Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Brunch: Dutch Baby

Dutch Baby

Today begins what will be a weekly feature here at Beach City Cooking: Wednesday Brunch. You always hear about Sunday morning as the traditional day of brunch. But when was the last time you got up early on a weekday and treated yourself to a delicious breakfast? I use the term "brunch" loosely--personally, if I'm having brunch at a restaurant, I always choose one of the breakfast options. There's something very satisfying in making the first meal of your day breakfast-y.

The weekends are traditionally considered the best and most reliable days to make a real and hearty breakfast. I think this is pretty unfortunate. Getting up to prepare a satisfying morning meal is well worth going to bed a little earlier, and getting out of bed after two hits of the snooze button and not eight. A well-balanced breakfast will help you get energized and ready for your day, and the work of preparing such a meal will invigorate you and get you moving a little earlier. Wednesday, I think, is the absolute best and worst day of the work week. The best, of course, because you're already halfway through the week. The worst, then, because you still have two more whole days after it before the glorious weekend arrives, and with it a brief reprieve from a workaday existence. Not to be over-dramatic or anything. Regardless, Wednesday, then, is the most suitable day of all to treat yourself to a hearty, satisfying breakfast.

The topic of this first edition of Wednesday Brunch is the Dutch Baby, a fitting picture to accompany the word "misnomer" in the dictionary if ever there was one. The Dutch baby, in fact, is no infant at all, but rather a rising, doughy creation, an American translation of the German Apfelpfannkuchen pancake.

The recipe I followed for the accompanying pictures is from The Best of Waffles and Pancakes: A Cookbook (not to be confused with any similarly titled works of fiction or bibliography, surely), by Jane Stacey and Elizabeth Watt. This recipe works very well with a 9-inch pie-pan. You can also make your Dutch baby in a cast-iron skillet. You can find a great recipe for this version online at What's Cooking America's German Pancake page. The impressive pancake is a relatively simple creation: a basic batter of flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and salt is whisked and poured into a well-greased, preheated pan, baked for half an hour (enough time to do whatever else you need to do before work that morning), and enjoyed.

video

I'm sure everyone reading this is familiar with whisking; this video is more to test out the video capabilities of this blog, for future use. I hope you enjoy the repetitive, hypnotic whisking clip, though. The noise is kind of relaxing. If you have one of those alarm clocks that records a soothing sound to fall asleep to, might I humbly suggest the soundtrack to this stunning new video?

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You want to take your Dutch baby out of the oven (boy, does that just sound wrong) when, as TBoWaP author Jane Stacey advises, "the edges have risen and are crisp and golden brown, and the center is set but still soft." This picture about fits that bill, I think.

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The traditional toppings for a Dutch baby include fresh fruit, powdered sugar, lemon, butter, or syrup. Here, we went the fruit route (forgive the unfortunate rhyme) and topped it with fresh peach and blueberries.

Dutch Baby

You could also make your Dutch baby more dessert-y with a chopped dark chocolate and sliced banana topping.

Dutch Baby

Finally, this picture is just to remind you of the size of the breakfast food in question. Dutch babies are pretty large, whether you make them in a pie pan or a cast-iron skillet, so plan accordingly, and if you're only cooking for one, plan to have some leftovers. As such, I'd advise only putting toppings on as much as you'll be eating immediately. The remaining Dutch baby can be refrigerated and enjoyed later.

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Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking for the first of many editions of Wednesday Brunch! Tomorrow, tune in for a stress-free recipe that puts your fresh herbs to good use! Have a great day, and soak up those summery surroundings!

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