After a while, the routine breakfast cycle of pancakes, crepes, & waffles can become a bit boring…especially when Monday is a national holiday and I’ve made my way through French toast, waffles, & crepes over the weekend. As I flipped over the pancake section of my mighty Joy of Cooking book, I found a recipe I had only a bit about, never had actually seen or tried them. As I began to work the batter, I browsed through Pinterest in order to get a general overview of what I was aiming at, finding different varieties of yummy goodness. Despite the easy instructions for a single large Dutch baby fresh out of the oven, I decided to make smaller cupcake versions, which resulted in a lovely family-friendly breakfast we all enjoyed.
Although the Dutch baby pancake is usually called a German pancake, I have a feeling it’s more popular in America as it is here in Germany – where I have yet to have seen anything of the sort – and also having been introduced in the first half of the 1900’s in Seattle, Washington with the term ‘Dutch’ being only a corruption of the German autonym ‘deutsch‘. Also knowns as a Bismark or a puff pancake, it’s a sweet popover treat – light & hollow made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding (also on my list of breakfast treats to try!). The term popover comes from the fact that the batter swells or ‘pops’ over the tip of the muffin tin while baking. In the States, they are brought out to you at the table straight from the oven, puffed up and golden, still in the cast-iron skillets they were cooked in. Be sure to bring these delicious pancakes dish to the table as it comes out of the oven for a lot of oohs & aahs! So easy to prepare & one of the most impressive to serve, I really enjoyed them!
‘A cross between a soufflé & and omelet’ it says…but in truth. I would say more of a light & airy pancake with a lot of fluff – no overpowering egg taste! I was a bit nervous when I read the line above. I have no experience with soufflés, and to be honest I have been working my way around any soufflé-style recipe, I’d blame the many a TV-show or movie tragedy where the soufflé just never rose. But this being my first experience, I have to say, perfection! And with the simplicity of the batter and the oven, much easier to make than regular one-by-one pancakes for a family of four!
For the Dutch Babies
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons of butter
Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Whisk together the milk, eggs, & salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Although the traditional recipes is usually prepared in a large cast iron skillet, I prepared this family friendly version using my cupcake pan. Line the cupcake pan with butter, and I mean lots of it! The more, the merrier! Estimate using the 4 tablespoons in a pan for 12 cupcakes. Set in the oven until the butter melts and begins to foam, making sure the pan gets hot. Take out of the oven and quickly pour the egg mixture into the cupcake cup, dividing evenly among the 10-12 cupcake cups. Place the cupcake pan quickly back into the oven and bake for 10 minutes without opening the oven door (as we all know this is the ultimate soufflé instruction!) Lower the heat to 350°F (180°C), and bake until the cakes are puffed and richly brownly, about another 10 minutes. Drizzle with syrup or honey and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
Serve immediately, straight from the skillet, before the pancake falls! It’s hard so make sure you’re prepared for when it’s coming out. I would recommend drizzling & sprinkling on the table after your guests have been wowed by the lovely puffy treat!