Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly while you get on with the rest of the batter and the bacon.
In a large, wide-necked measuring cup, measure out the flour and add the baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
In another cup, measure the milk, beat in the eggs and then the slightly cooled butter, and pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking as you do so. Or just put everything in a blender and blitz.
In the vegetable oil, fry the bacon (cut into half crosswise) or the pancetta strips until crisp, remove to paper towels and cover with more paper towels (not because I'm fat-phobic - as if! - but because this will help them keep their requisite crispness). Now, heat either a griddle or nonstick frying pan, smear with a small bit of butter and then start frying. I just pour small amounts straight from the cup (but you could use a 1/4-cup measure if you prefer) so that you have wiggly circumferenced disks. 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.
Or use a blini pan and, as just described, 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 stoveside gobbling.
Pile the pancakes onto plate, wigwam with pieces of crispy bacon or pancetta and dribble or pour over, depending on greed and capacity, that clear, brown, woodily fragrant syrup.
Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson