Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dutch Baby

"I know; let's make a dutch baby for breakfast tomorrow!"
"I love eating small children as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure what's so special about kids from the Netherlands."
"No, silly, a dutch baby is like a fluffy, eggy pancake!"

That pretty sums up our first discussion of dutch babies. I'd never had one or even heard of them. Turns out that they have nothing to do with either the Dutch or babies. Who knew?

But Jhan insisted on making this cannibalistic curiosity. As promised, the dutch baby was eggy and fluffy and went great with fresh fruit and warm syrup. I still don't know why anyone would make such a thing, much less name it after newborns from Amsterdam, but it was really good.

Dutch Baby

The Food (Jhan)

When my son was a toddler I used to make this puffy pancake for Sunday breakfasts. As he got older I got busier and had little time to make special weekend breakfasts. The tradition has been revived though - the Dutch Baby is a favorite with my daughter-in-laws' family and she now makes it regularly as a treat for my two grandsons.

These eggy pancakes are very versatile and can be served with fruit or maple syrup for breakfast, with a savory creamed chicken or scrambled eggs and cheese for a light dinner or filled with ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream for dessert.

Use a Preheated iron skillet to bake the pancake.
  1. 1Preheat the oven and the skillet to 425 degrees
  2. In the blender mix just until smooth :
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 cup flour
  3. Pull skillet out of the oven and melt 6 tbsp butter in hot skillet, swirl melted butter to coat bottom and sides of skillet
  4. Add to batter in blender: 3 eggs
    Pulse to a count of 6 -just to thoroughly blend eggs into the batter (do not over mix)
  5. Pour batter into skillet over melted butter
  6. Bake for about 18-22 minutes until puffed and golden brown
Serve immediately, filled with your favorite filling, or sprinkled with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Dutch Baby

The Plating

OK, this thing was in an iron skillet in the oven, so you can imagine how hot it was. Also, a dutch baby is delicate like a souffle, and cutting it or taking it out of the skillet might cause it to collapse. With all that in mind, I went for the simplest possible thing: leave it in the pan and put it on a cutting board.

Lighting and Photography

Dutch Baby Lighting
because of the size and depth of the skillet, I didn't want any strong shadows on this shoot, so a used a 'surround sound' lighting approach, with lights on three sides of the food. Most of  the photos were taken with the key light to the rear of the skillet, with fill lights to the right rear and left front.

Over all, this lighting worked pretty well for the subject, and avoided any deep shadows.

Dutch Baby

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