Pancake recipe: How to flip the perfect pancake this Shrove Tuesday

From flipping to maths, follow this advice and you can't go too far wrong

It’s Pancake Day, which means around the country people face the daunting prospect of throwing food up in the air as well as simply cooking it.

If you plan to make pancakes, there are five simple tips you can follow to ensure that you end up with more food in people’s mouths than on the floor.

And if you are still in doubt, scroll down for a video showing how The Independent’s own chef and food writer Mark Hix does it best.

Level up: Bacon strip pancakes recipes

Tip one: Actually follow a recipe

It may seem simple, but a lot of people will be tempted to make their batter by filling a bowl with however much flour, eggs and milk they have left in the kitchen.

Don’t do this. For a simple basic batter recipe, there’s no better place to go than to Delia herself. Ms Smith recommends:

110g/4oz plain flour, sifted

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water

50g/2oz butter (for pan)

Tip Two: Use the right pan

A good pan will do most of the work for you, preventing the pancakes from sticking while maintaining a consistent level of heat.

If you are tempted to buy a cheap, thin non-stick pan for purpose then be prepared for it to be just that – they tend not to last (usefully) from one year to the next.

A good solid pan with a rounded join between the rim and base is probably best – and read the advice from the food writer and critic Xanthe Clay here on how to “season” it so it never needs washing up again.

Tip three: Don’t use too much butter

Basic, unsalted butter is the best thing to use when lubricating your pan – but bear in mind that it will quickly brown in the heat if you use too much. Try brushing a thin layer on quickly with kitchen paper – you could use a pastry brush with bristles, but it will take a battering (pun intended – don’t actually batter the brush itself).

Tip four: Embrace flipping failure

You will drop a pancake. At least one, probably more. But once you get into the swing of things flipping the things is infinitely quicker, more likely to produce good pancakes and makes you look fantastic.

If necessary, try to get any guests or family members to be elsewhere when you do the first few, and clean the floor thoroughly beforehand.

Tip five: Put your faith in science

If you’re one of those people who would prefer to have everything meticulously planned out than rely on trial and error, allow science to do the work for you.

University College London Professor of Mathematics Frank Smith has devised a formula works out the perfect mechanics for a flawless flip, based on how high you plan to flip the pancakes and how large they are going to be. It is:

L = 4×H /π– D / 2

(L = hand distance from inner edge of the pancake / H = height of flip / D = diameter of pancake)

Practically speaking, this should tell you how far down the handle to hold the pan in order to get the perfect flip. Professor Smith told the Telegraph: “We’ve discovered that the wrong direction or speed, for instance, will mean that the average flipper may ruin two or even more pancakes trying to perfect their technique.

“We aim to reduce this waste by advising Brits how to achieve the perfect flip.”

For further advice and a word or two on variants and toppings, watch expert Mark Hix in action (above).text

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: Front of House Receptionist / Receptionist

    £21K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Front of House Receptionist to provide th...

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders