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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dutch Baby Disappointment


For the uninitiated, Dutch Baby is a type of German pancake. Although individual sized pancakes can be made, the term Dutch Baby generally refers to one big puff pancake made in the oven. The "Dutch" part is a nod to it's Pennsylvania Dutch roots...which, or course, refers to immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th century. "Dutch", when used in the Pennsylvania Dutch context, is actually a bastardization of the word "deutsch"....hence, the German connection explained.

Growing up in PA, I have been privy to Pennsylvania Dutch treats for some time...Shoofly Pie? Homemade jams? Check and check...but the Dutch Baby slipped by my radar somehow. According to legend, the idea of making one single big pancake started at a cafe in Seattle called Manca's Cafe. The Dutch Baby entered my universe via an email I received from America's Test Kitchen. In classic Kristen style, I followed the recipe directions very loosely...and of course, ended up with questionable results. My main beef with this recipe is that I expected something like a huge light and fluffy pancake...and my end result was eggy, dense and doughy. It puffed up in the oven while baking but then fell as soon as I took it out. I think my big mistake was using an electric mixer to mix the ingredients...I think I over mixed. My husband said he liked it....but I think he was being polite. If anyone is interested in giving the recipe a whirl, it can be found here at Cook's Country. I think I need to order a Dutch Baby at a restaurant to get a proper sense on how it's supposed to turn out before I attempt to make one again.

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