It is not what goes into the bowl that defines the pancake, but what comes out of the pan. Ken Albala, Pancake: A Global History
Joe and I recently began to frequent a ‘new to us’ brunch spot for their Dutch baby pancakes. The menu offers both sweet and savory pancake options which made me think about recreating them at home with various ingredients from the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.
Dutch baby, Dutch puff and German pancake seem to be used interchangeably to label the skillet puffed hybrid pancake-popover. But, with a deeply cratered surface and custardy interior, is the Dutch baby even a pancake? Ken Albala, author of Pancake: A Global History, defines a pancake as “a starch-based comestible, poured as a batter onto a hot surface and cooked until solid.” With that, I’ll let you decide…
The Dutch baby will crawl up the sides of your skillet in the oven and become golden brown and puffed allover. Allow the Dutch baby to cook for the full twenty minutes to achieve a slightly darker bake to the edges. Sadly, the Dutch baby will deflate immediately upon removal from the oven.
My Dutch baby toppings included Flaim Farms scallions, Springdale Farms potted chives and Wm. Schober & Sons blueberries. Find something great at the Market this weekend and make your own Dutch baby. Choose carefully, as the Dutch baby responds best to lightweight additions.
savory dutch baby
yield: 1 baby
¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
¼ cup minced chives (or herb of your choice)
1 lemon, zested (juice not needed)
4-6 scallions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3-4 pieces
crème fraîche, optional for serving
Place a 10-inch ovenproof skillet in the oven and preheat to 425-degrees F.
To a blender, combine milk, eggs, salt and pepper and blend well. Add flour, and blend until smooth. (You may need to scrape down the sides and blend more to achieve a smooth mixture.) Stir in the chives and lemon zest. Rap the blender on the counter to remove some bubbles. Set aside.
Have butter and scallions at hand.
Working quickly and carefully, remove the hot skillet from the preheated oven and swirl in butter to melt. It will bubble and hiss. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and scatter scallions on top. (The butter will sit on top of the batter.) Immediately return skillet to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Remove from oven and eat! You may serve with crème fraîche on the side.
sweet dutch baby: Omit black pepper and chives. Add 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to the blender with milk, eggs and salt. Substitute blueberries for scallions. Prepare as directed. Garnish with generous amounts of powdered sugar and serve with lemon wedges.
modified from Dorie Greenspan