Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

Classic American/Scotch Pancakes

Scotch pancakes with worrisome milk

Pancakes are a useful recipe to have always in the back of your mind for leftover milk, yoghurt, cream or even porridge. They are cheap, they are healthy. If you are so inclined, you can start experimenting with mixes of wholegrain flours and oats.

I took a picture with golden syrup drizzling down in honour of my eldest, who can think of little finer than a brand new tin of syrup, looking almost red and daring you to dunk a finger. We both, usually, do.

If your milk is on it’s best before, or near it – never pour it down the drain. The stats are staggering: 3 1/2 million litres are wasted in UK homes every year. 7% of all the milk that we produce. So play your part, testing your milk and trusting your senses over an over-cautious jet printed date.

A fried egg, some butter and loads of marmite or ketchup is what I love most of all. Either way, make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

 

Scotch pancakes

You can use all plain flour, or a mixture of lots of scraps. I wouldn't go over 50% of wholewheat flours mind, or they'll be heavy AF. Don't miss out the melted butter, there's a softness that seems a pity to waste.

Ingredients
  

Ingredients

  • 225 grams plain flour or use a mixture of plain and wholegrain
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder or just weigh 20 grams, that's what I do...
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml worrisome milk
  • 30 grams unsalted butter & more for cooking

Tools

  • scales
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring jug - really big one if possible
  • whisk
  • frying pan
  • pastry brush
  • spatula
  • flipper

Instructions
 

If you have a digital scale and a 1 litre mixing jug...

  • Place the jug on the scale and pour in the milk and crack in the eggs. Whisk. Set the scale back to zero. Then carefully add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Remove from the scale and whisk until you have a good batter.

If you don't...

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a measuring jug, whisk together the milk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until you have a thick batter.

Either way

  • Turn the heat on under your pan to medium-hot and add the 30 grams of butter. Once it's melted, pour it into the batter and mix well.
  • When the pan is nice and hot, add just a pinch of butter and let it sizzle. If you can't get it to coat the base of the pan nicely, then use a pastry brush.
  • Pour in the batter, probably making neater circles than I have ever managed. Don't crowd the pan - around 3 or 4 to a large pan at a time.
  • When you see lots of little bubbles rising up, take your spatula and flip the pancakes over. They should only take a minute more to cook through.
  • Keep going until all the batter is used, using your spatula to leave a clean-enough bowl behind. 

Storage

  • Leftover pancakes will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Reheat in a dry frying pan.

Leftover porridge bread

Leftover porridge bread

Leftover Porridge Bread

My eldest brother and I share a love of baking (and eating bread), and I’ve learned a lot from him.  He’s bought me endless books because, chez Storr, all the best presents are rectangles. Learning that a loaf of bread requires only a ratio was eye-opening. So I could use up that remaining 165 grams of brown flour and yesterday’s porridge and top it up with strong bread flour?! Hell. Yes.

If you’ve got 250g of porridge or 100g it doesn’t matter: just make sure that the total weight of porridge & flour is 700g.  That’s it. The amount of salt and yeast will stay the same, the water might vary a little. Got 250 grams of porridge? You might want to go up to a total weight of 800 grams of porridge and flour (8 grams of yeast 16 of salt). It’s that simple. And – poof! – you’ve made something delicious out of a food you were about to waste.

Some people might query adding eggs, flour and fat to what is a cheap ingredient.  Those oats have been sown (ahem). You’ve spent money on them. Soil has been fertilised and petrol burned to transport. So have fun and use that claggy old porridge that you cared to buy and cared to cook to be the inspiration for tomorrow’s lunch. Or toast.

 

Leftover Porridge Bread

Turn cold, claggy, leftover porridge into soft buns
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proving time 3 hrs
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

  • up to 200 grams leftover porridge
  • up to 600 grams strong white bread flour (flour + porridge weighs 700 grams)
  • 7 grams fast action yeast
  • 14 grams salt
  • around 400 ml water or milk (it will vary depending on how much porridge goes into your dough)
  • optional: 1 egg

Tools

  • Scales
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Clean tea-towel
  • Roasting tin or oven dish
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Dough scraper or large knife
  • Wire cooling rack

Instructions
 

  • Weigh the porridge. Then add enough strong bread flour to take the porridge + flour to 700 grams. So, 150 grams porridge + 550 grams flour, for example.
  • Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in the large mixing bowl. Crumble the porridge into the bread flour so that there are no lumps.
  • If using an egg, whisk it into 200ml of the milk/water. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Give the ingredients a good mix with a metal spoon. or your hands. It should be quite a wet dough. Add more milk/water until you have a dough where all the flour is fully saturated.
  • Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured or wet surface * and *gently* knead it: push it away from you, pick that end up, pop it back on top, turn the dough 45 degrees and go again. Do this for about 10 minutes, or until you hear pops and crackles coming from the dough - that's the carbon dioxide forming.
  • Cover the dough with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave it to one side for about an hour. The dough need to double in size; in my cold kitchen takes about 2 hours.

