Lately, I’ve been getting into making what I consider to be fancy breakfast (anything beyond smearing Nutella on toast), and I thought I’d share one of the latest things I made: bacon pancakes. (Cue “Bacon Pancakes” song here.)
As you know, I’m a big breakfast person, and pancakes is among my top choices for a tummy waker-upper. On days when I feel like being a bit more adult-ish, I use fruits like blueberries or banana rounds. A slightly naughty day would be tossing in some chocolate or peanut butter chips into the batter. The beauty of pancakes is it’s pretty much a blank canvas you can use to create whatever culinary work of art you want, though unlike a canvas, you can appreciate plain pancakes just as well as decorated ones.
And bacon, well, do I even need to explain why bacon? It’s the answer to any question. Together, pancakes and bacon are pure magic. Together, they can rule the world.
Bacon pancakes are not that difficult to make, fortunately, even as I made the pancake mix myself (I Googled a basic recipe and tweaked it a bit to fit my taste). On my very first attempt at my tribute to Jake the Dog (she said in an explanabrag), what came up were fluffy, savory-sweet saucers of delight I’d be more than happy to recreate.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 3/8 cups milk (just a tip: 3/8 = 1/4 + 1/8)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (if you’re using salted butter, I’d recommend only using 1 1/2 tbsp, and change the other 1 1/2 tbsp to vegetable oil)
About 12 strips of bacon
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Maple syrup and butter (for serving)
Before we get to the pancakes, I thought I’d let you know how I cooked the bacon first. Turns out, they’ve been coming out as shriveled, mangled (albeit delicious) monsters because I’ve been cooking them wrong all this time. In case you’ve been experiencing the same thing, here’s the proper way of doing it (again, thanks to Google):
- Lay the strips of bacon on a cold pan. (I used to heat an oiled pan then put the bacon in when it starts smoking. That was my first mistake.) No need to grease it with oil; that’s the bacon’s job.
- Turn on the stove and keep it on low to medium heat.
- When the strips start curling up and cooking in its own fat, use a spatula to gently unstick them from the pan and turn them over to cook on the other side. This happens pretty fast, so you can’t run off to the bathroom while you’ve got them on the pan.
- Once the strips are nice and crispy all over, take them out of the pan and lay them across a plate lined with paper napkins.
- In between batches, drain the pan of bacon oil. Set aside and use to improve future dishes.
Now that you have a glorious pile of bacon (try to resist eating them until you’ve actually made the pancakes), here’s how you prepare the pancake mix:
- Sift together all the dry stuff. Set them aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter.
- Pour the wet mix over the dry stuff, not the other way around. (This’ll keep the dry stuff from creating a white mushroom cloud while you mix.)
- Whisk the batter well, but not too much. Overmixing will leave you with flat, dense pancakes, and that’s not good.
Still with me? Good. Here’s the fun part – the actual cooking (It’ll be fun, I promise):
- Put a pan (I use a cast-iron one so I don’t have to wrestle with the pancake) on the stove and turn the heat on low to medium.
- Drizzle it with a bit of oil, then use bunched-up paper napkins to mop up the excess.
- When the pan’s hot enough (Test it by sprinkling it with water; when the droplets sizzle, you’re good to go.), use a quarter cup to scoop up some of the pancake batter (don’t fill it to the brim) and pour it right in the middle of the pan.
- Lay a piece of bacon across the batter as it’s cooking.
- When the bacon pancake’s surface begin to bubble and pop (about a couple of minutes in), you’re ready to turn it over gently using a spatula.
- After another one to two minutes, you can take out the bacon pancake and transfer it to a plate.
- Keep going until you run out of bacon and pancake batter.
When you’ve stacked them up as high as you want, serve them with butter and loads of maple syrup. Oh, and if you want to make sure the bacon’s still crispy, don’t wait too long before eating.
Fair warning: the sweet and salty flavor combo’s quite addicting. It’s almost impossible to eat just one (this coming from someone with limited stomach space) so if you’re on a diet, turn away now or leave your valiant effort to eat healthy at the door.
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