Ramona Andrews is a food writer and digital content producer with more than ten years industry experience. She worked for the BBC Food website for many years, during which time the site won a BAFTA nomination, World Food Media Award and Guild of Food Writers Award. Ramona has written for Time Out and Channel 4, and writes and develops recipes for various brands and publishers.
" By choosing organic milk, you’re more likely to be supporting smaller sustainable family farms that tend to be better for the environment and for workers, than industrial dairy farms. That’s why I don’t mind spending a little more on organic.”
Use good quality shop-bought yoghurt if you don’t have the time or the inclination to make it yourself. However, preparing the yoghurt from scratch makes this easy breakfast recipe a great - and delicious - showcase for top-notch organic milk".
For the yoghurt
- 400ml full-fat organic milk
- 1 level tbsp skimmed organic milk powder
- 1 tbsp live full-fat organic yoghurt
For the pancakes
- 2 medium free-range organic eggs, separated
- 150g organic plain white flour
- 140ml organic full-fat milk
- 1 tbsp organic golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp melted organic butter, cooled slightly, plus extra for frying
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 200g organic English strawberries, hulled and sliced
- small handful organic flaked almonds, toasted
homemade or shop-bought yoghurt (see above)
organic maple syrup
- If available, you can swap milk for buttermilk in the pancakes for a softer result.
- If fermenting has taken your fancy, try fermenting some seasonal fruits to serve alongside.
- Vary the toppings with fruits according to the season, along with other kinds of toasted nuts or chia seeds, chocolate flakes or coco nibs.
- For the yoghurt, you will need a thermos (the kind you use for coffee, preferably with a wide lid) with 400ml capacity and either a digital thermospoon or a jam thermometer. You can make it without the milk powder, but you won’t get such a thick finish.
For the yoghurt, clean and sterilise all tools before starting - I always put my thermos through the dishwasher to sterilise it. Heat the milk in a saucepan to 90C, stirring from time to time. A digital thermospoon works well for this, as you can leave the thermospoon in the milk to keep an eye on the temperature, while stirring. But you can use a jam thermometer and a wooden spoon just as well.
Remove from the heat and leave the milk to cool to 45C. It will be just-warm to the touch. Give the milk an occasional stir to stop a skin forming.
Stir in the powdered milk and measured yoghurt and pour into the thermos. Leave for 5-8 hours, depending on the desired flavour (longer fermentation gives a tarter flavour). Transfer the finished yoghurt to a cool container and place in the fridge to set for at least two hours.
Whisk, if desired, for a creamy, consistent texture. Or you can strain the yoghurt for a Greek-style finish.
For the pancakes, put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and the egg whites in a separate mixing bowl. Mix the flour, milk, sugar and melted butter in with the egg yolks and stir together until smooth.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks, using an electric whisk. Stir the baking powder into the egg yolk mixture, and then lightly fold the whites in.
Heat a little butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and pour in some batter - you should be able to get three pancakes, not touching, in an average frying pan. Cook until the mixture sets and bubbles begin to appear on top. Flip the pancake over and fry until golden-brown on both sides.
These are best eaten straightaway, but as you make the pancakes, you can transfer them to a plate in a low oven to keep them warm. Brush a little melted butter on the plate and on top of each pancake between layers.
Serve with homemade (or shop-bought if you must) yoghurt, sliced strawberries, toasted flaked almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup.
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