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.
Hosting brunch is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but actually can be kind of stressful. If you decide to make something classic like pancakes, you will quickly realize—as you hover over the stove flipping your twentieth pancake while the rest of your guests have already started eating—that perhaps a less labor-intensive meal would have been easier. The secret to a stress-free brunch is simply this: a main dish that is prepped the day before, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and get ready for your guests to arrive. The other secret is to make a crowd-pleasing recipe like this baked french toast, in which crusty sourdough bread is layered with smooth cream cheese and fresh blueberries before being immersed in a delicious maple-flavored egg mixture, then baked in the oven to a golden brown perfection and topped with sweet, homemade blueberry syrup with hints of vanilla.