Focus in on the delights of the kitchen and the table with ...

I beamed when this recipe popped up in my inbox back in February, amongst the weekly bouquet of beautifully illustrated recipes served up via Leite’s Culinaria ‘s weekly updatesIt’s a breakfast delight I used to make in the petite kitchen of my Greensboro, NC apartment, back when I was home from Peace Corps and teaching 7th grade English and social studies in my nearby hometown of High Point. The friend who shared that recipe called it “German pancake”. Given its simplicity and power to please, I can’t imagine how I ever it slip from my recipe repertoire.

But here it is, from a handsome cookbook, American Flavor, by Andrew Carmellini (Ecco, October 2011). You may have the ingredients  (milk, eggs, flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla) on hand. While I cherish the basic butter/lemon juice/confectioners’ sugar rendition, people vote for maple syrup, jams and jellies, sauteed apples, and fresh fruit as worthy accompaniments. You whirl those basics into a velvety batter using a blender, making this simple enough to make before you even have your coffee or tea.

Oven ready. Cast iron skillet is ideal, but any big sturdy skillet should work.

Both the recipe and many of the recipe’s commenters on Leite’s Culinaria believe that making this the night before (or about 6 hours ahead) is crucial to avoiding “egginess” and achieving idea Dutch babyhood. For me, mixing up the batter right before baking not only worked decently, it pleased me much more than the rested version.

This baby got a good night's sleep. I mixed up the batter, went to bed. Next morning, I baked it, and it came out wonderfully. But I missed the lumpiness of my first two ready-set-GO! babies. But you know I love all these babies, every single one.

My freshly-mixed pancake poofed and puffed up in a kooky, cumulus-cloudy manner (see first two photos at the top of this post). My proper, recipe-adhering-to-which, made-ahead, well-rested pancake came out symmetrical and smooth (above and below these words). Being a fan of the kooky, and finding it lovely rather than eggy, I vote for the buzz-it-up-and-go version myself. The option of making it ahead simplifies the morning feast, so suit yourself. And what’s wrong with eggy? I personally for one consider egginess to be a plus!

Showtime! My favorite take on this pancake-house favorite is melted butter, lemon juice, and confectioners' sugar. But you may stay awake while your batter sleeps, dreaming up delicious possibilities for how you will finish this breakfast pleasure, come morning.

The overnight batter version, ready for the table.

This recipe serves two. Or maybe one. Or perhaps a well-mannered family of four with other items on the breakfast table.... Well, it all depends. You'll know what to do. And if you run out, just make another batch of batter. The oven will still be hot, and you will have everything on hand. And fear not; I promise to keep your secret, that you didn't wait six hours before baking. Really. My lemony, buttery, powdery lips are sealed.

You’ll find the recipe right HERE, on Leite’s Culinaria. Dutch or German, plain or fancy, lemon-ed or strawberry-ed, I think you will love this recipe, and enter it into your recipe rotation for sweet, slow morning food.

About the Author
Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, and the author of ten cookbooks. Her passion is researching and celebrating traditional food in its cultural context, and her beloved subjects are two seemingly different places with much in common: the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Nancie gained her Southern kitchen wisdom as a Piedmont North Carolina native,and her Asian culinary research commenced soon after college, when she was sent to northeastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.
  1. frugalfeeding Reply

    That REALLY does look blissful.

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      It is, my friend. Just too easy to be so wonderful, but that’s a good lesson. Why to I think it would have had to be an ordeal to be good? Easy/good = tomato sandwiches, pasta and cheese, cornbread, edamame beans, eggs over easy (ha ha ha, didn’t see that coming; over EASY, get it?) I will stop, it’s early. But thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope your day is an easy feast of good times.

  2. Tracey Pullum Reply

    This looks so good i saved it on my nook!

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Hooray! I predict that you will be very glad you did. And while I have you here, do you love your nook? Thinking about getting one…

  3. Amy Reply

    Looks divine!

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Thank you, Amy; and in the case of this dish, looks do not deceive. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  4. Pat Reply

    I love Dutch babies but the only breakfast place where I’ve seen it on the menu is in Seattle, and the restaurant doesn’t even exist anymore :(. Thankfully I found an easy recipe in Gourmet a couple of years back. Do you know the history of Dutch babies?

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      No, Pat, I haven’t done any research, and there must be a whole array of stories and details on it. Different names, quirky names, goes back decades at least, and it has a commercial life as a diner/coffee shop favorite. I’ve put all my energy thus far into making them, not expanding the body of knowledge!

  5. Sally Pasley Vargas Reply

    Now you’ve brought something back with this lovely written post–‘well-mannered family of four’! I think we’re much too greedy a group to make it stretch this far.

    One of my earliest memories is sitting on top of the kitchen counter while our house helper (a German housekeeper named Anna) made us her German pancakes, much like these Dutch babies. Anna came occasionally to help my mom with the four of us kids, and she always made a big fuss over me. Maybe she saw into my future, but she knew she could count on me to ooh and ah over her pancake, always slathered a la Nancie with butter, lemon and powdered sugar.

    What a treat this is!

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      What a pleasure to look over your shoulder into the ‘window’ back to your kitchen-countertop days. Beautiful to think of the people and connections that brought us to this day. And how often food and eating and kitchens play a big part in meaningful memories for me. Thanks for this message.

  6. createdbydiane Reply

    oh I just love this, I made one years ago and now I wonder why I’m not making one a week. LOOKS wonderful. Think we’ll get these at “camp” this weekend? That would be yummy!

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Exactly my first response on remembering it, and validating after making a few batches. Fun, delicious, wacky, simple. This would be a Camp Blogaway Sensation! Thanks for visiting and see you soon in the beautiful Camp Blogaway woods.

  7. sippitysup (@sippitysup) Reply

    Since it is time for breakfast it seemed like this was the logical place to say how much I enjoyed getting to know you better at CampBlogaway. Smooch! GREG

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      You, too, Greg! So glad and honored I got to spend some time with you, and I am so excited to know that your book, “Savory Pies”, is in the works. Making room on my cookbooks shelf.

  8. Pat Reply

    I was at a cafe last week and they had both a sweet and a savory Dutch baby on the menu! I naturally thought of you and your post 🙂

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Thank you for letting me know this. And savory??? I had not thought of that; I am very provincial about the way a dish is, and need help to see possibilities. I can think, oh, this would be great with a different fruit!, but it had not occurred to me that it would be divine in savory versions.

  9. threlkelded Reply

    Thank you so much for the balanced “to rest or not to rest” take on this recipe! I’m not a planner, so it’s good to know I don’t have to rest the batter if I don’t want to. (One’s in the oven right this second, actually!)

    • Nancie McDermott Reply

      Slow to find your comment, and I imagine that your very own Dutch baby came out of the oven and onto your table in a good way, days ago. I’m always gnashing my teeth on jumping into a cookie recipe (without reading it through of course) only to find the dreaded words “…Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight…” Aaaacckkkkk! Sometimes we can just proceed, and sometimes, it really does make or break the dish. Happy cooking, fellow traveller!

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