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dutch baby

It is a complete mystery to us why this simple and delicious, four-ingredient breakfast isn’t listed on every menu across the country. They are much easier and quicker to make than pancakes or waffles, not to mention there’s no waffle iron to clean. Everything is mixed in one bowl, cooked in one pan, and baked to a golden perfection in just fifteen minutes. A dutch baby is a beautiful and rustic dish similar to a pancake, but has toasted crispy edges, with a tender crepe-like center. As it bakes, it puffs up and rises high above the sides of the skillet like a gorgeous soufflé, before deflating dramatically when it emerges hot from the oven. There are so many wonderful toppings to choose from so you can make it differently every time, and this is where the fun begins.

While many recipes add sugar or spices, this is the simple and classic version. Just eggs, flour, milk, a touch of butter, and that’s it. The simplicity allows you to put on whatever topping you would like. It can be as easy as pouring on a bit of maple syrup or a dusting of powdered sugar. One of our favorite combinations is lemon and honey, but fresh fruit or a spoonful of applesauce or jam are equally delicious. Or, if you want to venture into sweeter territory, perhaps a bit of Nutella or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would do the trick. The world is your dutch baby.

Compared to making pancakes, this is a breeze. You just mix a few things in a bowl, pour it in a hot skillet for one minute, then it goes in the oven while you have 15 minutes of free time. You can even start this before a shower, and have a hot delicious meal ready when you get out, making this quick enough for a weekday breakfast, and perfectly elegant for a Sunday brunch. And with such an incredibly simple prep and cleanup, you have more time to do what you want. Dutch babies may be relatively unknown now, but this light and irresistibly satisfying breakfast is too good to stay a secret much longer.

Dutch Baby
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
serves 1 to 2

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, flour, and eggs until smooth and blended, then set aside. Place a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat, and add the butter. As it melts, tilt the pan around so the butter coats the sides of the pan. Then pour the batter into the pan and cook without stirring for one minute. Then transfer the skillet into the oven, and bake until puffed and golden brown on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately while still hot.

notes:
— To serve, use whatever toppings you would like! Honey and lemon juice is classic, as is fresh fruit or even maple syrup. Get creative, and you can’t go wrong!
— To double the recipe: double all the ingredients, and instead of a skillet use a 9×13-inch glass baking pan. You will not be using the stove for this. Place the empty pan in the oven as it preheats, and when the oven is hot, place the butter in the pan to melt it. Pour the batter into the pan, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes.