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Authentically Fluffy American Pancakes

There are very few things that can match a Full English Breakfast for a hearty start to the day, but sometimes, and perhaps if you have a sweeter tooth, there might be something to tempt you from our cousins across the pond. This 4th July, to celebrate Independence Day we’ve put together a simple and effective recipe for authentically fluffy American Pancakes that will add a burst of stars and stripes to any menu.

The History

Humans have been mixing flour with water or milk and frying it in dollops for as long as we have records of human cooking, so it’s safe to say pancakes have been around for a while.

The pancakes we associate with Shrove Tuesday, pancake tossing and pancake races, were mentioned in cookery books as early as 1439 – before America was called “America”. It’s safe to say though, that even in strongholds of the sugar and lemon traditionalist, the American version is growing in popularity.

American pancakes certainly owe something to Native Americans, with earlier versions that use buckwheat sometimes referred to as “Indian Pancakes”, and were a favourite of Thomas Jefferson. It’s these fluffy beauties we’re looking at today.

The Boss

No, not Bruce Springsteen, but our Managing Director, David Burton. Back in March, on pancake day, we asked the team about their pancake preferences and you can see what they said here. David unashamedly plumped for American pancakes, with significant toppings and sides:

“Honestly prefer American – Jamie Oliver’s recipe is best, with heaps of butter and maple syrup…and a generous side of streaky bacon…and then maybe a sausage…or two…and a scrambled egg, unless I’m dieting then no scrambled egg.”

That’s one hefty pancake!

The Recipe

We can’t compete with Jamie Oliver, but we do like to keep the boss happy, so here’s a quick, simple recipe for Authentically Fluffy American Pancakes:

american pancakes

Makes Approximately 6 Pancakes

Ingredients 

  • 130g Plain flour
  • 130ml Milk
  • 30g Caster Sugar  
  • 30g Softened butter (if using unsalted butter, you will need to add salt)  
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Large egg

 

Method 

  1. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg, milk and softened butter together.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and blend together with a whisk to form a smooth batter. If you’re used to British pancakes, you’ll think the batter is far too thick, this is a good sign.  
  4. Add a little oil (or butter, but salted butter can make the pancakes too salty) to a medium hot frying pan, then pour in a ladle of batter. Allow the pancake to find its natural shape and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  5. If you’re making a large stack of pancakes, you can keep them warm in a low oven, or stack in another pan.

Chef’s Tip: There’s no end to the toppings you can add, but maple syrup is almost essential. UK berries are in season and if you’re adding bacon, it has to be streaky for the sake of authenticity.