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Go Dutch, Baby

April 30, 2017 | Frank Bonanno

That’s me flipping pancakes at Frontier Days in Cheyenne. It’s the largest pancake breakfast in the world, and for awhile afterwards I binged pancake cooking. Every morning and many nights I tried different thicknesses and flavors until I got it out of my system pretty much forever. Then Jacqueline made Dutch Babies for breakfast one morning.
I’d never heard of a Dutch Baby but it tasted pretty great. I looked up Alton Brown’s recipe (he’s one of a handful of contemporary television chefs whose recipes always work–Ina Garten is another), and the ingredients and process are pretty much the same as for a clafouti. That makes sense, because clafloutis are a classic dessert, and pancakes, Dutch Babies and the like are essentially dessert disguised as breakfast. But I digress.

Bottom line is this: Dutch Babies are delicious morning treats–kind of a cross between a crepe and a pancake. They’re insanely easy to make, only two items get dirtied in the process, and every home cook should have a Dutch Baby recipe up their sleeve.  Here is mine for you, and a video of it coming out of the oven on Instagram.

I think the best pancakes, by the way, are doctored up from a Krusteez mix, which is a whole nother post.

Basic Cinnamon Dutch Baby
Serves 2 (or 1 if it’s me)

Ingredients
2 large eggs (best at room temp if you think to put them out the night before)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
⅓ cup flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
⅓ cup whole milk (best at room temp)
2 T butter

Tools:
Blender, 9” oven proof skillet

Process
1. Put the butter in the skillet and place it in the oven. Heat the oven, butter, and skillet to 400 degrees. (I use a toaster oven and an iron skillet because they fit together so perfectly.)

2. While the oven comes up to temp, make the Dutch Baby batter. Froth the eggs in the blender on medium speed until the eggs are light and lemony in color and fluffy.

3. Continue to blend while adding the remaining ingredients– about 30 seconds more.

4. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and immediately pour the batter into the center.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, do not open the oven while baking. If the skillet stays properly hot from the moment you pour the batter in until the time you pull the pan from the oven, the Dutch baby will kind of bubble up in the center, leaving a soft, buttery middle and crispy edges.

Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar. Or top with ricotta, fold in half and grate fresh lemon over the top. Or maybe try it with jam and fresh fruit. Berries, perhaps. Syrup would work, too . . .