It's Canada Day...and Don and I both have the day off (yay!). As Don and Quinn watched Imagination Movers, I took to making breakfast.
We had half a package of low sodium bacon kicking around, and I pulled out the ingredients to make pancakes. Everything came out of my pantry...and believe me, I don't have a funky pantry. It's pretty basic. I'll bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge too!
Getting the bacon started was easy. Preheated the oven to 300ish, lined a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup), and put a baking rack on the baking sheet (so the bacon doesn't sit in its grease- lets it get crispy, which is exactly how we love it). I spread the bacon out on the baking rack, gave each slice a generous grind of pepper from our ridiculously large pepper mill (one day I'll show you guys, it really is ridiculous) and a sprinkling of demerara sugar.
Did you guys know that brown sugar is basically refined white sugar with molasses added? I learned that recently, and it's totally the opposite of what I've always thought. I now use demerara sugar, which is partially refined sugar cane extract.
Back to the bacon. The bacon went into the oven for a while, until it cooked and eventually crisped up (did I mention that we love crispy bacon?) The pepper adds a bit of bite, and the cripsy saltiness blends so incredibly with the sweet, caramalized sugar...man, is there anything better than bacon?
I pulled out my "Cooking Bible" (Michael Smith's The Best of Chef at Home). I have tried most of the recipes in this book (which is more than I can say about my other cookbooks gathering dust on the shelf) and have absolutely loved 98% of them.
My pancake recipe is based on his Whole Grain Pancakes recipe on page 3. I half it and have made a few adjustments to suit our family's tastes.
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (less about 2 Tblsp)
2 Tblsp Red River Cereal
1 Tblsp baking powder
about 2 Tblsp cinnamon (we love cinnamon)
1 cup milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)
1 Tbslp honey
splash of vanilla
I did the whole "mix the dry, mix the wet, mix them together, don't over stir" thing, and then I let it sit for a little bit. I don't start the pancakes until the bacon is nearly done. I know, pure genius, what can I say?
As I'm cooking the pancakes (and if I need to explain to you how to do this, I think you need more than what my blog can offer you), I keep the finished ones under an inverted bowl. Got that tip by watching Michael Smith's show. Sometimes I put them in a warm oven, but it was all full up with bacony goodness, so I used the bowl trick.
Michael's recipes are great because they are a basic outline of what you might want to use together and he encourages you to play with the balance until you find something that suits your taste.
The blend of unbleached all purpose flour and whole wheat flour allows for some nutritious "meaty flavour" without it being too heavy. I added the Red River Cereal to the oats' measurement because I love the texture of the grains (and added nutritional value). I have made these pancakes with 1/2 cup oatmeal (as called for in the original recipe) and loved it. I made them with 1/2 cup Red River Cereal in place of the oats and they were like bricks. Tasty, but way too heavy! You can use 1 or 2 eggs (more for added richness), water in place of milk, butter in place of oil...whatever you have. These would also be great with a bit of cubed apple or another fruit in them, but Don's not a fan of fruit in his food, so it's left out of ours.
This is a regular rotation recipe.