Eating a pancake breakfast sandwich is a flavour experience every salty-sweet-loving human deserves. Bacon, egg, and cheese combined with fluffy pancake batter is such a triumphant blend of smoke, salt, fat, and sweet, this winning combo should be inextricably bound. Please join me in observing the sacred union of BEC and pancake batter in casserole matrimony.
A BEC pancake bake packs all of the flavours of a complete breakfast in a satisfying slice. It’s an impressive behemoth for a brunch party, or a clever way to prep your workweek breakfast. I had imagined a layered casserole with the pillowy pancake mix as the base, an eggy centre, and a topping of shredded cheese and bacon. In practice, the casserole had plans of its own. I poured the egg on top of the pancake batter, turned around to get the bacon, and when I glanced back the egg was gone. Silly me. I still got the layers, but the pancake batter and egg switched places.
Pancake batter includes baking soda, which gets busy making bubbles as soon as liquid is mixed in. This means the batter quickly becomes lighter than the egg as it sits. The dense egg sinks to the bottom and the fluffy pancake batter rises up. In spite of this, I wouldn’t switch the layering order, as you can spread out the batter more evenly if you pour it into the dish first, but also it’s fun to watch. Some of the cheese and bacon will also be engulfed by the rising cloud of pancake batter, so there’s no need to consciously mix the ingredients, they’ll take care of themselves in the oven.
Cook the bacon first, and if you’re using sausage crumbles or any other raw meat, cook these thoroughly. I baked the bacon to a chewy state, but you can use a frying pan or the microwave if it suits you. Cook the bacon until it’s just shy of the way you like it. It’ll cook further in the oven but some pieces will get sucked beneath the surface of the casserole, and those pieces won’t crisp during the casserole’s bake time. Once the bacon is cooked, chop the meat into bite sized pieces. Whisk the eggs in a measuring cup or bowl with salt and pepper. Butter a casserole dish. I used a shallow eight by eleven-inch Pyrex.
Once you’ve prepped all that, you’re ready to mix the pancake batter. I used a boxed pancake mix, the just-add-water type, but you can certainly do one from scratch. I made the batter a little thicker by using a tad less water. The directions listed two cups of mix to one and a third cup water, and I only used one cup of water. Regardless of your recipe, you to be able to draw an “S” in the batter and still see it 30 seconds later, even if it has softened slightly.
Pour the batter into the buttered casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Pour the whisked eggs over the batter. Sprinkle the cheese and chopped bacon over the top. Bake it in a 180°C oven for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and browned on top. A distinct egg layer will set along the bottom of the dish, and will be covered by a soft and tender pancake blanket studded with bacon and cheese. Make this recipe your own by substituting in different meats, adding some herbs, or sprinkling in some sautéed vegetables. Drizzle with maple syrup if desired (and you should desire it). Cover and store in the fridge for up to five days.
BEC Pancake Casserole
- 2 cups boxed pancake mix
- 1 cup water
- 8 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a medium-sized casserole dish.
Whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl or measuring cup. In a separate bowl, whisk the boxed pancake mix with water until combined. A few small lumps are ok. Pour the pancake mix into the casserole dish, and spread it out evenly. Pour the whisked eggs over the pancake mix, and sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the top. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed in the centre and browned.
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