Thursday 18 July 2013

Dutch Baby (a.k.a. Puffed Pancake)

I've eaten a puffed pancake for breakfast every day for the last three days.

So how about apricots roasted till soft with brown sugar and a dab of vanilla alongside a spoon of crème fraîche and a dusting of icing sugar?

Or raspberries soaked in a few glugs of dark maple syrup with a spoon of crème fraîche?

Or maybe some lemon juice and caster sugar, the classic combination?

I had my first taste of a puffed pancake in San Francisco last year. They were part of the breakfasts at a B&B we stayed in - sizzling hot and brilliant.

The moment we settled down in our rented house in Berkeley, I set to work, tweaking the ratios time and time again until I hit on one that really worked.

Yet I didn't share. It's not like me to clutch a recipe to my chest, but I did. Maybe it's because I also use it to make yorkshires and toad in the hole, things I'd always loved but never perfected before.

Mum and I both make it all the time in its various guises and (I know this is tempting fate) but it's never failed, always turning out excellent results.

(As a rare savoury aside, our toad in the hole: heat the oven to 200C/390F, get a small roasting pan and add four chunky, high quality pork sausages and 2/3 of a red onion (cut into thick slices), along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Roast for ten minutes or so. Make a two person batter as below, adding plenty of salt and pepper and a small handful of chopped herbs. Quickly pour around the sausages while the pan is still in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked and the batter is puffy and bronzed all over but not totally dried out. Serve immediately with some greens.)

The only thing to watch out for is overcooking. I served a toad in the hole to Stephanie when she was visiting that I'd overcooked by mistake (and a touch of cooking-for-a-food-blogger nerves) - it's really not as good with papery sides or without a slightly squishy, almost custardy bit at the bottom.

I always make puffed pancakes in a cast iron skillet but you could use a small roasting tray or a cake tin that doesn't have a removable bottom if you don't have one.

So here go you. Something so good I nearly didn't share.

Dutch Baby a.k.a. Puffed Pancake

For one, in a 6" skillet:
35g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg
75g milk
a lump of unsalted butter, about 8g or 1 1/2 tsp
optional: 1/2 tsp sugar

For two, in a 10" skillet:
70g plain flour
2 pinches of salt
2 large eggs
150g milk
a lump of unsalted butter, about 15g or 3 tsp
optional: 1 tsp sugar

Place your skillet in the oven, then turn the oven on to 210C/410F. Place the flour, salt and sugar (if using) into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the egg and whisk until you have a smooth, glossy paste. Add the milk in three goes, whisking until smooth in between each splash. Transfer to a jug for easy pouring (I usually weigh my milk out in the jug then re-use it).

When the oven has come up to temperature, dart in and add the butter to the skillet in the oven and close the door. Wait one or two minutes until the butter has melted and heated up, then swiftly open the door, pour the mixture into the skillet in the oven and close the door. Don't worry about scraping the jug out, it's better to be quick.

Bake for 20-23 minutes for the small skillet and 22-25 minutes for the large. Serve immediately with whatever toppings you've chosen.

(Serves one or two)

Three more breakfast recipes:
Seville Orange Marmalade
Brûléed French Toast
Homemade Granola


  1. OMG, I am so excited that you posted this recipe, as I've been craving toad in a hole since getting back from Oxford. I actually don't even remember you overcooking it--I just remember it being *delicious.*

  2. These photos are absolutely stunning, Emma! Well done!

  3. You've just completely reconfirmed the idea that I need a cast iron skillet in my kitchen! I also love that you've included quantities for just one serving as it looks like the perfect thing to make if you're eating alone. Lovely photos too!

  4. Ooh looks a lot like a Yorkshire Pud and love the idea. Many up here put treacle on their leftover Yorkshires and have them as dessert as well as starter. Love the classic lemon and sugar combo too. Mary :)

  5. You are such a sweetie - thank you for being generous and sharing your treasured recipe Emma. This is an excellent idea for unique accompaniment to the very many raspberries i nicked from my mum's fruit cage!! ;) I can get rid of the evidence quickly (and deliciously) and she'll never know!! :)

  6. I've never tried this but it looks gorgeous. I've got a week off next week and this looks like the perfect way to break in our new kitchen on a lazy sunny morning.

  7. I'm not sure which version I prefer, apricots, raspberries or lemon and sugar. They all sound like an excellent way to start the day! And useful for the toad in the hole recipe - I normally use the Nigel Slater version but it let me down last time much to my disappointment.

  8. Ohhh I love dutch baby I haven't made one in a very long time and this beautiful post just reminded me that I need to make one.Your photo's are so gorgeous!!

  9. Warm Vanilla Sugar18 July 2013 at 13:21

    I've been wanting to try this for such a long time now! This looks awesome!

  10. I ADORE toad In the hole-it's one of my ultimate comfort foods. I also love the idea of making the batter into a giant sweet pancake-I've had yorkshires with syrup & cream before but this looks even better!

  11. these photos scream homemade! so beautiful! i can almost see every tiny fracture of the icing sugar upon pancakes))) delish :)

  12. Hi Emma, these look great! I've been rather obsessed with Dutch baby for a while now (fond childhood memories) so I thought I'd note some suggestions I like:
    - This is a good recipe to make with a blender. You can just throw everything in and turn it on.
    - I like the bottom of the Dutch baby to be thick and eggy - somewhere between bread pudding, well soaked French toast, and souffle. You can get this with more egg and more batter...just by eyeballing your measurements, it looks like I use 50% more flour/sugar/dairy and twice as many eggs.
    - For a richer treat, put some fat in the batter itself. Melted butter or something like half and half work well.
    - The manner of mixing seems to affect the texture; I've mixed by hand, with a blender, an immersion blender, a stand mixer, and a food processor. I haven't done enough research to catalog the differences, but I think there are some.

