James Martin reveals best method for fluffy American pancakes

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Shrove Tuesday is upon us and households across the UK are gearing up to flip some delicious pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the most notable differences between English pancakes and American pancakes is their consistency and thickness.

Although American pancakes are much thicker, they are also extremest light and fluffy.

The fluffier the pancake is, the more it can soak up delicious toppings and sauces, such as maple syrup.

Achieving the perfect consistency might seem like a head-scratcher at first, but according to Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of cookbook The Baking Bible, the key to the “fluffiest” pancakes is how to prepare your egg whites.

She says you should make sure to use whipped egg whites.

Speaking to lifestyle website Say Yes, she explained: “Adding the white at the end gives more support. This is a technique used in soufflés, adding a little of the white unwhipped at the end so that the soufflé doesn’t deflate as quickly.

“Whipping egg whites [into] soft or stiff peaks adds more air but also as the egg white cells enlarge, the membrane gets thinner and thinner and is more fragile.”

Are you making pancakes this Tuesday? Share your top tips in the comments below

How to make American pancakes


  • One cup of plain flour
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • Three eggs
  • Two-thirds of a cup of full-fat milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil

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To begin, ensure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. In a large bowl, sift the flour and add in baking powder.

Next, crack your eggs and separate the yolks from the egg whites.

Beat the egg yolks lightly, pour over the milk and stir well.

Add the milk and egg yolk mixture into the flour and baking powder, mixing well until you get a thick batter.

Beat the egg whites until they form a stiff peak, adding in a sprinkle of salt.

You will know you have achieved the correct consistency because when you remove the beater, the egg whites will stand up on their own. This can be done by hand or using an electric mixer.

Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Heat up your non-stick pan, using one or two drops of oil, before pouring in a small amount of batter. The size of this can vary depending on how big you want your pancake to be.

Cook the batter on both sides until bitterns golden and is firm, make sure to flip halfway through cooking for consistency. This should only take around one minute.

Repeat as many times as necessary to match your desired batch size or use up the batter mixture.

Serve with your choice of toppings. Some classics include maple syrup, lemon and sugar, honey, chocolate spread or berries and cream.

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