Why the name? If you've never heard of this type of pancake you're probably wondering too. It's always struck me as weird. I'm sure we talked about the mystery when my Noni began making this dish. If we wondered things in those days we had to keep on wondering them. Guess what, the Internet didn't exist then, kids.
But the Internet does exist now and with the benefit of Wikipedia I can share with you the origin of the name and the pancake. The pancake apparently originated in a Seattle cafe. It's derived from a German pancake. The term "Dutch" referenced the German immigrants known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Apparently it's well known in certain pancake chains. I'd never seen it until I found it on the menu at Outerlands in my former neighborhood. They offer a sweet version and a savory version. I've tried the savory one, with crumbled bacon, and it was delicious.
This dish made a lot of appearances on the breakfast table at my grandparent's house. Sometimes there were so many of us dining Noni had to make two pans of it. It continues to be a popular breakfast item among our family. Recently, when family was gathered for an occasion, my cousin's son left a note for his grandmother requesting Dutch Babies for breakfast.
I've always made it with a blender but I think you could have success if you used a hand mixer, or even a whisk and some tenacity.
It's such an easy thing to make. You just blend the eggs, add some salt (Noni's recipe doesn't include salt but I add a few shakes because other similar recipes I've seen call for it), then alternately add flour and milk. I think it helps to scrape down the sides of the blender a couple times after adding the flour.
Melt the butter in the skillet while the oven is heating. Once the butter is melted, remove the hot skillet from the oven and carefully, slowly, pour the batter in the pan. It is important to ensure the butter surrounds the batter in the pan.
I used a 10 inch skillet. I've previously used a 12 inch pan and I didn't get much height. The Wikipedia article specifically mentions a cast iron skillet. I only have a cast iron chicken fryer. I tried it once but it didn't work because the pan has really deep sides. Outerlands serves theirs in tiny single-serve cast iron pans. They're totally cute but unnecessary.
I like to position the pan in the center of the oven if I can. One of my former ovens was quite uneven (the joys of an old kitchen in an old, settling, San Francisco building) and I found it helpful to turn the pan halfway through the cooking.
As you can see in the photo above, there is a lot of volume there. I have had the dish climb so high it broke and toppled over the edge. It's a good idea to keep an eye on it and if it looks like it might break off, you could put a baking sheet below it in the oven. I think it's easier to clean eggs off of a baking sheet than the bottom of the oven.
When the eggs are completely set, and lightly brown, they're done.
Invert onto serving platter. It begins to fall immediately. Let it cool a bit before cutting into it so there's some lightness left when you serve it.
Powdered sugar isn't in Noni's ingredient list but it's definitely how Jeff prefers this dish to be finished. I can neither confirm nor deny I shouted a certain three letter word while I was dusting the Dutch Babies with powdered sugar.
1/3 Cup butter
1 Cup milk
1 Cup flour
Melt butter in large fry pan until hot.
Put eggs in blender for 1 minute on high speed.
Turn to low and add milk and flour and return to high for 30 seconds.
Pour into melted butter. Bake at 425 until puffy and lightly browned (20-25 minutes).