Dutch Baby Delight – Part I

You can serve Dutch Babies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Depends on how you make them and serve them. Their very versatility makes this a recipe that is hard to categorize. Fair warning – this will be a two part post – with the basic recipe today.

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Dutch Babies in the Southwest are “Flat Bread”

We start with the the reason I share this with you today – one form of “dutch babies” has a long tradition in the Southwest. Carlos, a well-seasoned ranch hand I met while camping in a remote corner of Arizona, made them in an open frying pan over a campfire. Carlos was the descendant of a family that had an old Spanish land grant in a part of “New Spain” that later became Arizona. Probably 15 to 20 generations of his family were buried in the cemeteries of the region.

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Carlos called this dish “pan plano,” which translates to “bread flat.” With nostalgia in his voice Carlos told me how his grandfather used to make this when they went out to round up and brand their cattle. He explained that pan plano is faster and easier than making tortillas. We ladled refried beans over our “pan” and enjoyed a fine and filling breakfast indeed. Carlos shared other ways to serve pan plano, and that will be in part II on this topic (next week).

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This is simple to make and easy to rope the kids in to help. Never too young to learn simple kitchen skills!

 

Dutch Baby for Two

3 eggs 
3 /4 cup flour – or gluten-free substitute
3/ 4 cup milk – or other liquid
pinch of salt (1/8 to 1 /4 teaspoon)

Prepare

Preheat oven to 450 F.
Place a 8 to 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven with a dollop of butter or other oil.

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Let everything get nice and hot.
Put the ingredients in a blender and give it a whirl.
If you are camping out, or live off grid, or are simplifying clean-up chores, mix this in a bowl.

Whisk the eggs well with a fork, then add the other ingredients.

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Bake 15 to 20 minutes.

Regular oven – cook it uncovered. If you are camping do put the lid on your Dutch oven to maintain the heat, although Carlos showed it was not necessary.

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I put the lid in the picture to remind me to tell you not to use one!

Best served immediately upon removal from the oven, all hot and tasty with a crunchy layer on the bottom. Don’t worry – it generally falls very soon after being removed from the oven, but that does not affect the flavor.

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Instead of refried beans – top with berries and sour cream, and perhaps a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Optional Changes

There are ways to make this for lunch or dinner or dessert with specific spices and other tasty inclusions or toppings. That’s all for Part II – next week!

What’s in a Name?

In the age of the internet, Wikipedia tells us that the name Dutch babies is probably derived from “deutsch” meaning German, because these are also called German pancake, Bismarck, or Dutch puff. A Dutch baby is basically a large American popover, similar to a large Yorkshire pudding. Wikipedia further says “Compared to a typical pancake, a Dutch baby is always baked in the oven, rather than being fried on both sides on the stove top, it is generally thicker than most pancakes, and it contains no chemical leavening ingredients, such as baking powder.”

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What do you think?!

Please leave your comments and ideas in the comment section below.

More cooking and using Southwestern products in Chapter Five of Father Kino’s Herbs: Growing and Using Them Today (Tierra del Sol Institute Press). This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute may get a few pennies.

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