In pursuit of the ‘Dutch Baby’

29 Jul

My friend Mike first introduced me to this dish at The Original Pancake House. On their menu it is called a Dutch Baby, but I’ve also seen it in recipes as a German Pancake. Ever since he discovered them he’s been ordering one every time we go out to eat there, and more recently making his own at home. Looking for something new to make on leisurely weekends I thought I’d give it a shot too. Based on my friend’s advice my first attempt was based off of a Smitten Kitchen recipe. As you can see, this one turned out extremely flat compared to what I was expecting. This was nothing like the puffy golden delight in the post or what I’d seen my friends order at the restaurant.

Dutch Baby attempt1


It tasted good, but the texture wasn’t right… it was too dense and not at all like a souffle or fried dough like I was shooting for. I talked it through with Mike and consulted some additional recipes and decided that the problem was the amount of batter compared to the size of the pan I was using. We also thought it might have been from beating the batter too much, which could have made it tough. Armed with these thoughts I tried again adding an additional egg and some more flour to try and keep the balance of the original recipe I’d been using. This one turned out much closer to what I was expecting.

Dutch Baby attempt 2

The edges became brown and puffy like fried dough while the middle stayed flat and creamy. I ended up with some lumps because of how lightly I mixed the batter, so I thought next time I’d try using my immersion blender to mix it. I also wanted to try and use a slightly smaller cooking vessel to see if it could fluff up even more. I looked around the house and settled on a 2 quart sauce pan because it was smaller than the pie plate I had been using and it had high enough sides for me to feel safe that it wouldn’t rise out of the pan.

This is my third attempt immediately after it came out of the oven. It is amazing that it rose so much with no leavening in the batter! Glad I went with the pan I did. I think the high sides saved me from a messy cleanup in the oven.

Dutch Baby attempt 3 fresh from the oven

After just a couple minutes the center fell almost completely flat, while the sides stayed tall. Traditionally this is served with lemon, butter, and berries. I have been enjoying mine with maple syrup and a little powdered sugar, and that suits me just fine. I know I haven’t perfected this yet, but this is a pretty good start!

Dutch Baby attempt 3 enjoyment

Recipe:

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 c flour

  • 1/2 c milk

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Put the butter in the pot/pan and let it melt and brown as the oven preheats to 375 degrees

  • Mix everything else together until it is smooth

  • Bake for 15 min @ 375

  • Turn down the oven to 350 and bake for about another 10 minutes or until it is golden brown

  • Server with maple syrup, fruit, more butter, jam, whatever you like. I’m sure you can’t really go wrong.

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