Also called a German pancake, the Dutch Baby is a sweetened, egg-leavened breakfast dish that can satisfy a crowd.
By Aimee Tucker
Dec 15 2014
Eggy batter and a cast iron skillet yields one seriously delicious Dutch Baby pancake.Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey
Proving that a confusing name has nothing to do with a dish’s popularity, I present to you the Dutch Baby pancake, also known as a German Pancake, Bismark, Dutch Puff, or sometimes just “oven-baked pancake.” The word “pancake” is really hanging on here, but in reality, there’s almost nothing traditionally pancake-like about this dish, other than that it tastes great with butter and maple syrup. Made with a popover-style egg batter, it puffs in the pan while it’s baking, only to deflate into dense, egg-y deliciousness once cooled. Topped with powdered sugar and maple syrup, it’s rich and sweet, and its large size is perfect for feeding a breakfast crowd.
From what I can tell, the “Dutch” in Dutch Baby and “German” in German Pancake actually mean the same thing, since “Dutch” is a variation of “Deutsch” — the German word for, well…German. Seattle lore says the dish originated at a restaurant there called Manca’s, but nobody seems to be able to say for sure, and you’re as likely to find it on a menu in Portland, Maine as you are Portland, Oregon.
Take a look at the photo below to truly appreciate the shape of a Dutch Baby. As it bakes, the sides rise high above edges of the pan, curling to create a crispy crust, while the middle stays soft and custard-like. I’ve found that my cast iron skillet works best, but any oven-proof skillet will do. By slicing and serving in wedges, there’s plenty to go around, and never any leftovers.
While there’s nothing wrong with an original Dutch baby, some people like to enhance theirs with apples and cinnamon (Dutch Baby Pancake with Apples), or take things in a savory direction with cheese (Dutch Baby with Ham & Cheese). Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong in the flavor department, and when a breakfast dish is so easy to make, yields impressive results, and can feed a few mouths at once without someone (namely you) having to stand at the stove and flip individual pancakes, you’ve got yourself a home run.
Have you ever had a Dutch Baby pancake? What’s your idea of the perfect breakfast?