“Dutch Baby” or Pancakes?

Over a year ago, watching a cooking show, I saw a chef make a Dutch baby pancake. I really wanted to try it but didn’t have a cast iron skillet. I was telling my sister about it one evening and she bought me a nice cast iron skillet for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to try the recipe so the next weekend we had grandkids, I asked if they wanted to try it for breakfast. Their faces showed looks of skepticism and disinterest because, why would we change a perfectly good tradition of chocolate chip pancakes at grandma and grandpa’s house? I showed them a picture of what it would look like and with the promise of being able to add the same toppings as we put on pancakes, they decided to give it a try. Because cooking at grandma’s is often a group effort, we mixed up the batter and with great expectations, we poured the batter into the flaming hot, buttered skillet, popped it into the oven and set a timer for 18 minutes. Most of us watched it cooking the whole time and as it got bigger, so did our eyes. When the timer went off, it was perfectly golden brown.

We added fresh fruit, a dash of powdered sugar and a drizzle of syrup. They loved it so much, we haven’t had regular pancakes since. Sometimes we change up the fruit or add chocolate chips and whipped cream but they always love it.

This is the recipe I used:

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1 cup of milk

Dash of salt

4 Tablespoons of butter – melted

A sprinkle of nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put half of the melted butter in the skillet and set it in the oven to get hot. Combine flour, eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg and the rest of the butter and mix until smooth. You can use a mixer or I just whisk aggressively. Once your butter is hot, pour the batter in, put the skillet into the oven and set a timer for 18 minutes. That’s perfect in my oven but if you’re making this for the first time, I recommend you check it at 15 minutes. Once it is golden brown, I top it with fresh fruit-the favorite topping of the grandkids, chocolate chips or anything you might put on a pancake, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. Some of the kids like syrup, some don’t. And, I should also add that grandpa has given the “Dutch Baby” his seal of approval and he asks for it when we don’t have the kids.

The history of the “Dutch Baby” pancake says that although the idea many have been derived from the German Pfannkuchen, the original form originated in the US in the early 1900s in Seattle, WA at a place called Manca’s Cafe. It is said the name Dutch baby was coined by one of Victor Manca’s daughters where Dutch perhaps was her corruption of the German autonym “deutsch”. A Dutch baby is very similar to a Yorkshire pudding but it used more eggs and Yorkshire puddings normally are used in savory dishes.

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