I always find it funny how shocked I was when I found out people have pancakes in so many different ways.
You see, we call them pancakes around here, but if you live in the US you might call them crepes. What you call pancakes are American pancakes to us and they’re not very common around here.
Pancakes or crepes were my Mum’s go-to solution when the family was craving something sweet and she didn’t have the time or energy to bake something.
Related: Easy, Fluffy American Pancakes
Making crepes from scratch can sound scary since they are so thin and you might see them as a fancy dessert. But for me, they are my childhood dessert. I admit that they can get tricky, but I’ll give you all the tips and tricks I learnt about making them , including the recipe.
Servings: 10-12 | Prep. Time: 10 mins | Waiting Time: n/a | Cook Time: 20 mins | Difficulty: Easy
- 220 grams flour (15 tablespoons flour)
- 500 ml milk (or 2 cups)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or melted butter)
- a splash of vanilla extract (optional)
- silicone spatula
- flat non-stick frying pan
- Crack the egg, add the sugar and mix them together until the sugar is melted. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
- Add half of the milk and mix to combine.
- Add the flour and make sure you mix it well using a whisk to prevent lumps from forming.
- Add the remaining milk, the vegetable oil (or butter) and the splash of vanilla extract.
The mixture should be runny, yet lightly thick. I think the best way to compare it would be to a soup.
Add a a full ladle in a hot flat pan. To make the crepes nice and round, add the batter on the edge and rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly.
Flip it after a minute or when the edges curl. Let it cook for another 20-30 seconds on the other side and it’s done.
Some Extra Tips about Making Crepes from Scratch
As I said, things can get tricky when it come to homemade crepes. Everything from the right thickness of the batter to the right frying pan has a word to say when it comes to them.
As I said, the batter has to be runny, but not as thin as a liquid mixture. It looks more like a vegetable soup. That’s the best way I can describe it.
It’s difficult to get the right consistency from the beginning. It takes practice, to be honest, but the result will be worth it. Below I’ll leave some common problems that relate to the batter:
- batter won’t spread easily and by the time you manage to spread it somehow, the pancake is cooked – batter is too thick, add some extra tablespoons of milk and try again
- batter spreads easily, but the pancake stays quite moist and it breaks when trying to flip – batter is too thin, you need to add a couple of extra tablespoons of flour
- the pancake batter separates itself when put in the pan – probably the batter is too thin and has too much oil or butter in it, fix it by adding some extra flour
- batter has lumps – strain it and give it another food whisk
My best piece of advice when it comes to the right consistency of the batter is to test it and get the hang of it. Also, don’t add the full quantity of milk and flour. Different brands of flour might be more or less absorbent and you might need more or less milk.
We have flat pans that we usually call pancake pans.
The walls of this type of pan are very small and which makes it easier to flip the pancake. Also, they are quite wide so you can a nice, big crepe out of it.
I highly recommend using a non-stick pan to make things easier. Even though there’s some oil in the batter, the crepes will most probably stick if you use a regular skillet.
Making Them Round
This is another tricky thing about making crepes from scratch.
Keep in mind that the first and the last crepe will always look a little weird. The first one, well… because it’s the first one and the last one because you might not have the exact amount of batter left for it.
In order to make sure you get them as round as possible, you have to add the batter in one place, not spread it.
Pour it either in the middle of the pan or on one side and after that swirl the pan in one direction! in order to spread the batter evenly, forming a round pancake.
Also, if you add too little batter, you won’t have enough to make the pancakes round. Depending on how wide the pan is, you’ll have to use a full ladle of batter for one pancake.
Cooking the Crepes
The cooking part is not difficult at all – not as difficult as making them round, anyway.
You’ll know they’re cooked when they form bubbles, the moist surface dries a little and the edges become golden-brown.
If you’re using a non-stick pan and the batter has the right consistency, the edges will come off when cooked. That’s how you know it’s time to flip the pancake.
A silicone spatula or a cake spatula will make flipping the pancakes a dream.
Homemade crepes are good up to a week, but I recommend eating them within a few days.
Keep them in an air-tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap, if you don’t eat them all at once.
They will dry anyway, so that’s why it’s better to have them within a couple of days.
You can serve them with everything sweet: chocolate spread, jam, honey, peanut butter – you name it. Add some crushed walnuts in them and they’re heavenly delicious!
Related: Homemade Vanilla Pudding
Also, when it comes to serving, there are different ways of folding them. You can roll them or fold them. You can go as fancy or as basic as you want – they’ll taste the same.
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Have you ever tried making crepes from scratch? What are your best tips? Let me know in the comments!