Dutch baby pancakes are not your average breakfast fair. For one thing, they are roughly the size of dinner plates, and a single pancake can be shared among a table of friends. They also get puffed and crispy around the edges while retaining a pancake-like tenderness in the middle.
If a popover and a pancake fell in love, this baby would be their baby.
The secret to a show-stopping Dutch baby is a hot skillet. Put the skillet in the oven while it's heating so that the pan is scorching hot by the time you're ready to cook. The direct heat from the pan will cause the liquid in the batter to evaporate and puff the edges sky-high as the pancake bakes.
It's best to carry the skillet directly from the oven to the breakfast table without pause since those impressive domes and cliffs start to sink back into themselves as the baby cools. Dust it with a generous snowfall of powder sugar and slice it into wedges for serving. Forks are optional and licking one's fingers is highly encouraged.
Dutch baby pancake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole or 2 percent milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Heat the oven to 425 F. Place a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet or other similarly sized oven-safe pan in the oven as it heats.
2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor or blender, and pulse several times to combine. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla, and blend continuously for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides, and blend continuously for another 10 seconds or until there are no more lumps and the batter is frothy. Let the batter stand in the blender for 15-20 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the liquids.
3. Drop the butter into the warmed skillet and return the skillet to the oven until the butter has melted, 2-3 minutes. Blend the pancake batter again for a few seconds to froth it up. Remove the skillet from the oven, pour the batter straight into the skillet without stirring, and place the skillet back into the oven. It's normal for the excess butter from the pan to pool on top of the pancake batter.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the Dutch baby is puffed and turning dark golden brown on the ridges. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Serve with maple syrup or warmed fruit.
Strawberry Shortcake Dutch Baby: Simmer 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes. Spoon over baked Dutch baby and top with whipped cream.
Tropical Fruit Dutch Baby: Simmer 1 cup chopped pineapples and 1 cup chopped mangos in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes. Pour over the baked Dutch baby and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Savory Dutch Baby: Trim 1 bunch of chard and slice into ribbons. Cook 2 diced sausage links and 1 diced onion in a skillet until onions are softened. Stir in the chard and continue cooking until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over baked Dutch baby and sprinkle with cheese.
Emma Christensen is a freelance food writer living in San Francisco, California. Find more of her writing at Apartment Therapy: TheKitchn.com. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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