How many different kinds of pancakes have you had? Probably a lot more than me, as I tried my first pancake only five years ago and did not have one again until I came to the US for college. I remember being shocked by the portion size — how was I supposed to finish three huge pancakes, each the size of the plate itself? Still, I fell in love with them and tried to make some at home. There are so many kinds: from banana to blueberry to plain buttermilk and many others I haven’t even heard of. But have you ever had a baked pancake? I think this will sound new to you.
As a lover of sweet breakfasts, I started my quest for a good pancake joint on Thanksgiving morning (great way to pregame the turkey, right?). With the help of Yelp, I found Richard Walker’s Pancake House and had to try it out. I found the usuals on the menu: chocolate chip, banana, etc. As I was trying to decide between original buttermilk and silver dollar (stacks of small pancakes), another part of the menu caught my attention, under the title of “baked pancakes.”
Baked pancake…come again? There’s a reason why it’s called a “pan”cake – isn’t it meant to be made on a pan or griddle, not baked in the oven? Well, apparently this dish is authentic to Germany and the Netherlands. It is quite common there and is often made with apples or cinnamon. Although the waiter strongly recommended the apple pancake, I usually like something on the plainer side. My decision boiled down to the “German pancake”, which was a plain baked pancake, or “The Dutch Baby,” a smaller version of that. Given that I was going to keep eating for the rest of the day, I ordered the latter.
About 15 minutes later, my pancake arrived. It looked like a pie without the filling and especially crusty edges. When I asked for maple syrup, they also brought me butter, powdered sugar and lemon. According to the menu, it’s customary to eat the pancake with a combination of these three ingredients. As an obedient gourmet traveller, I mixed them but was still suspicious until I finally took a bite. Ah, the wisdom of mixing sweet and sour. It was like eating a crusty lemon pie, except lighter and even crispier.
So, the main takeaway of going to California for the break: the Dutch make delicious pancakes. Ok, Cali had a lot more to offer than just that, but this was certainly a highlight. Here is a recipe that I got from my friend, which you should definitely try out…if you still have room in your stomach after all of the Thanksgiving festivities.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Place 2 tablespoons of melted butter into a 10 inch ovenproof skillet. Place the skillet in a 425° oven for 5 minutes (or until the butter melts).
2. Meanwhile, combine the eggs with the milk and the flour until the mixture is light yellow and homogenous, about 1 minute.
3. Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the pancake is puffed in the center and light brown along the edges.
5. After your Dutch baby is baked, sprinkle with powdered sugar (you can use more than 3 tablespoons if you wish) and lemon juice. Cut into slices and serve.
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