Dutch Baby Pancakes
Have you ever heard of a Dutch Baby pancake?
The first time someone asked me if I would like to eat a Dutch Baby for breakfast, I said, "What? You eat babies here?" Everyone roared with laughter, and patted me on the hand and said, "Just wait!"
Soon there was an amazing puffy pancake sitting in a cast iron pan on the breakfast table, sprinkled with beautiful confectioner's sugar, and surrounded by lemons.
The pancake did look a tiny bit like a round and happy baby! Actually, I make popovers fairly often, and it looked a little more like an enormous popover or Yorkshire Pudding. No matter how it looks to you, this is a fabulous breakfast for a holiday or on the weekends when you want something special. Might be a good recipe to use for a birthday breakfast in bed, Father's Day, or Mother's Day.
You can eat it in the traditional way, with lemon and powdered suger, or with caramelized apples, or even with a savory mix between two slices like I did tonight. A syrup of berries is a fantastic accompaniment because the Dutch baby is a good backing for the strong taste of the berries. Do I have to say they are good with maple syrup too?
No matter how you eat them, I know you will be very satisfied.
All images created by Elyn MacInnis unless otherwise noted. Please attribute if you use them.
Dutch Baby Recipe
First - preheat your oven to 425 F
Did you notice the note above? Don't forget to preheat your oven! For this recipe, it matters.
The ingredients are very simple.
You will need:
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted.
Note on melting the butter: I like to heat up the cast iron pan, use the end of the stick of butter to grease the whole pan, and then add in the 2 Tablespoons of butter to melt it. This way you are both melting your butter and preparing the pan at the same time. You can use a pie pan or cake pan as well.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla -optional
My favorite tool for mixing this is a stick blender. Clean up is so easy afterwards - no clunky blender to wash, and no beaters and bowl to fill up your sink.
Pour the batter into the heated pan, and put in the preheated oven. If your oven has not reached 400F yet, just wait. The heat of the oven is important to helping the pancake to rise. I set my oven for 425 F but when I open the door to put the pancake in, it goes down to 400. That is high enough. It will take at least 20 minutes to cook - you don't have to wait long!
If you don't have a cast iron pan, don't fret, because a cake pan works too.
Cast Iron pans - better than any other for baking and high heat cooking - They last forever, and don't hurt your health
My friend Laura gave me one of her grandmother's cast iron skillets when I got married. A Cast iron pan has a nearly non-stick surface, and you don't get any of the harmful fumes that come from heating nonstick pans to a high heat. Cast iron is the best choice for high heat cooking, and I love it for making tall pies. My apple pie cooked in a cast iron pan is sky high with apples and has a perfectly crispy brown crust. I know I may sound like an ad, but I really am enthusiastic about my beloved pan.
A 12 inch cast Iron pan is perfect for making the big pan version, and the smaller ones can be made with six inch ones. Just remember - your children's children will be able to use these pans in their kitchens. And no one will be hurt by the harmful fumes from non-stick pans when you heat them to a very hot temperature.
This one is great for pies and high heat cooking. It has the best rating of all cast iron pans at Amazon.
You could have "twin" Dutch babies with this one. It is also great for melting butter.
This set gives you three sizes - a good idea to have different sizes on hand. The small one is great for melting butter for cooking.
Temperature and Timing - These matter to the Baby!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Popover and Pancake fell in love and...
I use an immersion stick blender instead of a regular one - It is hard to find a good one - these are the three best according to my research
Having to use the blender used to get in the way of my making lots of recipes. Making popovers meant having to wash that big clunky blender. And I would stress over whether I got the blades clean enough. I had to haul it out to use it, then put it back, not to mention cleaning the big clunky glass blender container. Using it was SUCH a chore.
But now I have my stick blender, I have complete joy making any recipe that needs a blender. It is light, simple to use, and cleans up so easily.
You can take the ingredients and put them in the measuring container, stick the blender in, whiz it up, and there are no big things to wash. You can make soup in a pan too. I cook up some squash and then stick the blender stick in the pan and in 30 seconds I have a creamy soup ready for eating. Nothing extra to clean up except one small blender piece which pops off the base.
The blender stick will revolutionize your kitchen, and you will love blending stuff that you used to think was a big chore.
I own this one. It works well. The instructions aren't so clear, but you can find great instructions online! Worth it. It is one of three listed as a good buy by Consumer Reports.
Another one of three recommended by Consumer Reports.
Another of the top three. One last comment - don't go for the pricey ones. They don't do more than these. And don't think you can use a cheap one either. They can break in no time. The three I have listed here are good ones, so pick from these.
The traditional way to eat Dutch Babies - Sprinkled with Confectioners' sugar and topped with lemon
My favorite way to eat them - Stacked with veggies and cheese inbetween!
I try hard not to eat too many sweet carbohydrates. I find them tasty enough without the sugar, and so I invented a new way of eating these delicious pancake-popover hybrids.
If you cook up vegetables, then you can put a slice of pancake on the bottom, some slices of cheese, some veggie stir-fry on top, and then another layer of pancake. The cheese melts, the veggies give it a deeper flavor, and the Dutch Baby is the delight that holds it all together.
I used a julienne peeler to make "vegetable spaghetti" out of carrots and cabbage.
Then I fried the carrots up using coconut oil (any oil works, but coconut has nice flavor and is good for your brains) until they had cooked for a while, then added the cabbage, adding water as needed so they wouldn't stick to the pan.
To give it flavor, I added powdered ginger and garlic. and a small bit of dark brown sugar along with some salt to taste. It was simple, cooked quickly, and was so healthy I felt fine about eating the pancakes with it!
Dutch Baby pancakes are a part of US history!
Manca's Cafe in Seattle, the small shop on the left up the hill, is the birthplace of this classic pancake-popover treat. Gossip has it that a popover fell in love with a pancake, and their love child was a Dutch Baby... well... not exactly!
Actually, people made these puffy pancakes for years, and the name is from the German word "Deutsch," so they are actually German pancakes. But who can't help but smile when you hear the name "Dutch Baby?"
On the menu at Manca's Cafe for years, they were originally served in sets of three smaller pancakes. The restaurant closed in the 1950s, and currently the spot is the home of a Starbuck's restaurant. But thousands of people now have this recipe and make them at home. I consider myself fortunate to have been introduced to this great Seattle custom by people who never forgot this great taste and kept the custom alive..