This recipe makes the best tasting pancakes and bacon with maple syrup. There are other recipes, but many of them promote ‘corner cutting’ and ultimately they come up with the same tired and blandly predictable results … however this recipe is the real deal, the true classic, and really only a few extra things need to be done during the recipe, and in each step you will see why we are doing it.
Summary Notes: the pancakes should be about 12 cm across, and thickly risen, to make them light, the bacon needs to be crispy and flat, not watery and bendy, and the maple syrup should be the best you can afford (unfortunately, like olive oil, the best quality ones are quite expensive).
Lets talk bacon: rubbery bacon can ruin this dish. Use streaky bacon, it doesn’t have to be ‘maple cured’ or anything, after all we will be smothering it in maple syrup … go for smoked or unsmoked, your preference. Cut it into pieces three centimetres across and about 6 cm long. The frying pan needs to be hot and dry, before you start, and the bacon needs to be good quality, without too much water.
As soon as the bacon goes in to the frying pan put a heavy iron weight on it, to keep it flat as it fries, the weight also helps crisp the bacon up, keeping it against the surface of the hot frying pan. As you can see in the photo we always use an old fashioned heavy cast iron iron (it’s over 150 years old) which is fantastic – you can pick these up really cheaply as no one irons with them any more. Just clean it and season it.
Classic Pancakes With Bacon And Maple Syrup Recipe
- 190g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 30g caster sugar
- 2 eggs (separated)
- 230ml milk
- 30g butter melted
- extra 25g butter (for the frying pan)
- 12 rashers streaky bacon
- maple syrup, to serve
In a large mixing bowl sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and caster sugar. Stir with a spoon to combine. Add the egg yolks, melted butter and milk to the bowl and stir to make a batter, bring in everything from the outside edge of the bowl into the centre. Once combined switch from a spoon to a whisk and whisk everything into a silky smooth batter.
The pancakes when they are fried should be thickly risen, without spreading out too much when the batter is ladled in to the frying pan. Therefore, the batter should be thicker than a normal batter, like a thickened cream, add a little extra flour if it needs it.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed – fold the egg whites slowly and carefully into the batter. This will help keep the pancakes light and fluffy.
Put a non-stick frying pan on to a high heat – grease it lightly with a little butter, do this for each pancake – carefully wipe the surface over with a little softened butter dabbed onto a piece of kitchen paper, folded over to thicken it, keeping your fingers from the heat. For the first pancake heat the pan until the fat smokes, then turn the heat down a little.
Place a ladleful of the batter into the centre of the pan, smooth it out with the bottom of the ladle so that it is about 12cm across, and cook for 1 minute, or until bubbles start to form on top of the batter. They are ready to flip over when the bubbles on the surface start to solidify. Turn the pancakes over for a further minute on the other side.
Remove each pancake from the pan and keep them warm on a warm plate until ready to serve. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
For the bacon: heat a frying pan until hot, add the bacon pieces, put a clean iron weight on them, or similar, (be careful when lifting if the weight gets hot) and cook for two minutes on each side, or until very crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
To Serve: Divide the pancakes up between the four plates, or pile them all on one plate so people can help themselves, add on top the crispy bacon and drizzle over with maple syrup.