A dutch baby pancake makes a perfect sweet or savory break

Dutch Baby

I’m a sweet and savory for breakfast kind of person: there is no or in my vocabulary. If I’m having bacon or sausage with a classic diner breakfast, I pour syrup on the whole thing. If I order french toast, I want a side of something cured and salty.

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In that weird hibernation period between Christmas and New Years, I made a dutch baby for a late Sunday brunch because it could satisfy my need for sweet (topped with confectioner’s sugar and jam) and the Gastrognome’s desire for something more hearty — a beast of a baby topped with gruyere-infused scrambled eggs and bacon. I had never made a dutch baby before, but I’d done tons of Yorkshire pudding. On Christmas Day, we had cute little popovers made with rendered lamb fat, after which the Gastrognome declared that he “didn’t like” Yorkshire pudding because it was too gamey.

Just as I was about to take the skillet-sized pancake out of the oven, expecting it to be golden and fluffy, I realized with horror that I had turned the oven off in the middle of baking. I took one look at the flat, yellow sponge, sighed angrily, perhaps stomped around the kitchen a bit, and started over.

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It was worth it.

The resulting pancake was so delicious that it was requested again a few mornings later, when we lazed out of bed around 11 AM on New Year’s Day after a long night up drinking tea and watching movies.

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The best thing about a dutch baby is that it’s totally customizable. You can top it with anything from eggs to fruit salad to salted caramel and whipped cream. You can add spices to the batter to tip it more in the direction of either sweet (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) or savory (a pinch of curry powder and cracked black pepper are in the batter pictured here). It’s one of those recipes that seems intimidating, but is actually insanely easy — as long as you remember to turn the oven on.

Dutch Baby 

For the batter

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sweet or savory spices
  • 2 tbsp butter

Process 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 F. Once the oven comes to temp, pop your oven-safe skillet inside to pre-heat.

2. Prepare the batter by combing all ingredients except butter. I used my Kitchenaid immersion blender and mixed until frothy, but a regular blender or even a whisk would work too.

3. Remove your pre-heated skillet from the oven and add the butter, swirling until it is melted but not browned. Pour in the batter and return to the oven, baking for 18-20 minutes. It should be puffed up and golden-brown when ready.

4. Serve immediately with toppings like:

  • Scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese
  • Powdered sugar and fruit
  • Butter and honey
  • Sautéed vegetables and hollandaise
  • Ice cream and salted caramel (because life is short)

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