Whether you call this a Dutch Baby or a German Pancake makes no difference. In fact, I sincerely hope I’m not introducing this concept to you. I hope it has been on your Saturday morning breakfast rotation for ages.
It is a baked pancake, in essence. Some compare it to a flat popover. It has a little of both of those and a hint of French Toast, too. It is darned near effort free, and unlike regular flapjacks, this is not short order cooking. By that I mean that you might actually be able to sit down and eat with your family, all together.
Toppings are personal. Some stick with the basics of butter and maple syrup. I like a little butter and a heaping pile of confectioners’ sugar. My son likes a scattering of chocolate chips. I wouldn’t be opposed to a squirt of lemon juice. And, it is sensational topped with cooked apples. But all of that it is up to you. It takes about 30 seconds to mix together. Heating the oven takes longer than anything else. I use a cast iron skillet, but I’ve also prepared it in a comparably sized casserole dish. As long as it is oven safe and has sides, go for it.
I’ve never had two of these look the same. They crawl up the edge of the pan and get golden and beautiful. It is hard to capture a photo of one in all of its splendor because they quickly deflate. But if you open the oven and see something that looks like a bronzed Kentucky Derby hat, don’t be shocked. You are doing it right. Just don an oven mitt and remove it carefully from the oven. This needs to be served immediately for the highest quality.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs, room temperature
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a 9 inch (measured across the bottom) cast iron skillet on the stove-top over medium low heat and place the butter in the skillet to melt. If it melts before you have mixed the other ingredients, turn off the heat to prevent the butter from browning. [be aware that not all skillets are suitable for oven use].
2) In a blender, mix the eggs, milk and vanilla for 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Place the dry ingredients in the blender with the egg mixture and blend for another 20 seconds or just until the mixture is completely smooth.
3) Pour the batter into the hot buttery skillet and immediately place the skillet onto the middle or mid-lower rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the Dutch Baby from the oven and place it on a heat safe surface. Slice into 4 portions and serve immediately with your favorite toppings.
[Right Photo: That is a 7 year old, my beloved Ford, holding down his pancake instead of using, I don't know, perhaps a knife. But when you are 7 and REALLY hungry...and there is a chocolate chip pancake thingy in front of you...who has time to get a knife!!??]
NOTE: This is one of those great recipes that varies little from recipe to recipe. Some have one more egg or a little less flour. But, they vary on cooking times notably. I have had the best luck with a hot skillet placed into a super hot oven for a short period of time. But you can reduce the heat and cook it a bit longer if you choose too. Some recipes go up to 25-28 minutes, or start hot and finish low. But do know, at 450 degrees, that puppy needs to come out at 15 minutes, maybe 16 at the outside or it will burn on the edges. If you think it looks too underdone, you can cook it at a lower temperature for a few more minutes. But, mine are just the way I like them at 15 minutes in a 450 oven. Some ovens are just uneven and you might choose a slightly lower temperature for that reason, too. Watch this closely the first time you make it because the only challenges in the whole thing is figuring out the perfect moment to remove it and remembering not to FRY your hand removing the skillet from the oven.
In closing, how odd is it that my last post was about caviar, and this breakfast treat is made with pantry staples only, and comes in at probably 50 cents per serving. My moods are a funny thing. And, a joke to carry you over til the next post:
I hope that you eat so many German Pancakes tomorrow that you look like you are expecting a Dutch Baby. (please cue the lame joke sound effect)