dairy-free pancakes with bacon, syrup and blueberries on top

Beer isn’t something usually associated with breakfast. Unless you live with Withnail it's probably frowned upon in your household. That said, I did make an amazing bucks fizz with some Champagne beer last Christmas to go with our smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.

Recently I’ve been having beer with breakfast quite a lot, but not in a way that would make my friends call an intervention – I’ve simply just discovered the joy of beer pancakes.

If you pick the right beer you can add all kinds of amazing flavours to your batter. While boring milk adds very little, a spiced saison adds some savoury depth, a nice red ale a little malty sweetness, and a hoppy IPA a citric tang. The beer is also carbonated, which helps to give the pancakes a lovely light batter if you use it straight away.

But what makes this recipe really awesome is that the beer completely replaces the milk. I make them for my lactose-intolerant girlfriend all the time, and it’s so much better than any of the alternative milks when it comes to making tasty batter. These dairy-free pancakes can work for both savoury and sweet dishes; try a wit – a lemony Belgian-style wheat beer ­– with traditional lemon and sugar, or an IPA with Cheddar and mushroom-topped pancake where the hoppy flavours cut right through the cheese.

Those ideas are so good I might go home and try them right now, but for this piece I’m giving you the original: this one is made with saison beer, a super-carbonated herbal and spicy beer that gives the pancakes real depth. It’s best with blueberries, crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup, but you can go wild with any toppings you want. I bet some cinnamon sugar would be amazing.

Jonny’s one-cup dairy-free beer pancakes recipe

Makes about 10 pancakes

  • 3 rashers quality streaky bacon per person
  • 1 mug of self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 mug of spiced saison beer (about a 330ml bottle)
  • olive oil
  • 1 punnet of blueberries
  • Maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 220°C/450°F and line a baking try with greaseproof paper. Put a grill on top and lay the bacon over the bars.

Sieve your flour into a bog mixing bowl, then crack in the egg. Using a whisk, beat the mixture while adding the beer gradually so it doesn’t foam over. Whisk until there are no big lumps. Stir through the blue berries gently.

Whack your bacon in the oven and get your frying pan on a high heat. Add the oil then turn the heat down to medium and add a tiny bit of batter to the pan to check the temperature – the first one usually gets messed up. Once you’re happy, add a ladleful per pancake and fry until the bubbles on the surface pop, then flip them. Once cooked, stack them on a plate and lay another plate on top to keep them warm.

Your bacon should be crispy and lovely after about 20 minutes, so take it out and lay them on some kitchen towel to dry. Stack your pancakes and top with the bacon, then drizzle over as much maple syrup as you dare, and tuck in!

For more cooking with beer, check out the Craft Beer Channel’s beer bread!

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