If you want to flip something a bit different this Shrove Tuesday, get inspired with a pancake recipe from around the globe.
From the ‘world’s oldest’ pancake to a gluten-free French crepe, Happy Pancake Day!
Greek pancakes are called tiganites and are believed to be one of the earliest forms of pancakes in the world. They are often served with warm honey and walnuts.
MAKES AROUND 15 | PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOK TIME 10 MINS
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
Half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups of lukewarm water
120ml warm honey
1. Pour the water and yeast into a large bowl. Stir with a fork so the yeast dissolves completely.
2. In the same bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to form a smooth batter.
3. Cover with cling film and leave aside for 15-20 minutes, until the batter starts to bubble.
4. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle pan over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
5. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the batter (depending on how large you want the pancakes) in the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry the pancakes in batches 3-4 at a time until nicely coloured, flipping them occasionally.
6. Transfer to some kitchen paper to absorb the oil and repeat with the rest.
7. Serve while still warm with a drizzle of warm honey and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
The Russian version of a pancake is a blini. It is often served in bite-sized form with savoury toppings like smoked salmon and caviar.
MAKES AROUND 22 | PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOK TIME 2 MINS
125g plain flour
1 large egg
Just less than 1 teaspoon salt
Half teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
2. Whisk the 180ml of milk, plus another 2 tablespoons of milk, with the egg and 1 tablespoon of melted butter together in a separate bowl. Mix into the flour mixture until the batter is fully combined.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over a low-medium heat.
4. Drop the batter, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the heated skillet. Cook until bubbles start to form. Flip and continue cooking until brown, about 1 minute more.
5. Lay on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess butter. Repeat with the remaining batter until all the pancakes are done.
6. Serve warm with a topping of your choice. Ideally with smoked salmon and caviar.
Dutch Baby pancakes, also known as German pancakes, are like large Yorkshire puddings which are often served in the cast-iron skillets they are cooked in.
They are now more famous in the US, but its origins can be traced back to the German-American community known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, hence the name.
MAKES 4-6 | PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOK TIME 20 MINS
3 large eggs
100g plain flour
150ml full fat milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla paste (or extract)
25g unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the pan in the oven to heat while you prepare the batter.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
3. Beat the eggs with the caster sugar in an electric mixer until light and frothy. Whisk in the milk, flour, vanilla, salt and grated nutmeg. Beat until you have a smooth but thin batter.
4. Wearing thick oven gloves, remove the pan from the oven. Put the butter carefully into the hot pan and swirl it to melt, then quickly pour in the batter and return it to the oven.
5. Bake until puffed for about 18–20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Serve with toppings of your choice such as berries, creme fraiche, maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar.
The french are famous for their crepes, but the difference between a crepe and a pancake is traditional crepes are made with buckwheat flour. This recipe is also gluten-free.
MAKES 4 | PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOK TIME 10 MINS
4 tablespoons buckwheat flour
4 tablespoons gluten-free plain flour
1½ teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 free-range egg
1 tablespoon light olive or vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
1. Sift the flours, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk and oil until thoroughly combined.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until there are no visible traces of flour.
4. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium–high heat. When hot, add a drizzle of oil and carefully wipe it across the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. Use a dessert spoon to spoon the batter into the hot pan. The batter should bubble quickly. After about a minute the edges of the pancake should be set with little holes appearing across the surface. Flip the pancakes over with a spatula and cook for 30 seconds.
5. Set the pancakes aside on a warm plate or baking tray while you cook the remaining batter in the same way, oiling the base of the pan before each batch.
6. Serve the pancakes in a stack, drizzled with maple syrup or topped with a spoonful of yoghurt and berries.
Blueberry pancakes are an American breakfast staple, but can be enjoyed any time of day. To make your life easier, here’s a 1 cup pancake recipe you don’t even need scales for.
MAKES 8 | PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOK TIME 15 MINS
1 large free-range egg
1 cup of self-raising flour
1 cup of milk
200 g blueberries
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1. To make the batter, crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, milk and a tiny pinch of sea salt.
2. Whisk everything together until you have a lovely, smooth batter. Fold through the blueberries, if using.
3. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and after a minute or so, add half a tablespoon of oil. Carefully tilt the pan to spread the oil out evenly.
4. Add a few ladles of batter to the pan, leaving enough space between each one so they have room to spread out slightly – each ladleful will make one pancake, and you’ll need to cook them in batches.
5. Cook the pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes, or until little bubbles appear on the surface and the bases are golden. Then use a fish slice to carefully flip them over.
6. When the pancakes are golden on both sides transfer the pancakes to a plate.
7. Repeat the steps with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes immediately, topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt and some extra berries.
Korean pancakes, or Buchimgae, are more like fritters and are served savoury. This pancake recipe has a Mexican influence and is also pretty healthy.
MAKES 8 | PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOK TIME 30 MINS
2 teaspoons baking powder
150ml oat milk
2 tablespoons Yondu Vegetable Umami
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
Half a small courgette, shredded
30g fresh spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Black pepper and olive oil
1. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, oat milk and Yondu and stir until smooth. It will look a little thick, but don’t worry.
2. Add the shredded carrot, courgette, spinach, sunflower seeds and black pepper (optional). Stir well and let rest for 4 minutes before cooking.
3. In a skillet over low-medium heat, drizzle a few drops of olive oil and make the pancakes as follows: Carefully place two tablespoons of batter in the skillet and shape the edges to make the pancakes as round as possible.
4. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook 3 more minutes on the other side.
5. Serve with a Mexican style salsa: Chopped tomato, chopped onion, chopped parsley, a drizzle of Yondu, a drizzle of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
British pancakes are a very simple affair. Most Brits eat theirs plain with a dusting of sugar and a slice of lemon. Nutella, fruit and ice cream are also favourite toppings.
Here’s a traditional pancake recipe anyone can make at home.
MAKES AROUND 16 | PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOK TIME 5 MINS
110g plain flour
2 large eggs
200ml semi-skimmed milk mixed with 75ml water
Pinch of salt
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with the sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Begin whisking the eggs using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk.
3. When the mixture starts to thicken, gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture. Continue until the batter is smooth with the consistency of thin cream.
4. Melt the butter in the pan. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium. To start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. 1¾ tablespoons (35mls) is about right.
5. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. If you have any holes, add a teaspoon of the mixture to fill them in. Cook for half a minute or so. Lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be.
7. Flip over with a palette knife and slide onto a plate.
8. To serve, sprinkle each pancake with caster sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or simply roll them up. Add more toppings of your choice.