I had never made a Dutch Baby pancake until just a few weeks ago, but I’d seen them when I went out to breakfast restaurants and was always intrigued. When I saw this recipe in Nourishing Traditions, I realized that I could recreate a healthier version of the magic puffy pancake at home! It’s a simple recipe that tastes good and is healthy too when you use healthy ingredients. I love that it’s a cross between a crepe, an English pudding and an American pancake. And the kids will love it too!
The healthier version of this pancake doesn’t rise as high in the oven, but no matter really, since they all fall once you take them out. It’s the final texture that counts… it should be eggy, flavorful and slightly chewy. It’s a filling, yummy breakfast and can even be heated up the next day for a quick meal.
The only thing my husband disliked about this pancake is the name ‘Dutch baby’… for some reason it bothers him. I tried to tell him that we weren’t eating actual Dutch “babies”. Because of this I was motivated to look up why in the world it’s named that in the first place. According to wikipedia, the Dutch baby isn’t “Dutch” at all, but German! And ‘baby’ referred to the fact that they were first served as three smaller pancakes:
“According to Sunset magazine, Dutch babies were introduced in the first half of the 1900s at Manca’s Cafe, a family-run restaurant in Seattle owned by Victor Manca. While these pancakes are derived from the German pancake dish, it is said that the name Dutch baby was coined by one of Victor Manca’s daughters. In 1942, Manca’s Cafe owned the trademark for Dutch babies, although the cafe later closed in the 1950s.
It is thought by some that the “Dutch” moniker refers to the group of German-American immigrants known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, where “Dutch” is a corruption of the German autonym “deutsch.”“
I was pleased to see that the pancake originated in the Pacific Northwest, we definitely do take our breakfasts seriously here! Well whatever the name, this is a great breakfast that has a higher protein amount than a regular pancake, and it can be made with either sprouted or soaked flour. It is easy enough to make on a ‘regular’ weekend morning but special enough even for a holiday breakfast.
Tips for making Dutch Baby Pancakes
- To make a gluten free dutch baby pancake, use Pamela’s baking mix (the one without the yeast) or your own mix of gluten free grains in place of the flour. It won’t be quite as puffy as the wheat version, but will still be good!
- You can make two Dutch baby pancakes from the recipe below in two batches, or you can make one big Dutch baby like I did. (Should I call this a Dutch Toddler Pancake instead??)
- For best results, use a well seasoned cast iron pan for your Dutch baby.
- If you want to make this with sprouted flour, you can just remove the step of soaking the flour in the buttermilk overnight and just combine all of the ingredients at once. I had freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour so I did the soaking overnight.
Dutch Baby Pancakes
Rating: 4 forks (key)
Page in NT: 479
- 1 cup freshly ground spelt, kamut or whole wheat flour (or sprouted flour) [TNC: for gluten free use Pamela’s baking mix]
- 1 cup buttermilk, kefir or yogurt [For casein free, see directions below in preparation section]
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup filtered water
- 4 tablespoons butter [use ghee for casein free]
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup palm sugar or Rapadura [TNC: I added this]
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
If using regular flour: Soak flour in buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. (Those with milk allergies may use 2 cups filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, lemon juice or vinegar in place of undiluted buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt.)
If using sprouted flour: Combine flour and buttermilk, kefir or yogurt.T hose with milk allergies may use 2 cups filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, lemon juice or vinegar in place of undiluted buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt.
Place 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet and cook in a 400-degree oven until it melts and sizzles.
Pour half the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) into pan. Bake at 350 degrees until pancake is puffed and browned. Repeat for second pancake.