Originally made by the German community in America, where Dutch is actually a corruption of the word Deutsche, the Dutch puff (or Dutch baby) found new life as a diner classic in 1940s Seattle. However, if you, like me, grew up with Yorkshire puddings and roast beef most Sundays, then it can seem a bit odd to have these sweet and for breakfast, but, believe me, it’s as versatile as any other pancake. Chuck those traditions out of the window! I use beef dripping as my fat of choice here too. It will make your babies über–puffy and the smoky meatiness is a great background to all the sugar you are about to consume, but any favorless oil is a fine substitute. Serve with your favorite coffee.
- Yield: 2 pancakes
- Difficulty: Medium
- 6 rashers bacon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (strong bread flour can also be used)
- 2 tsp superfine sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp beef drippings or oil
- Blueberries*, strawberries, raspberries, and/or *red currants
- Maple syrup
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Fry the bacon until very crispy and drain on some paper towels. When cooled, crumble into pieces of various sizes. This will make the most excellent topping.
- In a bowl, mix the four, superfine sugar, and salt together with a whisk. Measure out your milk and add the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Beat until smooth and add this to the flour mix. Whisk until you have a smooth batter, then set aside.
- Place two cast–iron skillets on a baking sheet or sturdy tray and add a spoon of the dripping or oil to each. Place them on the middle shelf of your oven with space above for your babies to grow.
- Transfer the batter into a measuring jug for easier pouring. After about 15 minutes in the oven the oil should be smoking hot. Quickly and carefully, split the batter between the two pans. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Do not open the oven door until they’re done! Your puff should look like a huge cloud of batter with crispy golden edges.
- Serve with the soft fruits of your choice, crispy bacon pieces, maple syrup, and a dusting of powdered sugar for beauty. I’ve also had this with ice cream – much like Spuntino in Soho serves. I recommend it if it’s a particularly hot day or you’re just a fatty. Top Tip: My top tip for making sure your batter rises is to bring all your ingredients to room temperature first. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to start cooking, if not before you go to bed the night before. Heat is absolutely key: if you put a fridge–cold batter into the oven it will take longer to heat up and rise, and is more likely to fail.