Pancakes & Family History

I had an early Pancake Day feast (that spilled over into the next day too!) with my boyfriend at the weekend and I decided to use my mum’s Be-Ro book to make this year’s pancakes. My mum used this book every year to make pancakes for me and my siblings on Shrove Tuesday. I love pancakes, and they are my sister’s number one favourite food. So this book and my mum must have been doing something right!

Be-Ro (originally called Bells-Royal) is one of the first popular brands of self-raising flour in the North of England. Plain flour was most commonly used, until the 1920s when Be-Ro used these recipe books to market the product and show how useful self-raising flour was. The recipe books helped the brand to become famous and are still being produced now, with the 41st edition published August 2011. The edition I used is their 19th edition and was published in 1956. The entire book is in black and white, including all the photos. Nothing like the recipe books today!

The book is full of some brilliantly old school tips and phrases, such as “The woman who can cook well and bake well has every reason and every right to be proud of her cooking” – something which is definitely still true today! And for men too! It felt great using such a well worn book to make these pancakes, and I became a part of my family’s baking history as I know my grandmother used this book too.

This is such a simple recipe and I cannot imagine anyone not being able to follow it and make a delicious pancake. I doubled the recipe in the book and got 9 pancakes from the mixture. I weighed out 10oz. (about 283g) and made a well in the middle. I put two eggs in the well then started whisking slowly pouring in a pint of milk (570ml approx) as I whisked.

It easily formed a batter very quickly. I heated up a frying pan and before cooking each pancake put a knob of butter in the pan. I measured the batter out using a ladle and cooked for a few minutes on either side. Here are some of the toppings we enjoyed…

Savoury – some people turn there noses up at the idea of savoury pancakes, but they are delicious! Pancake batter is very neutral so your topping really makes it what it is. This was passata, onion and cheese. Very tasty! I’ve also put ham, mushrooms and spinach on savoury pancakes before. I put the pan under the grill to melt the cheese.

Ice cream and toffee sauce, need I say more?

Chocolate spread – put this on with a spoon while the pancake is still cooking on the second side, it’ll melt perfectly all over. Then plate up and add banana slices and ice cream, my favourite!

Finally, the classic lemon and sugar, I always finish a pancake feast with one of these to cleanse my palette as sometimes I over load on the chocolate spread! Such a great pancake feast, I totalled 7 pancakes in one weekend, and I still want more… What is your favourite pancake topping?

20 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What a lovely lovely post! I'm a lemon juice and golden syrup traditionalist if I'm honest, but I also make an extra batch to make cannelloni with – my dad always made cannelloni with pancakes when I was little. I love that you're using a Be-Ro book passed down through the generations, they just don't make 'em like that any more!!! x
    The Pantry Door

    1. It is! I don't know whether the Italians would approve, but it always worked for us – plus it freezes really well without the cheese sauce, and then you can just take it out and pop it in the oven 🙂

  2. Ah what great sounding pancakes! I have always been dubious about savoury pancakes but am planning to try some out next week.

    I also have a hand-me-down copy of the Be-Ro cookbook inherited from my Granny that I use all the time (including the notes she has pencilled in!).

  3. OMG I have that book! I inherited my Grandma's cookbooks and this was one of them. I love the old school phrases in it, too!

  4. I had a clear out quite a few years ago and got rid of all my old recipe books – how I regret doing that now. There is so much nostalgia attached to the older books especially if they have been passed down to you. Lovely post.

  5. My nan had one of those Be-Ro books! She made the best puff pastry ever. Brings back memories seeing it again 🙂 Your pancakes are perfect and the toppings look fab…the ice cream and toffee sauce…yum!!

  6. A great recipe for pancakes…and I love the Be-Ro book! I'm definitely a sweet pancake person, my filling of choice is lemon juice, sugar, golden syrup and sultanas…excessive I know! 😉 Your pancakes are making me hungry…I'm all ready for Tuesday now!

  7. That sounds delicious! I forgot to have a golden syrup pancake, got so distracted by the chocolate spread and bananas! Enjoy your pancake feast on Tuesday!

  8. I have this book, passed down to me by my Nan. It is what set me off on my cake journey. I also have the modern day version as well……in amongst the hundreds of other baking and decorating books i have 🙂 x

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