Pancakes1 are a traditional meal for breakfast in many countries of the world. Of course, you can find a great number of recipes in cooking books and specialized websites and choose one of them to your taste. But we will teach you to make very plain traditional cakes which everybody is able to cook.
To make pancakes, you will need measuring cups and spoons, a frying pan and a fork. There are special griddles for cooking pancakes, but you can use an ordinary convenient model.
Basic pancake ingredients are flour (1.5 cups), milk (1.25 cups), an egg, baking powder (1/2 teaspoons), melted butter (3 tablespoons), sugar (1 tablespoon) and salt (1 teaspoon). Some peoples love to add cocoa powder or chocolate chips. It is up to you.
First take a large cup (or a bowl) and add up flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder (if you are going to add cocoa powder, do it now too). The flour should be sifted, if you want to avoid lumps in the batter. Then mix the dry ingredients.
Now you can add eggs, milk and melted butter in this succession. Mix them fast and thoroughly, but try not to over beat the batter because in that case pancakes can be too tough.
Now when the batter is ready, you can start cooking the pancakes. You should heat a frying pan and slightly grease it. You can use vegetable oil or butter. Then pour one scoop spoon of batter into the pan. Do it quickly in circular movements.
Your pancake will cook very fast, so less than in a minute you will have to turn it over. Wait for both sides to be golden brown and your first pancake is ready.
Pancakes in Different Countries
Pancakes have a number of diverse regional varieties. In France they are called crêpes. As a rule, they are very thin and served with some filling. Crêpes are also popular in China, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. Brazilian and Portuguese pancakes are very similar to crêpes, though people in these countries may give preference to unusual fillings.
Germans cook various pancakes: Pfannkuchen, Eierkuchen, Flädle, and others. Caramelized ones with nuts and fruits are named Kaiserschmarrnen. Dutch pannenkoeken are a bit thicker and larger than French crêpes. They usually eat them with bacon, sugar syrup, cheese, ginger or ham.
Russian bliny (or blini) are thin pancakes made from flour, eggs, milk, and butter. Sometimes yeast is added to batter. In Russian, Ukraine and Belarus, people celebrate the so called "pancake week" before the Lent.
In general, pancakes are a widely-spread dish. If you travel much, you will find its various recipes in many countries.