German Pancake. Dutch Baby. Oven Puff Pancake. All names for basically the same delicious breakfast item.
Despite the name German pancake or Dutch Baby, the dish was introduced here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. The dish was invented in the early 1900’s at a family-run cafe called Manca’s Cafe in Seattle, Washington. The dish was named by one of the owner’s daughters, after the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Dutch Baby is sometimes called German Pancake or German Puff Pancake (which is what my mom called them), because they are based on the German pfannkuchen.
German pancakes are generally thicker than French-style crêpes and usually served with sweet or, occasionally, savory fillings. Usage of leavening agent or yeast is uncommon, which sets them apart from American-style pancakes which do include a leavening agent to make them thick and fluffy.
To me, a puff pancake is very similar to a popover, which is an American version of the UK Yorkshire Pudding. They are really light and airy and can be sweet or savory.
Best of all? They are really easy to make!
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
Fruit, syrup, powdered sugar for serving
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the butter to an oven-proof skillet and put in the oven for about 5 minutes, or just until the butter is completely melted. Remove from the oven.
While the butter is melting, add the eggs, flour, milk, salt, vanilla, and sugar to a blender and blend well. You can also just stir this if you want, but the blender really makes sure it is mixed well. Besides, that’s how my mom made it, and so of course, that’s how I do it too.
Pour the batter into the hot skillet with butter. Side note: If you don’t have a skillet to use, you can use a regular 9×13 glass baking dish too. I’d double the recipe though, otherwise your pancake will be too thin.
Put the skillet back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffy.
You can serve it with powdered sugar, fruit, syrup, or a combination of whatever you want! I warmed up a little orange marmalade and drizzled it over the top with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
It makes for a great weekend breakfast!