Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dutch Pancakes

When you start raising chickens for their eggs, eventually you start to look for recipes that make good use of your eggy abundance.  This past week I made a recipe that was both delicious and helped use the eggs that I've been stockpiling -- Dutch Pancakes (a.k.a. German pancake or Souffled pancake).

There are a variety of recipes available on-line, but I took my recipe from a book that I've been adoring lately.  I've omitted the fruit topping recipe that is in the book -- although it looks amazing, I just stuck with maple syrup for the topping.  I also omitted orange zest from the batter because I didn't have any.  I'm going to list the recipe as I made it, then encourage you to buy the book to get the real thing.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Beat together 4 eggs, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla extract with an electric mixer on medium speed.  On low speed, beat in 3/4 cup milk then 3/4 cup bread flour and a few good shakes of cinnamon (who needs measuring spoons?).  The batter is ready -- it is just that simple.

I used a nice sturdy skillet that my Grandmother gave me -- one that she used for years.  You'll want something that can go in the oven and is non-stick.  Heat the pan on the stove top and melt 2 Tbsp butter.  After the butter stops sizzling, pour in the batter and put the pan in the hot oven.  Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.  Then lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes.

The pancake puffs up because of the eggs and also the gluten in the bread flour.  When you pull it out of the oven, the pancake deflates in the middle, but the edges stay crispy and raised.  Add whichever toppings you prefer and serve (up to 6 servings, but Charlie and I split one for a filling breakfast).  It tastes a lot like french toast -- yum!

Now, as I stated before, this recipe was adapted from a book that I absolutely love!  When I first got my chicks this past Spring, my mother bought this book for me as a gift.  It has lovely photographs (the author is a chef and food stylist) and 125 recipes that use either eggs or chickens as key ingredients.  It is also a memoir about raising chickens on a small scale -- like I am doing.

The book is arranged seasonally -- which is a unique approach that I really like.  For instance, it starts in early Spring -- with the arrival of young chicks in the memoir, and seasonal recipes like "Herb-Buttered Chicken with Spring Vegetables".  It moves through the seasons making good use of fresh fruit and vegetables.  As a vegetarian (not vegan, obviously) I really like the egg recipes.  My husband eats meat though so I will make use of the chicken recipes as well.  I'm looking forward to trying "Baked Eggs with Basil-Mint Pesto", "Cinnamon Breakfast Popovers", and "Rhubarb Ginger Custard Bars".

I highly recommend this book and think it would make a great gift for the chicken lover in your life.  Even if you don't have chickens, the recipes are great -- and not too complicated.  This is one that you will return to over and over.  Lovely!

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