The Dutch Baby, like popovers, are pure comfort food. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they’re ideal served up sweet or savory and mix up in seconds.
My wife Stella, so not her real name, announced one evening, “We’re going to have a Dutch Baby.” Wait, what?!? “Oh, don’t panic, you’ll see what I mean in the morning.” That was my introduction to what I call the “skillet popover.” They’re wonderfully eggy and can be topped to perfection with just about anything and don’t take nine-months to prepare.
The Dutch Baby is a pancake and known by many names, the Bismarck, the Dutch Puff, the Dutch Pancake and the German pancake to name a few. Considered by those in the know to be a descendent of the German apfelpfannkuchen (apfel–apple, pfanne–pan, kuchen–cake) or apple pancake, the recipe made it’s US cookbook debut in, Victor Hirtzler’s, Hotel St. Francis Cooked, published in 1919. Wonderfully preserved on the Library of Congress’s Internet archive, you can read the original at, https://archive.org/details/hotelstfrancisco00hirtiala.
An online search also reveals lots of recipes with some slight variations. The recipe we like best is kitchen tested, performs well, tastes great, and when I serve this dish to breakfast guests, makes me look much more sophisticated than I actually am. Best of all it’s easy. We do recommend a cast iron skillet but any oven friendly skillet will do.
Serve them sweet with fruit and powdered sugar or savory, with bacon and hash brown potatoes, or grilled veggies and cheese. Use your imagination.
The Dutch Baby
Prep Time: 5:00 minutes / Cook Time: 20:00 minutes
Tools You’ll Need
10” cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup flour
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Optional sweet topping ideas:
Nutella and banana
Sautéed apples with drizzled chocolate
Peaches and cream
Blueberries, strawberries, pecans, maple granola
Powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup
Optional savory topping ideas:
Smoked ham with fried eggs
Smoked salmon with Camembert
Italian sausage, sauté green peppers
Sautéed vegetables topped with Parmesan
Fried eggs, avocado, and shaved ham
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Many recipes call for ingredients to be at room temperature, so the first thing we do is to measure out the milk and put the eggs in warm water for about 5 minutes.
Add the butter to the skillet and place it in the oven to melt the butter. Don’t let the butter brown or burn.
Crack the eggs into the blender and blend on medium-high for about 5 seconds until they are frothy.
Add the flour, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla…
…and blend on low speed to combine and then, blend on medium-high for about 5 seconds. Optional: Add lemon zest and blend low speed until combined – just a couple of seconds.
Carefully remove the skillet swirling the melted butter to coat the bottom and side of the pan then, pour the batter into the skillet and return it to the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and puffed above the side of the skillet. Turn off the oven and let the skillet sit there for 5 minutes to set the pancake.
Add toppings of your choice and enjoy!