Monday, January 25, 2016

Dutch Babies

While working for the California Egg Commission, I prepared many Dutch Babies. They're a wonderful breakfast dish incorporating a lot of eggs and they look spectacular. Best of all, they're incredibly fast and easy...a simple batter poured into an oven-proof skillet or pan and baked for 25 minutes. The big problem they share with popovers and souffles is that the dramatic loft they achieve in the oven quickly dissipates as the dish cools. You have to rush it from the oven to the table for the ooohs and aaaahs. When we took photos of them for ads or recipe books, the photographer would have to be super-fast to catch the dish right out of the oven and looking splendid. I can remember baking 15 or 20 of these, one after the other, attempting to get the photo just right.

Sunday, I whipped one up for breakfast and for some reason, it retained it's shape. After I removed it from the oven, I plopped the pan down on the Sunday Los Angeles Times on our kitchen island. I admired it for a few minutes expecting the inevitable collapse but it just sat there in the pan looking marvelous. After fiddling with it a bit, I found I could actually remove it from the pan and handle it with no detrimental result. This one was a photographer's dream. Aside from slight overbaking of the edges, which may have contributed to the stability, it was delicious.

I used Marion Cunningham's recipe from "The Breakfast Book". Here's my interpretation of the recipe wherein I added a "resting" period for the batter:

3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 F. Beat eggs, milk and salt together. Add flour a bit at a time, beating after each addition, so the batter is smooth. Add melted butter and beat well. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes to hydrate the flour. Beat again and pour into a non-stick skillet or baking pan and bake at 450 F. for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 F. and bake another 8-10 minutes until puffy and brown. 

Various recipes (and there are many, many around) suggest adding a bit of sugar and/or cinnamon/and or nutmeg to the batter.  If you saute a few sliced apples in butter in the pan first and then pour the batter on top and continue with baking, you have an easy Apple Pancake.

Traditionally, the Dutch Baby is served with a sprinkle of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Here's a rogue's gallery off the web of various other Dutch Babies to give you an idea of how unpredictable they can be - not that they wouldn't be delicious.


  1. Hmmm. I think I might try this if I can find the right pan in my kitchen.

  2. This is new to me and if I can find a pan, I will give it a try :)