A Dutch baby pancake is a big, puffy, custardy pancake that is baked in a skillet in the oven. If it came down to it, I would say that it’s a little bit like a cross between a pancake and a popover, only better. The babies are easy to make, but take a little longer than regular pancakes to cook, so I tend to save them for lazy mornings when I am planning to sit around and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. I like a basic Dutch baby with lots of maple syrup, but I gave this one a little more depth of flavor by adding browned butter to the recipe. It only took a couple of minutes to brown the butter and add it to the batter, so not much extra cooking time was added for a lot of extra flavor.
Since you need to brown the butter for this recipe, it doesn’t really make sense to brown the butter in one pan and preheat another skillet up in the oven, a step which is typically part of the technique used to get a high rise on these pancakes. Instead, just prepare the pancake batter and preheat the oven, then the brown the butter in the pan you intend to use to bake the Dutch baby. Whisk the browned butter quickly into the rest of the already made batter, then transfer everything back into the hot and greased pan (with all of that nice browned butter flavor there, too) and slide it back into the oven to finish cooking.
The dutch baby will sink a bit as it cools, so don’t worry if it deflates a little before you serve it (although like a souffle, you basically want to serve it as soon as it comes out of the oven). The pancake will still have nice crisp edges and a firm, yet slightly custardy, center to it.
Browned Butter Dutch Baby Pancake
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth and well-combined.
Place the butter in an 8-inch, ovenproof skillet and cook over medium heat on the stovetop until the butter starts to brown, about 2 minutes or so. Watch the butter carefully so it does not burn. Drizzle hot, browned butter into the prepared batter, whisking constantly.
Immediately transfer pancake batter back into hot skillet and put skillet in the oven.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Slide from the pan onto a serving plate and serve immediately.
Note: For a Dutch baby in a 10-inch skillet, double the recipe and cook for about 25 minutes.