Dutch babies, golden, eggy, puffy pancakes most often baked in a cast-iron skillet, can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Dutch babies, golden, eggy, puffy pancakes most often baked in a cast-iron skillet, can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kalifornsky Kitchen: Puffy pancakes help fill downtime at home

Dutch babies are a golden, eggy, puffy pancake that can be served sweet or savory.

Some people are taking their time in quarantine to perfect their sourdough starters or their stock recipes. At our house, we’ve made a fair share of Dutch babies — the golden, eggy, puffy pancake that’s always pictured bursting from the seams of a cast-iron skillet. Before a couple weeks ago, I had never attempted to make one.

We got the idea while looking for more ways to use up last summer’s salmon. A couple weeks ago, we decided to riff on a spicy gochujang salmon recipe in the “Everyday Korean” cookbook by Seung Hee Lee and Alaska’s own Kim Sunée. Following the salmon recipe is a recipe for a savory Dutch baby, which the authors note is a great vehicle for the leftover gochujang salmon and finely chopped scallions. So we tried it. And then we tried it again.

It was great, but our Dutch babies were coming up a little flat. So we tried different recipes and troubleshooted our previous attempts to make our perfect Dutch baby.

This recipe can be used for sweet or savory accompaniments. However, if you’re going for a savory dish, maybe cut down on the sweetener. The anticipation we feel as we watch the batter puff up and come alive through the oven door brings a lot more excitement when trying to use up leftovers. This recipe is also great on its own. We had one for breakfast this week and just paired it simply with a little maple syrup. A full pancake will feed between two and four people, depending on what else is added in.

Dutch baby

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1⁄2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon of maple syrup or honey, or 2 teaspoons of sugar

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons room temperature butter

Directions:

Place a 12-inch skillet (we use cast-iron) inside the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the three eggs. Gradually beat in the milk and the syrup or honey into the eggs.

Once egg mixture is mixed thoroughly, gradually incorporate the flour and salt. Then add the melted butter and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Once the batter is ready and the oven is preheated, take the skillet out and drop in about 2 tablespoons of butter, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Allow the butter to melt and swirl it around the pan so the bottom is totally coated.

Pour the batter into the skillet and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has gone by, and without opening the oven door, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the pancake has puffed up.

Slide the pancake out of the skillet and serve with whatever your heart desires.

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