The best waffle and pancake recipes

As Jack Johnson sang, “There ain’t no need to go outside…”, “I’ll make you banana pancakes. Pretend like it’s the weekend now. And we could pretend it all the time”

Well, it is the weekend, and you’re probably spending more time than usual at home and around your family, so why not make breakfast a treat.

I’m not going to be one of those recipe blogs where you have to scroll for miles to find the recipe so below is the waffle recipe I consider to be the best (for my machine) creating the fluffiest waffles you could ever want.

Waffles:

I love waffles and as a “made it through January” present to myself (little did I know) I bought my self a multi-purpose toasty machine with waffle inserts.  Naturally I have experimented with recipes to find the perfect waffles, all in the name of science of course.

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ingredients: (makes 8 waffles)

  • 2 eggs
  • 400ml milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
  • 250g self-raising flour (if you’ve only got plain, add more baking powder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g melted butter

Method:

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with the milk and vanilla extract
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk thoroughly
  3. Stir in the caster sugar
  4. Pour in the melted butter and stir until just combined
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gently fold into the mixture with a metal spoon (be gentle – you don’t want to lose all the air you have just added to the egg whites)
  6. Make sure your waffle iron is hot, grease if needed then pour in your mixture. They’re done when they are a light golden brown colour which usually takes a few minutes.

In my experience the mixture should be used all at once. Cooked waffles keep far better than the waffle mixture, even if it’s only a couple of hours.

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Pancakes:

As I know not everyone will have a waffle machine, I have added my preferred American style pancake recipe as well, you’re welcome 🙂

Ingredients: (makes 8 large pancakes)

  • 200g self raising flour (if you’ve only got plain, add more baking powder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 40g melted butter
  • 2 mashed bananas (optional)

Method:

  1. Mix the self-raising flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl
  2. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the milk, eggs and melted butter. Stir until slightly combined, then whisk thoroughly until the mixture is well combined and smooth.
  3. If you want to make banana pancakes, add the mashed bananas now, and stir to ensure they are evenly spread throughout the mixture
  4. Heat your pancake pan and add a little oil. Once it is hot, it is usually best to lower the temperature of your hob, though it depends on your pan – you may need to experiment.
  5. Pour some batter into your pan and spread it around until it is between roughly 0.5 and 1 cm thick
  6. Once bubbles start appearing on the surface it is ready to turn over. This is usually easiest done with a spatula, but if you fancy flipping it – go for it.IMG_20200329_102917_638
  7. The second side should only take a minute or two and then you’re done.IMG_20200329_103035_558

As everybody knows, the first pancake is almost always a practice pancake while you master the temperature of your pan, so I suggest factoring this in and making the first quite a small one. Also, unlike the waffle mixture, the pancake batter is OK to leave for a few hours in the fridge, simply re-whisk it before cooking and it should be as good as new.

The Village: An Imagining.

One of the quirks of the Russian language is the lack of articles; as a results many Russian speakers misuse articles when speaking English. This has led to possibly my favourite phrase ever. They all love to talk about “The Village

What are you doing at the weekend: I’m going to The Village.

Are you busy this evening: Yes I’m going to The Village.

Would you like to come to The Village.

It doesn’t matter who you talk to they all phrase it the same way, not a village, or my parents’ village. They never name The Village or in any way acknowledge that there may be another village in existence. To me it has a fantastical ring to it, to the point that this is what I imagine based on their descriptions.

To The Village!

Kazakhstan has only one village, it is known as The Village (capital T, capital V). It is somewhere in the centre of the country so that everyone can access it easily.

It seems there is some sort of direct, as the crow flies, means of transport to The Village. I’d like to think they teleport or similar, but they usually talk of taxis and trains so instead there must be a dedicated group of people whose sole responsibility in the nation is to transport people to and from The Village. I like to imagine them in a uniform, wearing national colours as they work for their country, or maybe there are different clans or rival factions, perhaps the train and taxi people are rivals. Maybe there are rogue transporters running people back and forth without official papers smuggling people or object in and out of the village without the authorities knowing; or maybe they do know, but turn a blind eye, taking a slice of course.

fantasy uniform

The village itself must be huge, during the weekend the population of the village must quadruple. It needs to house almost the whole population of Kazakhstan during the weekend and holidays. Maybe it’s on a parallel plane of existence.

During week days the population is old people and a few young children. The old people would be a bit like fantasy elves, they are long lived, stoic and formal. They’ve seen and know too much, they continue to practice the old ways despite the modern advancements their children try to bring back from the cities. I imagine the grandparents indulge their grandchildren in the secrecy of the week, imparting knowledge to them and even occasionally smiling, while the children’s parents work in the many cities.

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Their houses are immaculately clean as all of the women’s’ time is spent on housework and preparing food for the weekend’s festivities. I picture the men spending their time looking serious and sitting in their chair. They may take a walk around The Village, maybe they will read a book.

Logically however, there must be some sort of spacial rift in The Village as despite my colleagues all going to The Village, they have never mentioned seeing each other there. Or perhaps there is a wrong side of the tracks mentality. Maybe long held family rivalries prevent different groups socialising in The Village, it would not be tolerated. The adults who leave The Village during the week do as they please in the city and this causes friction between them and the previous generations. The grandparents consider going to a city frivolous and unnecessary, they suspect their children are dishonouring their legacy.

fantasy citadel

As soon as they get back to The Village each woman is expected to join in cleaning the house, and preparing the weakly feasts, all their time is to be spent with their own family sharing in the running of the household. I imagine all the females gathered around a stew pot as they prepare a special meal, stirring occasionally as aromatic vapour flows through the house, maybe they make bread and gossip about their neighbours. This is where they gain the knowledge of the old ways. Occasionally special events occur, new year, a birthday, a new birth in which socialising is encouraged, but of course only with friends and allies; the appropriate gifts should be given and feasts prepared. There is a balance between keeping their children doing the right things and keeping them happy.

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Maybe they are trained to never reveal the true nature of The Village, to never name speak its name as everyone knows names have power. The Kazakhs I know are incredibly difficult to get straight answers from and will reveal little to nothing about themselves. Perhaps they are all hiding a big secret about The Village. Maybe it was their safe place against the Russians.

Or maybe its just a quirk of the language.