March 11, 2014 Comments Off on [ Bacon Pancakes, Need I Say More? – March 11th, 2014 ]
I cook a lot – I really enjoy cooking, that being said… I never write about it! In the process of starting my new project Through Daily Lives (Go check it out! Yes, that’s some shameless self-promotion, but also promotion for the other writers involved!) I started toying around with the idea of adding a cooking/recipes section to it and got to thinking… well not all of my cooking and experimentation in the kitchen would really be appropriate for the newsletter or blog associated with the project – that doesn’t mean I can’t write about them! So with that being said, you might see more of me around here – especially since cooking is something I do much more than getting new products to review and I have plenty of photos sitting around of previous cooking experiments I could share too! Recipes you find here will be less Spoonie-friendly (go read the Spoon Theory if you don’t know what that is, in short it refers to those who suffer from Chronic Illness) and probably take a lot more work and energy than I’d feel comfortable posting over there. I WISH this experiment had a more Spoonie friendly version (beyond using ‘just add water’ pancake mix versus the original type) but sadly, this is a pretty energy heavy meal to make due to all of the mixing and flipping.
What is this new fangled recipe I tried out? MOTHER F’ING BACON PANCAKES!
I may get crucified for this, but, I didn’t get the itching for trying out this idea from Adventure Time (I’ve never gotten into the show, honestly, another thing the internet may hate me for!). I got it from a good old obsession with breakfast food and a way to find a way that could make my pancakes more yummy and less syrup-messy-soggy. My pictures feature my whole meal – complimented by some amazing strawberries (those were a way overpriced treat that I don’t even regret), eggs that I finally got the temperature right on this stove to get the way I like, english muffins because you can’t hold back my obsession, and my favourite plates that I don’t use nearly enough because nothing scares me more than scratching or breaking them.
I went with the not ‘complete’ version of a pancake because I’ve found they have a slightly thicker consistency in personal experience and I thought that would make for better shaped pancakes when it came to the point of dealing with the grease that would inevitably come off of the bacon and try and rudely disrupt the batter.
So I went on my merry way, making the batter as directed – but this is where my syrup flavour-retention-stickyness-removal idea came into fruition! I decided that I was going to try something I hadn’t before – now I’ve added all sorts of things into pancake mix varying from your normal fruits and chocolate to nutella and even peanut butter (I still need to figure that one out, maybe a blender trial is in my future to try and combat the sticky chunks) – but this wasn’t going to be one of those times where you could see the results… I added the syrup right in! For reference I added about 1/4th a cup of the sticky stuff and it did take a lot of extra mixing than usual, but it was totally worth it. Next time I think I’m going to try adding in 2/3rds because there was the nice maple flavour there, but I’d like it to be a bit stronger personally, if you’re looking for something subtle the 1/4th a cup should work for you.
Even if you’re not making bacon pancakes… I highly suggest this ‘syrup right in the batter’ method when you want to avoid a mess. I think it could be pretty handy for feeding messy little children or avoiding mess and ants on a camping trip!
When it came to the bacon I tried two different ways of cooking. Most online recipes said to cook everything at once (as in bacon down, batter immediately) so I tried that first. It sketched me out a little bit to cook the pancakes this way because I felt like the bacon looked a bit undercooked, on top of the fact that I much prefer my bacon crispy any way. I tried a second method – cooking the bacon on one side and then adding the batter after the normal flipping sequence. I found this worked equally as well as far as pancake cooking went, but I found the bacon much easier to cut when it came to the end product and actually eating the yummy results. So my suggestion here is to let the bacon cook about 60-90 seconds (depending on how crispy you like things) to allow the bacon to ‘retract’ to its cooked size and give it a little pre-cooking before you add the batter.
When it comes to flippage… I found it was a little difficult to gage, I won’t deny that I blackened the first side of a few pancakes when trying to figure out when exactly to flip the pancakes – the grease from the bacon definitely made things bubble a bit more and since that is how you usually tell when to flip… it definitely made things a bit less clear!
I can’t really give a general guess about when to flip because this will differ depending on your pan size (due to grease collection), heat you’re cooking at (this can differ greatly between stoves and cook top type!), and just the fact that some people are better flippers than others! I do suggest using your widest spatula you have, though – because that will keep the weigh of the bacon from breaking up the pancake at all (I found out the hard way this WILL happen if you muck up and make the pancake too big).
That leaves another question – what about size?! I saw a lot of variation in size over the internet and I went for something in the middle. I had a lot of problems with the one pancake that was actual pancake size so I definitely don’t recommend that. The medium size I went with did have one downside: I lost a lot of bacon flavour because there was so much more pancake to bacon in the ratio (though I could definitely still get some salty goodness), I would definitely suggest going thinner than I did in this attempt. Probably not more than a half an inch (optimally) on each side of the bacon. Next time I’m going to use something that will pour more evenly than doing it right out of the mixing bowl to try and get more control over the size because its definitely necessary!
With my bacon pancakes piled up and cooked, my eggs sitting there in over-easy perfection, my english muffins buttered and waiting, and those glorious strawberries calling my name… it was time to chow down!
I’m super proud of myself for the eggs, honestly, I’ve been mad at myself for months for not being able to get them right now that I have an electric stove again, not a gas one like I did in Chicago. That aside, I was very happy with my first attempt at Bacon Pancakes! There are definitely things I’d change about the way I did them, but all in all they came out awesome and I will definitely be cooking them again with said suggested amendments.
Over All Score: 3/5 on this attempt, 5/5 on the idea over all
Pros: Less messy, great flavour profile, no syrup getting all over my yummy eggs and soggying up my english muffins.
Cons: Hard to pour the batter, floppy bacon.
Things I’d Change:
- Use something that makes batter control easier (perhaps a laddle or a measuring cup with a little spout).
- Invest in a griddle because I’m pretty sure that would solve my grease-making-too-many-extra-bubbles issue.
- Keep the size to not much more than a half an inch wider than the bacon itself to keep optimal bacon to pancake taste ratio.
- Not get so distracted by the Pokemon I was watching in the background because I found out they put it on Netflix because I probably would have had better results with flippage if I cut down on the ADD a bit.
- Increase 1/4th a cup of syrup to 2/3rds a cup to increase syrupy taste from subtle to more powerful. I might personally just go straight for a half a cup next time because I really love maple.
- Perhaps use a maple version of bacon to help in that maple flavour increase.
Experimental Things I’d Keep:
- Cooking the bacon slightly before dousing it in batter. I don’t see this suggested on any other recipes, but I definitely recommend it.
- Not using the ‘Complete/Just Add Water’ versions of batter because they tend to be runnier than the original versions.
- Definitely adding the syrup right into the batter, such a good trick to figure out!
- Adding only 1/4th a cup of syrup if you want a subtle maple flavour.
- Using my wider spatula to help counteract the weight of the bacon in the batter.
I’ve liked this whole writing about my cooking experiment experience! I think you’ll definitely be seeing more of my culinary adventures around here! 🙂