Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Dutch Baby

My mom introduced me to the Dutch Baby when I was a teen. It's a German pancake. It is usually served sweet like American pancakes. It can be season with vanilla and cinnamon. It can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or a fruit topping. We would just drizzled with maple syrup.  One impressive characteristic of the Dutch Baby is how it looks when it's baked.  One bakes it in a metal pan in the oven.  When it comes out of the oven the batter has grown up the sides of the pan to probably 5 times the size it originated.  Like a SoufflĂ© though it quickly shrinks down to less than half it's former state.  That is why mom always made sure we were seated around the table before the Dutch Baby came out of the oven.

The sweet Dutch Baby was never our favorite when we discovered the savory type. I found a recipe call a Meaty Dutch Baby back in the 1980's. I don't know where I got it and a search on the Internet provided no Meaty Dutch Baby recipes to my surprise.  It came from a magazine and I'm guessing it might have been Sunset.  As it was my favorite magazine at the time.

Like the original Dutch Baby it does puff up in the oven, but not nearly as high.  I have baked it in a glass pan and a metal pan and it does puff higher in a metal pan.  The puffing does really nothing to the flavor it's just very appealing to the eye.  I have made this more and transported it than eaten it at home.  It's a favorite wherever I take it.

Another characteristic of making a Dutch Baby is you can't... let me put this delicately... fart around once you get to the mixing of the batter.  Have your eggs, milk and flour already measured and ready to blend.  You mix up the batter in order stated, pull hot pan from oven, pour into hot pan, throw on cheese... don't take a lot of time here to sprinkle too neatly.... and return pan to oven.  The pan and filling being hot is what makes the pancake rise.  Too much dilly dallying or not mixing batter in proper order results in a flat pancake.  Now don't get all nervous and burn yourself trying to be fast.  Just remember to not take the time to pour batter in neat concentric circles or scrape every drop of batter from blender or try and sprinkle the cheese on evenly and consistently.  It doesn't matter.   Keeping it hot does.

Meaty Dutch Baby
Prepare filling (recipe below)

4T butter
1 cup cheddar cheese or 1/3 cup Parmesan
4 eggs
1 cup each milk and flour

In same frying pan, make sure there is at least 5T of fat, add butter to make up difference.  Place pan with filling in 425°F oven until butter melts and bubbles.  Quickly, in blender break eggs, whirl for a minute, with motor running add milk then add flour whirl 30 seconds.  Quickly pour into hot pan and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake about 20 minutes.

Sausage Filling - Crumble 1/2 pound jimmy Dean regular sausage into frying pan.  Stir over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add chopped green chiles (1 small can California green chiles), 1 small onion (chopped), 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp each dry basil and thyme leave.  Brown slightly.

Return above for instructions.

My daughter likes it with Tapatio hot sauce.  Lots of Tapatio hot sauce.  Youch!

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