Forming the buns

  • Lightly flour the counter and turn the dough out.
  • Weigh the dough; it should weigh around 1.2 kg, ish. Buns are around 100g and I like to weigh the dough. You can just eyeball 12 buns but I find it quicker to just through bits of dough into the scale and make sure that I will have buns of an equal size.
  • Line the oven tin with a piece of greaseproof paper.
  • Lightly flour your counter. Place each piece of dough on the flour. Once you have pieces of dough ready and waiting, take one and form it into a roll by turning it around your hands into a round ball. Tuck each ball into the tin, around 3cm apart.
  • When all the rolls are in the tin, cover with the clean tea towel and leave to rise again for about another half an hour.
  • Turn the oven to 180 degrees.
  • When the rolls have doubled in size, place them gently in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • When they are cooked, gently slip them out of the tin and leave to cool.

Storage

  • I keep my rolls in a very un-sexy giant tupperware. They will keep fine for a couple of days.
  •  If you want fresh rolls every day, split the rolls and place in the freezer; they will defrost more quickly if you freeze them with the cut in place.
  • * Experienced bakers like to use the wet method where you knead over a wet surface rather than a floured. This is a great technique but takes a little practice.
Keyword eating on a budget

Leftover porridge muffins

Leftover porridge muffins

Leftover Porridge Muffins

During the ‘lean years’, childcare took most of my 3 figure a month salary. The nursery was necessary but so expensive. I couldn’t not work.  Life was dull. It was 2008. Food prices rose every week. One night, my ex and I went on a rare night out with child-free friends. This may or may not have been the night I found buttons in my purse rather than cash.

I started telling a friend about these amazing leftover porridge muffins that I’d read about and made for my family – “I don’t even waste porridge!”. “But porridge is so cheap!” he replied.  I talked about food waste but really, I was embarrassed to say that I didn’t have the money to be scraping any food in the bin – that I could see the money going into the bin. I couldn’t articulate that any saving like this, where old sad breakfast becomes warm and tasty tea-time, was necessary. I felt humiliated. I didn’t need to, but being skint is humiliating – if you’re there right now, I’m sorry, it’s shit.

As with the porridge pancakes you’ll be amazed at the softness. Use whatever chocolate, fruits or nuts you like/have handy; these are a template to hoover up little leftovers sitting around the cupboard.  I have used milk chocolate because my eldest has a sweet tooth to rival Winnie the Pooh. This batch were walnut and dried raspberry, which I loved.

Those skint years? The nursery was later closed for ‘financial irregularities’. I now have a talented friend who cuts hair for a good price. I no longer wear the maternity coat. I earn better money doing work that I love.  I still don’t waste leftover porridge.

Leftover Porridge Muffins

Based on Oatmeal Muffins by Molly Wizenburg & Amanda Blake Soule
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • around 150 grams leftover porridge
  • around 225 grams plain flour
  • 75 grams sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams chocolate, nuts, or dried fruit
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 ml milk
  • 30 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Tools

  • scales
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring jug
  • muffin tin
  • muffin papers
  • whisk/fork
  • ideally, balloon whisk
  • teaspoon/measuring spoon
  • saucepan/oven-proof bowl

Instructions
 

  • Turn the oven on to 180 degrees. Place the butter in an ovenproof bowl and leave to melt as the oven warms up. Remove from the oven once melted and leave to cool
  • Line a 12 muffin tin with liners or lightly grease
  • Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and add-ins together in a large bowl
  • Crumble the porridge through the flour mixture to avoid lumps
  • Whisk the egg, milk and butter together
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry; using a balloon whisk or spoon, mix together with between 8 and 12 strokes
  • Add spoonfuls of batter evenly to the muffin wells and bake for between 15 and 20 minutes
  • Serve warm

Storage

  • These really are best eaten warm and on the day. 
  • Warmed through, and maybe split with a little salted butter, they are good the next day or two - just store them in an airtight container.
  • If you can't eat 12 muffins at once, freeze when at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Leftover porridge pancakes

Leftover porridge pancakes

Leftover Porridge Pancakes

Okay, I hear that, for many of you, scraping up leftover porridge is a step too far. If it does then I suggest, gently, that you don’t have to worry about money. I’m sure you budget, but you don’t panic about the 10p going in the bin. I only had those worries for a couple of years, I was lucky. I don’t worry any longer. But I sure as shit won’t forget it.

Even if you don’t worry about 10p going into the bin, then what about the wasted oats that a farmer or its robots have sown? That farmers have harvested, milled and transported? The milk that the oats have simmered in and the effort it took to feed the cows so they were able to be milked? The honey or syrup that you chose so carefully or quickly from the cupboard? Yeah, don’t be dick. Don’t waste the porridge.

