American Pancakes (Nigella Lawson)

  • 30g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300 ml full-fat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 rashers streaky bacon or approx.
  • 100g water-thin-cut pancetta
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil for frying bacon
  • Butter for frying pancakes
  • Best-quality maple syrup

Serves: makes approx. 20 pancakes

  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly while you get on with the rest of the batter and the bacon.
  2. In a wide-necked jug, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. In another jug, measure out the milk, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour this jug of liquid ingredients into the jug of dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Or just put everything in the blender and blitz.
  4. In a vegetable oil, fry the bacon (cut into half crosswise) or the pancetta strips until crisp, remove to kitchen towels and cover with more kitchen towels (not because I’m fat phobic – as if! – but because this will help them keep their requisite crispiness). Now, heat either a griddle or non-stick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the pan (but you could use an American quarter-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggle circumferenced discs of about 4cm in diameter. When you see bubbles erupting on the surface, turn the pancakes over and cook for a couple of minutes, if that, on the other side.
  5. Or just use a blini pan and, as above, turn when the bubbles break through to the uncooked surface. There is a Russian saying to the effect that the first pancake is always botched, so be prepared to sacrifice the initial offering to unceremonious stove-side gobbling.
  6. Pile the pancakes onto plates wigwam with pieces of crispy bacon or pancetta and dribble or pour over, depending on greed and capacity, that clear, brown, woodily fragrant syrup.
  7. Makes about 15 pancakes if cooked in a blini pan; or if not, about 25 pancakes the size of jam jar lids.
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