Sunset Magazine claims the Dutch Baby as we know it hails from roughly 110 miles south of us, in Seattle. Manca’s Cafe was the place. Derived from the German Pfannkuchen, or pancake, Dutch Babies are in fact made in some form or another all over the world, so Sunset is likely blowing smoke in that regard. Nonetheless, they’re delicious, easy to make and a joy to eat. Monica requested one for brunch today, so off we go. This is my gussied up version with fresh, local ingredients, and it was fabulous indeed; the lemon is nice and tart,and the spice notes provide a pleasant, subtle background.
3 large Eggs (brought to room temperature for 30 minutes prior to prep.)
2/3 cup whole Milk at room temperature
2/3 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/4 Cup Honey or Agave Nectar
4 ounces unsalted Butter
2 teaspoons grated Lemon Zest
Seeds from 1/2 Tahitian Vanilla Bean, scraped, (or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
1/8 teaspoon true Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Allspice
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Place a cast iron Dutch oven (or 10″ skillet) in a middle rack position as the oven heats.
In a small non-reactive mixing bowl, combine together sugar and lemon zest.
With an immersion blender or stand mixer, beat eggs until they’re frothy; you want to incorporate a fair amount of air bubbles into this battery, as that’s the catalyst for a good rise.
Add milk, flour, spices, and continue beating for another minute; you should have a thin, smooth batter with big bubbles in it.
Carefully add 3 ounces of the butter to the hot pan and continue heating.
When the butter is sizzling, carefully pour the batter into the center of the Dutch oven.
Bake for 20 minutes and do not open the oven door – The trapped heat and moisture is critical to the Dutch baby’s rise.
Combine 1 oz. soft butter, a teaspoon of honey, and the juice from the lemon wedges – it won’t incorporate fully, but it’ll be fine for service.
Serve immediately, topped with the lemon-honey-butter.