These are my favourite pancake recipe these days.  The oats make the pancakes light, smooth and creamy.  You do need to spend a second to make sure that there are no lumps or oats, so just crumble the leftover porridge though the flour. Then it’s the same as you’d make any American pancake, drop scone or griddle cake.

I made far too much batter for these last week so I wedged some foil on the jug, strapped it into the front seat and took my porridge pancake batter with me to a friends. Luckily her four kids and one of mine made short work of the pancakes.

I love these with a fried egg on top and, sue me, loads of ketchup. Or just butter and Marmite. Marmite with everything. I know. I don’t care. I hope you enjoy your porridge pancakes.

 

Leftover porridge pancakes

Perfect for slightly jammy, syrup-y smooshed up porridge leftovers - these soft, light pancakes will warm your heart, save you pennies and avoid food waste.

Ingredients
  

  • around 50 grams leftover porridge
  • around 100 grams plain white flour
  • around 125 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 15 grams melted butter & more for cooking

Tools

  • Measuring jug
  • Scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Non-stick or cast-iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Spatula

Instructions
 

  • Weigh your leftover porridge; you don't want more than 50% leftover porridge as it will make the pancakes too soft; if you have more than about 75 grams of leftover porridge, double up the recipe for more, or look at my other leftover porridge recipes
  • Add the salt, sugar and baking powder to the flour
  • Add the flour mixture to the porridge; using your hands or a spoon (preferably hands), rub the porridge through the flour to make sure that there aren't any lumps
  • Milk: how much you need again depends on the ratio of porridge to flour. Start with around 75 ml and whisk the egg into the milk
  • Pour the egg/milk mixture into the porridge mixture and whisk. You want a batter that's quite thick, like white sauce. 
  • I use the pan I'm cooking in to melt the butter; pour the melted butter into the pancake batter, so that the pan is already warm
  • If you need more milk, add it now. You can always add more - sometimes I make one pancake and realise that the batter is too think and pour a little more milk in. Go with a little less milk than you need until you are happy
  • I pour all the mixture back into the measuring jug and pour straight into the pan from there
  • Scrape the sides of the jug until there's nothing left - even a tiny pancake will make someone happy

Cooking the pancakes

  • Turn the pan on to medium hot
  • Add a pinch of butter
  • When the butter sizzles, pour some batter into the pan - around 10cm pancakes are easiest to manage
  • As the pancakes cook, I like to move them a little - ease the spatula under each pancake and just wriggle it around
  • You may need to turn the heat down and up as you go. The pancakes are ready to flip when you see lots of little bubbles
  • Once flipped, the pancake will only need about another minute
  • Place the pancakes on a plate or in a dish and serve warm

Storage

  • Pancakes are best eaten ASAP but you can store these in a lidded container in the fridge, for up to 5 days - I mean they will be edible but stale. Best is to keep the uncooked batter and cook as required. Batter will keep for up to 3 days, absolutely fine

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, a love story

Tomorrow is a big day for StorrCupboard: the first StorrCupboard Food Waste workshop. Quite nervous. I’ve been putting a lot of background work into StorrCupboard so I’m often running to chase my tail. So I’m writing this just ahead of hitting send, on this blustery Sunday morning. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking dosas with 12 members of the public, learning how to be food savvy with the wonderful people of Hubbub charity. I can’t wait and I’m terrified all at once.

Dosas aren’t simple to learn. There’s a practice needed in learning the right grain to achieve and you do need a food processor, sorry. If you like the idea, then a basic gram flour ‘dosa’ will be similar but won’t have the same flavour. But it will allow you to clear your plate.

The batter is lightly fermented, so if gut health and fermentation are of interest to you then it’s well worth having a go. It took me a couple of goes to get anything that I’d even serve to my kids, so there’s been a lot of eating soggy batter!

The ground rice/lentil/fenugreek mixture has to look like thick cream, that’s the only way I can explain it. Then you loosen it, until it’s like English pancake batter – worryingly loose is how I think about it.

I loved learning to make these and pushing myself to keep on experimenting, learning. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

PS this is a lovely piece

 

Dosas

Ann Storr

Ingredients
  

  • 375 grams basmati rice
  • 125 grams urad daal (split, skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Tools

  • Sieve
  • Scales
  • Large Bowl
  • Clean tea towel
  • Food Processor
  • Non stick or cast iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Ladle or coffee cup
  • Plate

Instructions
 

The night before

  • Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2-inch deep. Soak overnight.

8 hours before you want to cook

  • Drain all the water from the rice mixture. Now put into the food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste
  • When you are happy with the texture, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats the back of a spoon - to me like English pancake batter
  • Now add salt to taste and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6 to 8 hours. During this time it will ferment

Cooking the dosas

  • Pour a little oil into the pan and tilt it to cover the base
  • Fill the ladle up to the 3/4 level with dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the centre of the pan - just as you would for a pancake
  • Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to cover the base of the frying pan. The dosa may have little holes- this is normal
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in colour. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.
  • The dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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