Friday, January 25, 2013

Easy Homemade Pancakes and Baked Bacon

This one got a
little dark!
If you have twenty minutes this weekend, you can make homemade pancakes so good that you'll never use that quick mix again.  It's a simple process of whisking together wet and dry ingredients into a bubbly batter and dropping it by 1/4 cup dollops onto a hot skillet.  The batter is thick and light (an interesting combination) and once it hits the pan, transforms into pancakes that are fluffy, tall, and beautiful.  I found the recipe on allrecipes.com (one of my favorite web resources because it provides reliable ratings) and this had an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. One of the scientific reasons these pancakes rise so beautifully is the addition of vinegar -- don't worry, you won't taste it -- which reacts with baking powder and soda right before your eyes.  It's like re-living a jr. high science class (a fun one)!

The original recipe says it serves four.  I don't know whose family they're talking about, because it makes eight pancakes, and in my family, it's not a plate of pancakes unless there are at least three!  So, double the recipe if you have a hungry crowd OR freeze extra pancakes to give a quick but special start to a mid-week work day.

AND, as a side bonus, did you know that baked bacon is better than fried bacon?  It's so simple, too.  And there are advantages - you won't get splattered, and the cook doesn't carry the aroma of bacon around all day (it happens).  Plus, the slices bake in perfectly aligned strips, very professional looking!  This is how many restaurants prepare bacon, and...

Here's how I do it:

BAKED BACON

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a good sized cookie sheet with foil and then a piece of parchment paper.  (The foil allows for easier clean-up - just crumple it all up when all is said and done, and toss.)
Lay uncooked bacon slices side by side on the parchment paper.
Bake for about 15 minutes but check a few minutes before if you like it bendy, or let it go a little longer if you like it crispy.  I like mine just between bendy and crispy.  Remove from oven and let bacon drain on paper towels.


See the foil under the parchment paper?
Makes for much easier clean-up...


FLUFFY PANCAKES
from allrecipes.com
(says it serves four; I double the recipe below)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar (granulated)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
cooking spray

Directions:
Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour."
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk egg and melted butter into soured milk.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet or griddle and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip with a spatula, and cook until lightly browned on the other side.


Perfect...


Flipped!


Three, at least!

One thing my mother always used to say about pancakes - the first one always comes out strange!  It doesn't brown the way the rest of the pancakes do.  I don't know why, but I find that to always be the case -- there's always that one, sacrificial pancake but there's also always someone willing to eat it!

Top with some soft butter, your favorite syrup (the real Vermont deal, or the grocery store stuff), even berries or whipped cream. Make them your own.

Now go enjoy your weekend!












18 comments:

  1. I love your technical terms in discussing the cooking lingo of bacon: "bendy" I think I heard Mario Battali use that term once.
    Kuddos to you Jeannie. Welcome Back!

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    1. I know, just can't think of a better word to visually explain the stages of bacon doneness!

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  2. I think this breakfast may have to make a guest appearance at the beach house this summer!

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    1. That can definitely happen, Will! On these sub-zero January days, my mind just goes back to Emerald Isle NC and the fun we all have there during that one perfect week. Can't wait to go back again!

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  3. These pancakes do look so light and fluffy - perfect really! And I looove baking bacon. So easy and delicious!

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    1. They really are so good, Colleen. And baked bacon - why did it take me soooo long to figure that one out?! Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Oh I have to bake my bacon now ... less mess and no curly bacon. I love it. Vinegar, vinegar! Who would have thunk that it makes for fluffy pancakes. I like strawberry preserves or jam on my pancakes. Thx Jeannie

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    1. Hey rainrork! So glad to see your comment, and yep, baked bacon... How many years have we been frying and splattering and dealing with all that grease? I like the idea os strawberry preserves on pancakes, too! Thanks so much for commenting. Now you're in the running for January's prize!

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  5. Jeanne nice write up in the saratogian. I think simple homemade foods are the best. Glad to see you back .

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    1. Thanks Sharron! I have to agree with you about simple homemade foods! It is good to be back blogging regularly! Appreciate that you enjoy my blog. : )

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  6. This is not good for my diet .. but BACON..their are no words for how much I love it....CKJ

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    1. Everything in moderation, Cindy! Even bacon!

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  7. the pancakes look great...may need to try this instead of the mix we have been using.

    I wish I'd seen this earlier! Watt and I were going to have breakfast for dinner, but I didn't know what to do since we were out of the mix! We had pasta instead :-(


    Marla

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    1. Marla, try these next time. It's fun to see how the vinegar and baking powder react and make the batter all bubbly, so fast! I bet Watt would love to help. Thanks Marla!

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  8. I've never had any luck with pancakes - can't seem to get them just right. I may give these a go. :)

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    1. Try these pancakes, Anne. I think they're consistently good!

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  9. Delicious pancakes. I was skeptical of the vinegar (i'm anti vinegar in anything) - but they were a hit. A new Saturday morning tradition.

    Aloha!

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    1. Aloha to you Frank! So glad you liked the recipe. If you win the comment contest, I'll send your prize with Sue and Pete! So good to hear from you! Go to the Duke cam and wave to me sometime!!!

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