Don’t worry. I’m not recommending that you eat a small child from the Netherlands. I simply want to make sure that you’re aware of the optimal breakfast deliciousness that is the Dutch baby.
Here’s the basic scoop from good ol’ Wikipedia (the text of which I’ve edited slightly, because c’mon guys, nobody needs to read that many consecutive run-on sentences):
A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a large American popover. Compared to a typical pancake, a Dutch baby is always baked in the oven rather than being fried on both sides on the stove top. It is generally thicker than most pancakes, and it contains no chemical leavening ingredients, such as baking powder. The idea of a Dutch baby pancake may have been derived from the German Pfannkuchen, but the current form originated in the US in the early 1900s.
I’d never experienced the ineffable joy of a Dutch baby till maybe four years ago, when my husband John introduced me to it at Littleton’s Original Pancake House. I then began seeing Dutch babies everywhere I looked. (Well, in magazines and on the internet, that is. But isn’t that nearly everywhere any of us look?)
Anyway, the texture is phenomenal, and they taste amazing. They’re a little less sweet than pancakes, and wonderfully fluffy. They really do look like gargantuan sunken popovers — Andre the Giant’s popovers.
I recommend starting your Dutch baby education by trying the classic, which is topped with powdered sugar, whipped butter, and lemon. Go to a restaurant to get one, letting a professional handle your first experience. But don’t stop there, because restaurants and chefs the world over have conjured up plenty of excellent variations (berries! apples! sausage and herbs! green chile! chocolate! almonds!), and they’re not actually hard to make. You likely have most of the base ingredients in your pantry.
Below, two Dutch baby recipes for your consideration. The first one is a true no-brainer shortcut method involving muffin tins that I found in Sunset magazine; I’ve made it a half-dozen times and it’s always a hit. The second one is a Delish recipe I’ve been eyeing/lusting after for the past year… which I’ll maybe (finally) have to try out this weekend. Enjoy.
Chile Cheese Baby Dutch Babies
Source: Elaine Johnson, Sunset
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup diced salted butter
1/3 cup canned diced mild green chiles
1/3 cup diced pepper jack cheese
Preheat oven to 425° with a rack in the center and another rack beneath it.
In a blender, whirl eggs, milk, and salt to break up. Add flour and whirl until smooth.
Divide butter among the 12 cups of a regular muffin tin. Bake on the center rack in oven until the butter melts and begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Pour batter into cups and sprinkle with green chiles and cheese. Set on the center rack, putting a rimmed baking sheet beneath to catch any drips.
Bake until Dutch babies are very well-browned and puffed, 18 to 20 minutes.
Loosen from pan with a knife and spoon. Serve immediately, with salsa.
Note from Heather on Baby Dutch Bay variations
It’s honestly hard to mess these up. We’ve also made them with diced apples and cheddar cheese, which was a little more kid-friendly. Cheddar and ham would also be good. And I’d wager that you could do some great sweet ones with chocolate chips or berries, serving them alongside some whipped cream.
Mixed-Berry Dutch Baby
Source: Grace Parisi, Delish
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blackberries
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderate heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the finely grated lemon zest, sugar, and salt until combined.
Add the flour and milk and whisk until smooth.
Add 1 cup each of the raspberries and blackberries.
Melt the butter in the skillet and add the batter, spreading the fruit evenly.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 22 minutes, until the edges are browned and puffed and the center is lightly browned in spots.
Transfer the skillet to a trivet and dust the Dutch Baby with confectioners' sugar.
Cut into wedges and serve with the remaining fresh berries.