Home / Essays / 2016 / September / The Dutch baby pancake

The Dutch baby pancake

The Dutch baby pancake is something that has been on my list for a looong time. All research pointed to the primordial need for a cast iron skillet (that can go in the oven) for this recipe to be successful. After trying it in a normal pan and kinda failing, I let go of that dream because I’m not very good at following through. I buried that dream deep where the light can’t reach! Until today, when I couldn’t resist the impulse and I prepared myself to fail once more. I wanted something that I can whip up in 10 min, drink my decaf latte with Bailey’s while I wait and then eat a delicious, warm, lush dessert that looks monstrous too. It was the perfect choice and this time, by the grace of the Hungry Gods, it did not fail. It kept rising ‘till it reached the sky! The oven “sky” that is.

Here’s the recipe. May it bring you joy.

Things and stuff:

1.A heavy glass baking dish (as in fat-bottomed not one that you necessarily have trouble lifting). Mine was square and 24 cm wide. It made for a very thick pancake, too thick for some people, so these quantities could make two smaller ones or you can use a slightly larger dish. 

2. A whisk, a bowl.

 Ingredients 

For the pancake batter: 

  • 2 cups/480 ml milk (at room temperature!)
  • 4 eggs (also at room temperature)
  • 160 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest 
For “pool of butter necessary to make the pancake” 
  • 115 gr butter
For “slather on top” 
  • Lemon juice
  • Berries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup 
All to your heart’s desire, you decide the amounts of sweetness you need in your life today. 
 
The Process:
Step 1: Get your eggs and your milk outta the fridge and on your kitchen counter an hour before. They need to be room temperature. Both of them. Otherwise you will get a flat, sad dutch baby. If you forgot (and/or can’t wait) you can put the eggs in some hot water for a minute or so (not boiling!) and you can microwave the milk like 30 second. Make sure to stir it well if you do!
Step 2: Pre-heat your oven at 200 degrees Celsius/Gas mark 6
Step 3: Beat eggs.
Step 4: Add the flour and whisk it and whip it until you get a smooth consistency.
Step 5: Start adding the milk. First a small gulp, then when loose you can go crazy and pour it all in there.
Step 6: Lemon zest, vanilla, sugar.
I should mention I forgot to sugar mine, it was still fine. I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts and this way I got to drown it in maple syrup instead.
Step 7: Put your butter into the dish and get the dish in the oven. The purpose is to get the dish hot and the butter melted. Not brown, not burned, but proper melting and spitting fire.
Step 8: Take the dish out of the oven. Pour the batter mindfully in the middle. It’s gonna start forming a foundation. Don’t be afraid of the noise it will make. You’re adding something relatively cold to something burning hot, it’s normal.
Step 9: Carefully, place it back in the oven until the middle is custardy but set (like a pudding) and the edges are golden brown and puffed up out of control! Mine was, as I mentioned, a very heavy, giant Dutch baby, so it needed about 40 min in the oven. If you are the mother of a regular sized one, it will need 25-30 min.
Step 10: Get it out, squeeze some lemon juice on it, make it rain with sugar, berries and maple sugar. 

! If you get a puddle of butter in the middle of it, as I did (because I did not pour it calmly) do not worry. Just carefully drain it, being careful to hold the pancake a bit by the sides. You don’t want all of it to end up in the sink ;). It's way to purty for that!

! As I mentioned, the "proper" way asks that this pancake be less thick bottomed. I, on the other hand, enjoy fat butts and I cannot be persuaded to lie :D

! It may rise up higher than you expect it to. Mine looked like it was growing another one on top!  Worry not (if that sort of thing worries you), it will slowly deflate. 


That’s all, folks! I wish you happiness in the mouth (wink wink), the belly and your different-sized hearts. Muah!