  13. Victoria Pease19 July 2013 at 09:32

    Love this post, your pictures are so simple yet totally stunning. I made a Cherry Dutch Baby a few years ago and you have inspired me to pick up some eggs on the way home from work to make one for a special Saturday morning treat. But like you, I'm not sharing!

  14. I am going to San Francisco and Berkeley later this year - I shall look forward to trying a version of this! Love the apricot version!

  15. I've had dutch baby pancakes on my mind lately! Yours look super yum + I totally get that being too good to share thing ;-)

  16. Oh what a perfect sounding breakfast. Your puffed pancakes are certainly something that I can understand you not wanting to share but having said that, `I am glad you did. Thy sound perfect!

  17. Emily Sturgess19 July 2013 at 21:56

    Undeniably scrummy!

  18. I've always wanted to make one of these! The apricot version looks SO damn good.

  19. Franglais Kitchen22 July 2013 at 08:54

    What a lovely idea. A lighter airier version of american pancakes and I too adore yorkshire pudding so this sweet breakfast version is perfect. Maybe one could make mini ones in a muffin tin do you think? (or one of those mini yorkshire tins?)

  20. Karen @ lemongrovecakediaries22 July 2013 at 12:14

    I'm so glad you did share - these look amazing. I have never had a puffed pancake before but I simply can't resist trying these!

  21. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 16:56

    Hehe - I'm glad you remember it that way!

  22. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 16:56

    Thank you Siri, I'm pleased you like them.

  23. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 17:00

    I love my cast iron skillets. It took a bit of readjusting to get used to keeping the seasoning and so on, but they're great and should last for ages. I agree - it's nice to have a fancy breakfast every now and then, even when you're alone. Glad you like the photos too, always good to hear.

  24. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:26

    It essentially is - I use exactly the same recipe for yorkshires! I'd heard that people put golden syrup on them - do you mean black treacle? Glad you like them :)

  25. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:26

    Ooh sneaky! Hope it went well if you did try?

  26. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:28

    It's brilliant - feels like something that took ages but it's actually so simple. I had two friends round the other day for brunch - I macerated the rasps in the maple syrup and popped them on the table with the CF and a big pot of tea then made two batches of the 2 person mix (we were hungry...) one after another, shoving the skillet straight back in to keep warm while I made the second mix. Felt very stress free and hands-off, as the batter is so quick.

  27. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:30

    I enjoyed each version - hard to pick - but then I did choose the maple-macerated-raspberry option when I had people over for brunch. So yes. I had similar problems before with TintheH but as I said, this has never failed me...

  28. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:30

    They're so good, aren't they! I'm glad you like the photos.

  29. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:31

    It's worth it, I promise! Such a good recipe to have in your brunch arsenal.

  30. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:32

    Oh man, me too - it's definitely one of my favourite meals. Syrup & cream sounds like an excellent combination too...

  31. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:32

    I'm glad you think so - I try to capture things as they are :)

  32. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:36

    Hi Evan, thanks for your notes. I guess it all comes down to personal preference - I tried loads of different ratios (including one like yours) and this was the one I liked best - I do like a bit of custardy texture in the base but not much, so I guess that's where we diverge! I haven't tried it in the blender or processor - I like making batters by hand and it's easier to wash up - but interesting to note that you think it gives slightly different results.

  33. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:36

    Thanks, I'm glad you like the pictures. Cherry sounds amazing - hope you enjoyed it!

  34. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:37

    I'm so, so jealous, I loved it there so much. Hope you have a great trip!

  35. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:38

    Definitely a good thing to have on your mind (or, better, on your plate!). Glad it's not just me that sometimes gets protective.

  36. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:39

    I'm glad you like them - they really are a wonderful breakfast. Surprisingly good at keeping you full, too.

  37. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:39

    Glad you enjoyed them! It was a good brunch.

  38. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:40

    They're so much fun to make - I hope you try them one day!

  39. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:41

    You could make mini ones but I think you'd probably lose the touch of custardy-ness on the bottom - I've noticed you get a bit less on the one person portion vs two. Though it could be very cute.

  40. poiresauchocolat22 July 2013 at 18:42

    It's such a great recipe to have up your sleeve. Let me know how they go if you do try them.

  41. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen24 July 2013 at 11:26

    I´ve yet to make a dutch pancake. My breakfast is coffee, and by the time I get down to eating something, it´s usually toast and yogurt. But I really should try the lemon and sugar idea, or the toad in the hole. Great recipe Emma!

  42. Lovely! Your dutch babies look perfect. I haven't made one for quite some time, I better get on that! :)

  43. poiresauchocolat27 July 2013 at 09:57

    I don't think I could survive without breakfast, I get very grumpy if I'm hungry ;) I hope you do try it - let me know how it goes if you do.

  44. poiresauchocolat27 July 2013 at 09:57

    Thanks Sarah, I'm so pleased you like them! They're such a great breakfast.

  45. Andrea Paola Baul5 August 2013 at 11:59

    Could I make this in a Paella pan? I only bake in a turbo oven and my cast iron won't fit in. Hahaha.

  46. poiresauchocolat5 August 2013 at 12:08

    I don't see why not! Let me know how it goes if you do try it.

  47. It would be so awesome if there was a print format!!

  48. poiresauchocolat14 August 2013 at 20:29

    Hi Susie - do you mean a printable version of the recipe?

  49. i just made this for the second time this week. i think you just gave the world the recipe to happiness and perfect mornings.

  50. poiresauchocolat22 August 2013 at 08:14

    Hehe! I'm so pleased you like it. I love making them.


If you would like to leave a comment or question, please do - I appreciate every one and will reply as soon as possible.