How I Learned to Love Pancakes
I’m not a pancake person – I’ve always thought they were boring and I really dread a sweet breakfast. Even as a kid, I hated the feeling I would get after eating a pancake, a plain bagel, or French toast first thing in the morning. Given my pick, I would choose a breakfast in Istanbul or Tokyo over the classic American breakfast any day. And yet, I’m about to share my favorite German pancake (also known as a dutch baby) recipe with you. Why? Because the German pancake is superior to the American pancake and it only took me one bite to know that I was changing my tune about pancakes.
A dutch baby is a simple, puffy pancake. However, I make one that is not only easy to whip up at a moment’s notice, but also gluten-free and not sweetened with added sugar. Last minute potluck breakfast? No problem! A dutch baby is destined to be a crowd-pleaser for virtually any occasion. This recipe is designed to be the little black dress to your brunch routine – how you customize it with toppings is the impressive part. In the summer, dress with fresh berries or peaches. In the fall, add apples and maple syrup or pumpkin. When you are looking for a savory dish, you can eat your dutch baby with crisp bacon, crumbled sausage, fresh herbs, roasted veggies, or your favorite grated cheese. You could even host a meal where guests can top their own dutch baby slices with savory or sweet choices!
Why I love the humble dutch baby:
- the flavor is simple & delicious
- you will impress yourselves and your guests with the looks of this golden, ballooning marvel
- it’s a classic blank slate: you can add whatever you want or eat it on its own
- you can use whatever you have on hand and what’s in season to add flavor and toppings
- make it savory or sweet, depending on your mood and what’s in the fridge
Dutch baby ingredients:
Serves 2-4 people
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk of your choice (I use homemade almond or cashew milk)
- 1 Tablespoon ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour of your choice
- optional sweet garnishes: butter, lemon wedges, thinly sliced apples, fresh berries or peaches, maple syrup, or coconut or maple sugar
- optional savory garnishes: butter, salt, cheese, bacon, fresh herbs, crumbled breakfast sausage, or roasted seasonal veggies
Dutch baby instructions:
- Place a 10″ cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat to 425° F.
- In a stand-up mixer or using a handheld whisk, whisk the eggs together vigorously until light and frothy, for about 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, use a fork or whisk to combine the flour and salt with the milk until you have a smooth consistency (no lumps).
- Add your milk and flour mixture to the frothy eggs, and whisk until combined. Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
- While the batter is resting, remove the skillet from the oven. Add the ghee to your pan and let it melt completely, swirling the pan to fully coat the bottom and some of the sides (if possible). Pour your batter into the hot skillet, and place it back in the oven. Shut the door quickly so the oven retains as much heat as possible!
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the sides have puffed up a lot, and the entire top of the pancake is golden brown.
- Remove the dutch baby from your oven and either loosen and transfer it to a serving dish, or simply place the whole skillet on a hot pad directly on the table. If you do the latter method, be sure to carefully protect the hot skillet handle from scorching hands with a dish towel or oven mitt.
- Serve immediately for best results, as the puff will slowly deflate as it cools. To serve, slice the dutch baby like a pie and add toppings.
Tip: If you’re new to using cast iron skillets, we’ve put together some helpful tips for caring for and cleaning them here: Nontoxic Cookware: How to Choose It, Care for It, and Keep it Forever.