Saturday, August 18, 2012
Dutch babies are a type of puffed pancake. These can be served for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. I've had this dish on my list of dishes to try making for a while now, but I never got around to it, because I prefer savory breakfasts over sweet breakfasts.
This morning as we were drinking our coffee, Will was settling into reading something. I was hungry. He didn't look like he was going to want to leave to get food anytime soon, so I decided to see if I could make a snack. We don't have much supplies or food around right now (we need to go shopping for food soon), but I remembered the Dutch baby and wondered whether I could use the half-and-half I use in my coffee instead of the whole milk that I assumed most recipes would recommend. It only took a few moments before I figured out that half-and-half would probably work fine--Orangette's recipe uses half-and-half. In addition, most recipes suggest 2 to 4 eggs, but I only had 1 egg; I decided to try to make a Dutch baby anyway. If I had 2 eggs next time, I would also try it that way, but it turns out 1 egg works just fine, so don't worry if you don't have the correct number of eggs. There are many variations of recipes for dutch babies on the web. It appears that many different volumes of ingredients will work successfully, so if you may still be able to make a dutch baby even if don't have the exact amount specified in any recipe (within reason).
I used a modification of the Dutch Baby recipes from Orangette and Rockstar Diaries.
The flavorings (cinnamon, vanilla) are optional, and you can vary them to suit your toppings.
For the pancakes:
1 egg (using 2 eggs also works but will make an eggy-er pancake)
1/2 cup half and half (using whole milk will work, but half and half tastes better to me.)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
tiny pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
10-inch cast iron pan
powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
While the oven is preheating, crack eggs into a bowl and lightly beat. Mix in the half and half, flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla with a whisk until just barely combined.
When the oven is heated to 425 F. Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan on medium to medium-low on the stovetop. Melt the butter in the hot cast iron pan; if the pan is hot enough, it should bubble while it is melting. Swirl the butter around so that it coats the pan evenly. Pour the batter into the pan (on top of the butter), and place the pan immediately into the oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (start checking the pancake after 10 minutes), until the pancake is firm and puffy and the edges are browned.
If you like, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the pancake. Serve immediately.
Possible sweet topping ingredients:
lemon wedges (to squeeze juice on the pancake)
fruit (such as strawberries, or poached fruit)
I put out powdered sugar, lemon wedges, orange marmalade, and maple syrup. I found that I liked a combination of all the ingredients.
If you want to take this in a more savory direction, I've also seen dutch babies topped with maple syrup and crispy bacon.