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How not to ruin your pancakes


Probably the two largest things that separate us from the French are the Channel and our refusal to cook pancakes all year round. That may be because, when we do, the result often resembles scrambled eggs that have wrestled a combine harvester.

Chef Aldo Zilli gives us some helpful tips on how to ensure things pan out for the best.

How you grease your pan is crucial. Zilli isn’t a fan of butter and warns against too much oil. “I use olive oil and a potato,” says Zilli. “Soak a halved potato in olive oil, then stick a fork in it and run it round the pan, which should be really hot.”

Consistency is a virtue. Make sure you avoid lumps. “Sift the flour first and add it gently while you keep whisking,” advises Zilli. “The mixture should stick to your finger if you dip it in.”

It’s also important to avoid going gung-ho with your tossing. “Keep the pancakes as thin as possible, just a sheen,” Zilli continues. “It should just lift off the pan with a palette knife. As soon as you can lift it, flip it with the palette knife. Don’t try to toss it until both sides have cooked a bit. You need about 90 seconds on each side.”



The perfect pancake toss


The automatic pancake machine


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