I am a firm believer in eating breakfast for dinner. I think that eggs are delicious at any time of day and I would order waffles for dessert if I could. For some reason my open mindedness does not extend to having soda in the morning though -- my throat closes up and just rejects the stuff. There’s a time and a place, guys. Get it together.
That is why Daniel’s favorite dinner that I make is actually a breakfast food. Dutch babies, also called puffy or oven pancakes, are the perfect weeknight meal. They’re quick, filling and delicious, especially if served with bacon. I’ve made them often enough that I know exactly how these babies work for me!
Serving note: Along with bacon, I always serve these with a quick fruit compote over the top. Sauteed apples at the very least, though they are also lovely with maple syrup or even just powdered sugar and lemon.
¾ cups milk
¾ cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
Start off by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. A lot of recipes I’ve read call for 425, but that has always seems way too high for me, and my beautiful eggy pancakes get wrongly crisped. Stick with 400. Split your butter in half and drop in 2 cake pans. Or pie plates. Or a single large cast iron skillet. You are looking for oven-proof and non-stick here - I like cake pans because they are evenly sized and then Daniel and I don’t have to fight over who gets the bigger pancake. Put them in the oven to preheat and melt the butter nicely.
Go ahead and whisk everything else together. You’re making a batter that doesn’t look all that different from normal pancake batter. In reality it’s much eggier - you’ll see soon what that does. If you’re feeling fancy you can also add spices or flavorings here - think vanilla, orange zest or cinnamon. Whatever you like. I once subbed in eggnog for half of the milk - it was lovely. Or leave it plain and get creative with your toppings.
Once the butter is melted in the pans, take them out and pour half of the batter in each pan. Put them right back in the oven now! Don’t let them cool off during this step - the preheated pans give the pancake a nice initial lift. Now you’re about to see why people call them puffy pancakes - they start to rise in their pans within minutes. This is courtesy of the eggs - I love kitchen chemistry! It should take around 10 minutes, maybe a couple minutes more or less, for the pancakes to brown slightly, puff up greatly, and set in the middle. You will probably also notice that the butter has pooled deliciously in the middle - just embrace this and serve immediately. The pancakes deflate very quickly once out of the oven. These are like thick chewy crepes. These are like breakfast heaven in my dinner-time mouth.