Want some of these? Bacon buttermilk gingerbread pancakes?
Okay, here’s how they happened in our house this morning and how you can make them too.
1. Our daughter reads voraciously, even if she can’t read yet. Her favorite spot is under the dining room table, where she pulls one book after another from the giant basket of books and stares and talks and turns the pages. She’s actually reading words on her own, but certainly not entire books. Our favorite moments are when she pulls out a book and “reads” it to her Elmo doll.
This morning, she pulled out her battered copy of Pancakes for Breakfast. Since this is a book without words, she really is reading it. When Danny and I saw it, we knew what would happen next.
She clambered her way from under the table and shouted to us, “Pancakes! Please?”
2. I didn’t want to just make plain pancakes again (Lu asks for pancakes often). So I asked on Twitter: “What kind should I make?”
Many lovely suggestions jumped to the screen, including lemon pancakes, ricotta pancakes, cornmeal pancakes. Yum. But three different suggestions sparked something in me: gingerbread pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, and pancakes with bacon in them.
That was it. Gingerbread buttermilk bacon pancakes.
3. Ten minutes of frying up the bacon and mixing the flours, then 10 minutes of waiting for the batter to bubble on top of the hot griddle pan and keeping a stack warm in the oven? We were eating these.
Well, after I took a photograph, of course.
Now you can make them too.
BACON BUTTERMILK GINGERBREAD PANCAKES
These are lightly spiced, so they taste like a gingersnap without the assertive heat that fresh ginger can give. Using the bacon grease in the pancake batter, along with the crisp bacon bits, give these pancakes a good bacon flavor without being obvious about it. And the buttermilk makes the pancakes creamy smooth.
These are a special treat, not meant for every day. This was a pretty special morning.
Bacon. Buttermilk. Gingerbread. Pancakes. Go.
4 slices smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 ounces (½ US stick) unsalted butter
8 (about 1 ½ cups) ounces flour (if you are gluten-free, use the weight and this flour)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried ginger
½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
8 ounces (1 cup) buttermilk
Cooking the bacon. Set a skillet on high heat. Add the bacon pieces and the oil. (Adding a bit of oil to a pan of bacon helps to coax out the fat and crisp up the bacon. This is what I learned from Danny.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the bacon is crisp and the grease covers the bottom of the pan. Remove the bacon from the pan and put it on a paper towel. Set aside.
Melting the butter. Add the butter to the hot pan and melt it. Set aside.
Combining the dry ingredients. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Use a whisk to combine and aerate the flour.
Combining the liquid ingredients. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk and eggs, whisking them together until they are fluffy. Add the cooled butter and bacon grease. Whisk well.
Making the batter. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry and liquid ingredients together until they are well combined, not a bit of flour showing. Let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes before making the pancakes.
Preheat the oven to 250°.
Cooking the pancakes. Set a pan over medium-high heat. (For best taste, use the pan in which you melted the butter and cooked the bacon.) Grease the pan with your favorite grease, if you are not using the bacon pan. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the heated pan. When the top of the pancake is dotted with bubbles that have popped, flip the pancakes. When the bottom is lightly browned, put the pancake into a waiting pan in the preheated oven.
Repeat until all the pancakes are cooked and warmed in the oven.
Makes about 8 pancakes.