Let Me Teach You How to Dutch Baby

Growing up my family went to brunch every Sunday. For a few years, we went to Bickford’s and my mom’s standard order was the baby apple pancake, a fluffy baked pancake topped with layers of thinly sliced apples and coated with cinnamon sugar. I usually ordered the Dutch pancake, which is served with a dusting of powdered sugar and lemon.

Photo Cred: Melanie Cohen

Photo Credit: Melanie Cohen

Then a brunch tragedy occurred. BICKFORD’S CLOSED. Those first few brunches afterwards were sad Sundays. But we persevered and found other restaurants and foods to satiate us. We’d always have the memories.

One day (insert a ray of sunshine), I found a recipe for the supposed Bickford’s pancake. I may have squealed. It seemed too easy, too good to be true. I was dubious that such a fluffy pancake only required five ingredients and basic baking equipment.

You guys, it really is that easy.

I tested it out a few more times and made different variations. I started to sound like the Bubba Gump of Dutch pancakes. A Dutch pancake with apples and cinnamon. A Dutch pancake with lemon and powdered sugar. A Dutch pancake with bananas and rum. A Dutch pancake with blueberries and almonds…I think you get the point.

There are myriad ways you could make this. It’s also ideal for when you have friends for brunch because the Dutch pancake requires minimal effort and it has a serious wow factor when you pull that fluffy masterpiece from your oven.

Now, let me to teach you how to Dutch baby…

Photo Credit: Melanie Cohen

Photo Credit: Melanie Cohen

Dutch Baby Pancake (three ways)

(This recipe, and any of the variations, may be cut in half and baked in a 6-inch oven-safe skillet.)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (Any kind works–whole, low fat, etc. I’ve also used coconut milk to make the bananas and rum variation.)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar, lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk in a bowl until just combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stir until just blended.
  5. In a heavy 12-inch oven-safe skillet (preferably cast-iron), melt butter until hot and frothy. Pour batter into skillet and transfer quickly to oven.
  6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Do not open oven during baking. Serve immediately, topped with confectioners’ sugar and lemon wedges.

Apple Variation:
(Adapted from Yankee Magazine)

Thinly slice one tart apple (e.g., granny smith, pink lady) and put in a small microwave-safe bowl; soften the slices slightly in the microwave. Set aside. Combine 1 tablespoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg with ¼ cup sugar. After adding batter to pan (step four) add apple slices and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake as directed and serve with warm maple syrup and/or butter.

Bananas & Rum Variation:
(Make the banana rum mixture while the pancake is in the oven.)

Slice two ripe bananas on an angle, set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons rum, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a large skillet until the butter is melted. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat so the sauce is bubbling gently. Add bananas. Cook until they are softened, about 4 minutes. Keep warm until the pancake is done.

Immediately after removing the pancake from the oven, top with the banana rum mixture. Slice and serve.

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