PANCAKES for most of us present a little problem. How do we tackle a food that we hardly ever make or eat?

But fear not, I have a simple foolproof recipe to share with you all without any flops or flipping hassle - nothing will get stuck on the ceiling!

So dig out the frying pan and pour yourself a large Gaviscon because it's Pancake Day next week folks!

Pancakes are the only food I can think of that unite the nation for one day a year, tossing good fun whether making them for a patient, hungry family or competing in the annual pancake race at work or school.

I've yet to meet anyone, regardless of religions affiliation, who eschews a Shrove Tuesday treat.

Why we don't dare bust them out at Easter time or on a fine summer’s day is a mystery to me, but I suppose if we did it would leave us feeling nauseous and infantilized.

French crepes, Indian dosas, even Ethiopian injera, all fall under the same delightful banner and in my opinion the British pancake is highly underrated.

But as any schoolchild knows, modern pancakes are descended from those specifically designed to get rid of rich and fatty foods, including eggs, butter, milk and sugar, before the beginning of Lent when we are supposed to give up at least one vice for 40 days and 40 nights.

Stand or deliver?

Resting the batter is one of those ideas which I've always lazily chosen to ignore – after all, what kind of busy mum has time to keep the kids waiting from school and make her pancake mix half an hour before they plan to eat?

But I'm sure someone will point out to me that by doing so, the starch has more time to absorb the liquid, and air bubbles to disperse.

Get flipping!

Cooking your pancakes is another debate I won’t get into – you see I like mine thin and crispy and must have the pan and butter wolfed hot and hissing to achieve this.

But if you prefer a softer finish simply turn the gas down a little before cooking.

Aim for a pancake the size of a dinner plate pouring the batter from a ladle which must have been whisked well.

Once cooked and on the dinner plate a squirt of real lemon juice with a good sprinkling of sugar is mandatory and is the law in my household. This is my kind of pancake -- it pleases my mouth if not the eye.

Using Jif lemon juice has been the novelty of convenience from 1983 and has worn thin – but please splash out and use the real thing this Pancake Day.

How do you eat your pancakes? Kids, chocolate spread and banana is wicked - now you're talking!

• Have you missed any of Baker Mike’s previous Friend In Knead columns in the Keighley News? Never fear, simply visit our, click on What’s On then Food & Drink, and there are host of bakerlicious goodies to make!