Baked Oats with Ginger Beer Bacon

By Michael Zee From the book SymmetryBreakfast: Cook-Love-Share
Baked Oats with Ginger Beer Bacon

Some people think I’m mad for making a different – and sometimes quite elaborate – breakfast every single day. I think people are crazy for eating porridge every single day. Swings and roundabouts. That said, I couldn’t leave porridge out of this book; it is after all a breakfast staple. But then again, I’m not going to teach you how to suck eggs. If you’re keen to shake up your breakfast habits then each recipe needs to be worth your time. So this is porridge with a twist.

I started toasting my oats in a dry frying pan, a trick I learned from the brilliant @felicitycloake. A few minutes on the heat will pay dividends later. In this recipe, the hidden layer of nuts and dried cranberries at the bottom gives welcome crunch and sourness to an otherwise ordinary bowl of porridge. Topped with sliced apple, a scant sprinkling of sugar and a hefty dose of cinnamon, this is porridge with literal and sensorial depth.

The ginger beer bacon is totally optional, but if you want a vegetarian option I would seriously invest in some J&D’s bacon salt, which you can buy online. You can thank me later.

For how many? Serves 2


  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g nuts of your choice
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 2 small apples, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp syrup – I used ginger but maple is also good


Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Add the oats to a frying pan over a medium heat. Move them around the pan for a good 5 minutes to stop them from burning. They should get a bit darker in colour. This stage can also be done in advance; you just have to let them cool completely before storing.

Add the water, milk and salt, stirring continuously for 3 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. At this point take it off the heat, as you want it fairly runny.

Scatter the nuts and cranberries at the bottom of a small ovenproof dish or skillet and pour the oats over. Top with apple, sugar, cinnamon and syrup, then bake for 15 minutes.

For the ginger beer bacon This is very, very simple. Before bed, stick the bacon of your choice in a bowl with some ginger beer and pop it in the fridge. A 330ml can will easily do a whole pack of bacon. Avoid using diet ginger beer, but do use the extra–fiery stuff; it’s available from most newsagents. Next morning, fry the bacon as normal, until caramelized, and enjoy.

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Something for the weekend