size of a bread and butter plate. Cook until the top is full of holes and most of the surface looks dry (about 1½ minutes). Flip over and cook the other side for about half a minute.

If you have an electric frypan you can also make pancakes in it. Just use whatever setting the manufacturer recommends for pancakes and pikelets. Unfortunately, today's electric frypans don't tend to heat evenly, but you might be lucky enough to have one that does. Mine doesn't. ??

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