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bacon banana buttermilk pancakes

i usually don’t get up early enough during the week for breakfast, but on the weekend, all bets are off. i like 2 eggs, home fries, sausage, toast, orange juice, coffee…you get the idea. sometimes we switch it up and make waffles, but nothing beats homemade pancakes.

if you don’t like getting up early even on the weekends for breakfast, you can do what we often do around here, which is make breakfast for dinner. in fact, the very first time i had the girl over to my place in college (on valentine’s day if i remember correctly), i made her pancakes, sausage, home fries and eggs…ok, maybe a little too much food for a romantic evening in retrospect, but it must have worked at least a little bit.

so back to these pancakes. i know, i know, bananas, and bacon, and buttermilk. but here’s the good thing – you can leave out (or substitute in the case of buttermilk) any of these and still have a seriously delicious breakfast (or dinner). the basis for them comes from mark bittman, and in a cookbook with millions of recipes, his basic pancake recipe is one of the few i have bookmarked.

the crumbled bacon does give the pancakes a smoky flavor without being too overwhelming, but what really helps push the pancakes over the top is actually cooking them in bacon fat. needlessly decadent? possibly, but in addition to providing flavor, the fat gives the pancakes a perfectly crispy outside.

as i write this, dc is scheduled to get a ridiculous amount of snow over the next few days, so there’s a good chance we’ll be stuck around the house. i’m predicting some snow day pancakes in our immediate future…

bacon banana buttermilk pancakes
makes 4-6 servings. adapted from How to Cook Everything [1].

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp melted and cooled butter
2 bananas, smashed
3 pieces crumbled bacon
bacon fat for greasing the pan (or butter if bacon fat is not available)

1. cook up bacon and crumble. reserve and strain the fat. y0u can do this a day or two before, keeping the bacon fat in the refrigerator.

2. melt the butter and let cool to room temperature.

3. mix the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a bowl. set aside.

4. combine the buttermilk, eggs, cooled melted butter, smashed bananas, and the crumbled bacon. mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. it is ok if there are some small bits of flour. let the batter sit for 5 minutes.

5. heat up a skillet and spoon on just enough bacon fat or butter to coat the surface. ladle on a spoonful of batter and cook until bubbles begin to appear on the top of the pancake. flip and let cook for another few minutes, until both sides are golden brown.

note: if you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk but increase the baking soda to 1 Tbsp.