Peel and quarter potatoes (make sure your potatoes are all about the same size). Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water and a dash of salt. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork. Drain into a colander.
Return empty pan to stove and over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat. Add milk to pan and allow it to warm up for a moment.
Add potatoes back to pan. Using a potato masher or an electric mixer, slowly blend potatoes and butter mixture together until incorporated and no lumps remain (be sure not to overmix, this causes potatoes to become gummy). Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
Stir in chopped bacon and pepper. Taste potatoes and optionally add salt to taste.
Yukon gold potatoes are an excellent potato for mashing. Russet potatoes will also work, but can easily be overworked and become gluey. If using russet potatoes, try not to mash and stir them too much, to avoid a gummy texture.
For a richer, creamier texture, substitute milk with heavy cream instead.
Leftover potatoes will keep for 3 to 5 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator and reheat well.