I don’t know how I made it this far in life without knowing what a Dutch Baby is. I’ve certainly never heard it called a “hootenanny” until I checked for some history about it while writing this column. But whether you know it as a German pancake or either of the above monikers, you need to make one – because it’s just delightful!
Essentially a bigger version of a popover, the Dutch Baby can be made sweet or savory. As it bakes, the sides rise above the edges of the skillet to create a golden, puffy crust with a tender, eggy middle. And since it’s cooked in the oven, there’s no standing over a hot stove while you make a bunch of them for everyone else and then get to eat cold pancakes.
Why have I fallen in love with this oddly-named dish? Its custardy center and crispy edges are amazing and delectable. It’s guaranteed to be impressive when you set it on the table, yet so simple to make.
Tip: Whether you go with a lemon-blueberry flavoring for breakfast or choose a savory combination for dinner (see ingredients*), it is best served straight from the oven. The golden puffiness quickly deflates … so have your forks ready to dig in!
Ingredients (sweet version)
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*For a savory pancake, add a half teaspoon of salt and substitute your favorite herbs (such as thyme or basil) and/or grated Parmesan cheese for the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
Ideas for Toppings
Sweet Savory Fresh fruit Runny egg Maple syrup Bacon crumbles Jam Roasted tomatoes Whipped cream Pickled onions Chocolate shavings Feta cheese
While preheating to 450°F, warm a cast iron skillet in the center of the oven. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk for five more minutes. When hot, carefully bring the skillet out of the oven and drop in the butter. When butter is melted, immediately pour the batter in and return the skillet to the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pancake is puffy and golden brown. (DO NOT open the oven during the first 15 minutes of cooking or you might deflate your pancake!) When you remove it from the oven, the puff will deflate and leave a “well” to put your toppings directly into, or you can cut individual slices for everyone to top on their own.