Baking with Children: Dutch Babies
My daughter has been lying low for the last couple days with a low fever and stuffy nose. She has been going through our kleenex boxes at such a rapid pace I wish I could think up something clever to do with the empties. During the summer we are usually outside but today, as I tried to keep her playing quietly or reading, I was inspired to have both my children help me whip up one of our favorite cooler weather recipes: Dutch Babies.
My friend Sarah taught me this recipe many years ago before either of us had children. In the evenings after we got off work (we met through our job) we would hang out doing crafty things while both our husbands worked their night shifts. We made gingerbread houses from scratch (something I have yet to attempt since), sewed, baked and otherwise whiled away the hours. Usually we would we eat something together and one night she made this large puffy pancake in the oven for our dinner.
She is the one that called them Dutch Babies, although I have since found them under the blander title, Puffy Pancake. I have always been a little afraid of the source of the name Dutch Babies. I imagined warring clans and horror stories of roasting children; but I needn’t of let my imagination run away with me. It appears, from my trusty internet sources, that as far as anyone can determine the Dutch refers to the Pennsylvania Dutch and is from all appearances an inncocent moniker. Babies, however, have not been addressed to my satisfaction. On the bright side, the name does satisfy the cannibal in my children.
This is an example of the perfect recipe to make with your children. It is quick. It puffs up in the most superb way. It can be eaten warm. It can be eaten with syrup. Oh! and there are lots of eggs to crack.
Even better there is an appliance to turn on and off.
Basically, the children could almost make this one themselves if it weren’t for the very heavy, very hot cast iron skillet. (You can also make this using a metal skillet if the handle is oven proof)
I have included the full recipe below but first a couple notes.
1) Be sure to divide the eggs evenly between the children. And make very clear that all things will be even before begining so that an egg grabbing frenzy doesn’t break out before you can regain control. My children were itching to break the eggs today and kept finding reasons to pick up the eggs as they waited in the bowl as I assembled the other ingredients. We almost did not get to make the recipe because of the anxiety over equal egg cracking.
2) If you would like to make this a very simple and clean operation gather everything before calling them to the kitchen. Then they can just dump it all in the blender. However, if you’d like to incorporate a little measuring they can dump it all directly in the blender with no need to dirty any bowls. Today was a contained mess day for me, but this changes depending on my mood and time.
3) Be sure the lid is securely on the blender before you let them touch it. I think we can all imagine what would happen if it wasn’t. Some of us have seen it in person.
4) Prepare your children for the 15 minute wait while it cooks. This can seem very long to hungry children. The good news is that it can be eaten almost immediately when done.
Dutch Babies aka Puffy Pancake
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 425. Place 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven while it is preheating (I believe my skillet is actually a 12-inch but it works too). In a blender at medium speed, blend all ingredients except butter until smooth. Remove skillet form oven; add butter and swirl until melted. Pour batter into hot skillet and reutrn to oven. Bake 15 minutes or until puffy and golden.
Serve warm or room temp with powdered sugar, maple syrup and/or sliced fresh fruit. You can refrigerate leftovers (if there are any) and eat cold or reheat.