Go Faster Food Blog
Passion for Pancakes
trackfieldandroad.tv are coming round to tomorrow to film me in the Go Faster Food kitchen; I feel a pancake theme coming on. I do feel a bit guilty when Pancake Day comes around each year. We all know that pancakes are to signify the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, traditionally a way of using up the rich food in the larder such as eggs and milk, but I’m afraid, the Go Faster Food family eats pancakes all year round. Why? Because they are delicious, dead easy to make, fabulous recovery food after a long run, and always feel like a decadent treat. The word ‘fasting’ just doesn’t enter the vocabulary I’m afraid! A horrible thought and a horrible word.
Pancakes are a great food for athletes; they make a fantastic post exercise recovery treat and are a fun and tasty way to get some high G.I. carbohydrate and protein into your system after a serious workout. Carbohydrate to replenish your glycogen stores quickly and protein to keep your muscles healthy and help repair any muscle trauma. The quicker you start the recovery process the better, as it’s immediately after exercise that your body will absorb what it needs most efficiently.
What’s really good about pancakes is that you can make the mixture before you leave the house, dream about them when the going gets tough on your run/bike ride and then cook them on your return (or better, get someone to cook them for you) even while you’re doing your stretches.
Of course there are lots of different types of pancake, all delicious. You’ve got the flat light pancakes we see more often in the UK, most delicious in their simplest form with just lemon and sugar, then there are the risen, fluffy american-style pancakes (see my American Blueberry pancake recipe in Go Faster Food), , and if you want to be really sophisticated there are wholesome breton-style ‘galettes au sarassin’, made with buckwheat flour. Whichever you prefer, all you really need is a basic mix of flour, eggs and milk; you can then add oats, spices, fruit, raising agents to customise your pancake. Just make sure you use the best quality ingredients and really really fresh free range eggs.
Breton Buckwheat pancakes (recovery, or as a light supper with a green salad; these work well with savoury fillings such as ham and cheese, smoked salmon and creme fraich, goats cheese and parma ham)
Hot Oatcakes with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (light as a feather, wholesome with wholemeal flour for a special post-exercise treat)
For the lightest ever English-style pancake make a batter with about 100g plain four (4 tablespoons), 250ml milk, pinch of salt, 1 egg. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and gradually beat in the milk with a wooden spoon, drawing in the flour from the sides to make a smooth batter. Alternatively whizz it all up with an eletric whisk. For the lightest pancakes, my little secret is to add 50 ml of really cold water to the batter mix just before you are ready to start cooking the pancakes.
Heat a knob of butter in a heavy-based frying pan or pancake pan. When it is hot, tip it around the whole base so that it is covered and then pour in just enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, until it realeases easily from the bottom and then toss and cook the other side until golden. Transfer to a plate and add you favourite filling. Lemon and sugar, maple syrup and bananas, chocolate sauce (yuk, but kids like it), my home made quince jelly (yum), whatever takes your fancy.