The secret of making good wafer-thin pancakes is to heat the pan first and to use batter the consistency of single cream. Plain wheat flour produces the soft pancakes we are most used to and buckwheat flour the thin, lacy crêpes of Brittany. Makes 15 18–20cm (7-8in) pancakes.


  • 125 g (4 oz) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 300 ml (½ pint) milk or milk and water mixed
  • Butter or oil for greasing


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Using a whisk or wooden spoon beat the egg, gradually drawing in flour from the sides and slowly adding the liquid.

  2. When the batter is smooth heat a crêpe pan or small- to medium-sized flat frying pan steadily until hot but not smoking. Grease it lightly with butter or butter and oil mixed, using a pastry brush or kitchen paper.

  3. Hold the pan in one hand and with the other ladle about 2 tablespoons batter into the hot pan, immediately swirling the pan to coat the base with a thin layer of batter. Cook the pancake until set and small holes start to appear on the surface.

  4. Loosen the pancake with a palette knife and flip over. Cook the second side until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and stack under a tea towel. Reheat the pan, regreasing as necessary and repeat with more of the mixture.

  5. To serve, simply sprinkle the pancakes with sugar and lemon juice and roll up. Alternatively, spoon a favourite filling in the centre of each, then fold in half, quarters or thirds. If made in advance, the pancakes can be served at room temperature.