Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Cadillac of Pancakes

Or maybe it's a poor man's souffle.  Either way, it is the best breakfast food ever (except bacon).  Yes, gentle reader, I am speaking of the formidable DUTCH BABY.  Of all the delicious foods I read about in Molly Wizenberg's wonderful book, A Homemade Life, this was the thing I made first.  Now that I think of it, I never made anything else.  I guess I just never got over that dutch baby. 

Technically a pop-over, there is no hangover this Baby can't conquer.  A strong cup of coffee and some of the aforementioned bacon are the only accoutrement required to make you feel like you are the king of life.  It also says "I love you" better than scrambled eggs and wheat toast.

Molly makes hers in a cast iron skillet.  Having only recently purchased a cast-iron skillet, I've been making mine in a souffle dish and have come to prefer them that way.  An 8-inch straight-sided souffle dish gives the Baby a real lift, and is the perfect size to split with a loved one.  I've tried many a topping on these puppies, but lemon juice, powdered sugar and blueberries is really the way to go.

Without further adieu....Dutch babies!!!

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's blog, Orangette, February 2005.

Dutch Baby:
4 Tbs unsalted butter
4 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup half-and-half

Juice of 1 lemon, zest if yer feeling zesty
Powdered sugar
½ cup blueberries (You can also combine lemon juice and sugar with some jam or preserves if you lack fresh fruit and make a tasty sauce.  Frozen fruit also works well in this manner.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put 4 Tbs butter in 8-inch souffle dish and allow to melt in oven.  Impress your breakfast partners by removing the hot souffle dish from the oven and swirling the butter up the sides to coat.  If your oven mitts suck, or you lack daring-do, you can use a pastry brush.

Molly would have you use a blender for the flour, half-and-half and eggs.  You can whisk them in a bowl, too, it won't hurt the Baby.  Pour thoroughly blended batter into hot souffle dish and return to oven.  Bake approximately 25-30 minutes.  It will smell DIVINE.

Remove your Dutch baby from the oven and with quick fingers or tongs transfer to a plate.  Squeeze on lemon juice, sift powdered sugar generously and toss on the fruit or fruit sauce.  Eat it fast, while it's hot.  Serves two.

note: another repost from Cooking With The Good Looking—my first blog post ever, by the way!

Uncle Buck Pancakes

Uncle Buck is one of the few movies I own, and has the best 80's fashion of any of John Hughes' movies (in my humble opinion). After having declared he'd never seen it (!!!), my good buddy Brandon and I spent a nite in with John Candy and company.

He came to two conclusions. 1. That his entire outlook on childrearing had changed, and 2. WE HAD TO MAKE THOSE PANCAKES.

And so we drove off to the restaurant supply store near Jack London Square to look for equipment. The take? A 25" pizza pan and 12" pizza peel for a spatula. Our batter recipe came courtesy of Isa Chandra Moskovitz' Vegan With A Vengance. Based upon her recipe's stated yield, I calculated that we were going to make the equivalent of SIXTY PANCAKES. We were going to have to recruit a very hungry group of friends.

However, Uncle Buck's movie magic was not on our side. All attempts at flipping pancakes the size of our makeshift griddle fell apart. We did pull off some respectably sized 13-15" beauties, though.

Attempt number two is already in the planning stages. We're trading in the pizza peel for a snow shovel. Your bum uncle would be proud.

note: this is an old post from a previous blog that i’m decommissioning.  It fits in nicely over here at Obsessed with Waffles, if you ask me!

Soba Oatmeal Pancakes

These were a serendipitous creation.  I had some leftover oatmeal.  I mean, isn’t there always leftover oatmeal? I wanted to use it for something.  I immediately thought pancakes.  And as I was reaching for my big lovely glass jar of all-purpose flour, I spied some soba flour that had been kicking around the pantry.  Hearty steel-cut oats, earthy soba flour—these were just the pancakes a cold, rainy morning was asking for.  None of these fluffy, spring-time flapjacks.  Winter calls for foods more substantial.

And I must say, I’m way pleased with them.  They have great texture—slightly chewy, toothsome, and spiced just so.  And in addition to using up a a food stuff that usually goes directly into the compost, they also freeze wonderfully.  These are qualities that further endear any delicious eats to me, and things which I spend a lot of time talking about over at  Martha Mcgyver.  I kind of HATE pancakes (you SEE the name of the blog, right?) in the amount of babysitting they require on the stove, so cooking up an enormous batch and then freezing them after saves you time and food.  Hell yeah.

Soba Oatmeal Pancakes

makes approx 8-5 inch pancakes

3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 C. soba flour
2 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 C. cooked oatmeal (i prefer steel-cut, but any ol’ oatmeal will do)
1 C. milk or water or milk substitute (i bet almond milk would taste fantastic!)
1 large egg
2 TBS melted butter, coconut or other vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl, preferrably one with a spout (it makes for easy pouring.  Although if you’re being hella meticulous you could also use a ladle to get uniform cakes).
2. Heat a large frying pan over very low heat.  You’ll get much better results if you let your pan slowly and fully heat before the pancake cooking commences.
3. Combine all wet ingredients (yes, oatmeal is a wet ingredient!) in a separate smaller mixing bowl (spouts help here too) or if you have a 2 cup+ liquid measure you can mix them in there as well.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients.  Mix until just barely combined—It’s okay for it to be lumpy and still have some small pockets of dry ingredients.
5. Make sure that your frying pan is warm (I usually have my gas range dialed to 3 out of 10) and mist with some cooking spray (or butter or oil.  Whatever makes you happy).
6. Pour about a half-cup of batter into the pan.  This is a thicker batter, so I often swirl the pan a little to help the pancake spread a bit.
7. Once the surface is covered in little bubbles and the edges look less wet, flip!  Cook through the other side of the pancake for a few minutes and serve.

These are good with butter and syrup, obviously, but I eat ‘em with just butter as well.  Cheers!