This week, the Great British Bake Off has been all over the news following confirmation that the BBC will no longer host the show. It’s been bought by Channel 4, and various news articles are still speculating about whether Mary and Paul will continue to host, as Mel and Sue have firmly declined to continue with Channel 4. It’s such a shame I think, because the show is so beloved and it’s been ruined seemingly by money grubbers. Tainted, you might say. Anyway, the BBC have also instated a clause in the contract apparently preventing the show airing for a year after they lose it – so this is my last bake off maybe forever, or at least until 2018. Who knows what the new show will be like, and whether the BBC will still do their own spin-off.
Meanwhile, on the actual show we also had a brand new week – Batter week. Which involved Yorkshire puddings, pancakes and churros. I thought it was a bit daft – hundreds of thousands of British women (and maybe some men?) make Yorkshire puddings every Sunday and never whinge about it.
And lace pancakes? Why do I want a pancake with holes in it? Just give me a big, full pancake that I can spread nutella on. This just added to the outrage of the nation, as they thought the challenge stupid and nonsensical, with many asking ‘Why do I want a pancake with less pancake in it?’
But if Paul says jump, I say how high, so this week I purchased a cheap plastic piping squeezy bottle and set about drawing a lace heart on some paper, and then on a hot pan.
The challenge was made more difficult by Paul as the bakers had to make 12 in an hour and they were not allowed to make more than a single practice pancake. Furthermore, they weren’t given any proportions for their ingredients.
- 175g/6oz plain flour
- 1 large free-range egg
- 300ml/10fl oz milk
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the egg and a few tablespoons of the milk, then pour into the well.
- Whisk gently, gradually whisking in half of the remaining milk, drawing in the rest of the flour a little at a time, to make a smooth batter. Stir in the remaining milk. Cover and leave to stand for about 15 minutes. Pour the batter into a plastic squeezy bottle.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Tilt the squeezy bottle and draw a freehand lace heart pattern in the pan using the batter.
- Cook the pancake over a medium-high heat for 45-60 seconds until small holes appear on the surface and the underside is lightly browned. Loosen the pancake and turn it over by flipping it with a palette knife or fish slice.
- Cook the other side for about 30 seconds until golden-brown. Slide the pancake out of the pan.
- Lightly grease the pan again before making the next pancake. Serve the pancakes as they are made, or stack them on a plate and reheat before serving. (If the pancakes are hot when you stack them they will not stick together; there is no need to interleave them with greaseproof paper.)
- So this recipe doesn't call for sugar, which Paul Hollywood did request in the actual show, so I added a tablespoon of sugar to my batter. The recipe also says you don't need to interweave pancakes with greaseproof paper if stacking hot, but I did stack hot pancakes and the lace did get all caught up together so that's wrong too...
I made these last night so wasn’t ready to eat them. Instead we warmed them up for breakfast this morning – and I will admit they were a bit rubbery, but dunno if that was because we reheated them. But the point just remains, how do you spread peanut butter on a lace pancake? It just gets all over the plate..