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Dutch babies

Dutch babies are a classic egg-milk-flour batter baked dish. It is often often served up for breakfast or brunch, sprinkled with lemon juice and powdered sugar. It bakes directly in an oven-safe skillet (like cast-iron). You can make one big one and cut it into slices like quiche, or use smaller skillets to make several smaller ones.

Be forewarned: dutch babies rise like crazy in the oven, but will deflate quickly as they cool once they are out of the oven. So by the time you get them to the table, they won’t look nearly as amazing as they did when they came out of the oven.

That said, they are super easy to make, and very tasty.

Serves about 4 people. Preparation time: about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup butter
  • Powdered sugar and lemon juice to decorate

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until well mixed, at least 45 seconds. Add milk and salt and stir to mix. Beat the eggs until they flow evenly off your fork/whisk when you lift it up; if there are still lumps, keep going. We’re doing the classic approach of mixing all the wet ingredients together first, then, adding the dry ingredients.

Add flour and stir until smooth and all flour has been incorporated. It’s ok if there are a few lumps in the batter; just make sure there aren’t any pockets of dry flour — scrape the bowl well while mixing.

Place butter in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet (like cast iron). Heat skillet over low heat until butter has melted. Remove from heat, and tip skillet to evenly coat the bottom and sides. The butter will prevent sticking. You are also preheating the skillet, which is equally important: cast-iron skillets take several minutes to heat through, which slows down cooking.

Give batter one more quick stir, then pour the batter into the skillet. Place skillet in oven, and bake until the center is solid and the sides have risen and browned, about 18-20 minutes. Don’t open the oven while they are baking; they will deflate.

Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice and powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Dutch babies come out of the oven with pretty majestic peaks, but as the steam escapes they will deflate quickly. Don’t worry, they will still be tasty.

Tips and suggestions:

  • The butter is important: dutch babies (like most egg and milk products) can stick to the pan. Also, butter is tasty!
  • You can garnish with all sorts of other ingredients after baking, such as berries or grated cheese.
  • If you’re not getting as much rise as you’d like, make sure that the eggs are at room temperature, and heat the milk a bit — somewhere between room temperature and about 120 degrees.
  • You can use 2-3 smaller skillets instead of one 10-inch. Distribute the butter and batter evenly across them, but melt the butter in each of them so that all the skillets get a chance to pre-heat. Or pre-heat them in the oven.

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