So pleased to be working with my friends at the Idaho® Potato Commission to bring you this post on how to make German pancakes. Including some Idaho® Potatoes ups not only ups the nutrition, but it yields a more rustic pancake with a custardy-gorgeous center.
Wait. That Looks Like a Dutch Baby.
See that guy up there? Looks like a Dutch baby, doesn’t it? Well, it is a Dutch baby. So why call them German pancakes? Because the origin of these pancakes is German, or Deutsch (which Americans called Dutch). The German word for these lightly sweetened, puffed pancakes is pfannkuchen. Literally pan (pfann) + cake (kuchen).
I had never made puffed pancakes of any sort, German or otherwise, before my IPC friends asked me to give it a go. I was a bit apprehensive because I thought the potatoes would hinder the rise. While it’s true this particular Dutch baby didn’t rise as spectacularly as his non-potato-having relations, he did indeed puff rather nicely.
The final result is a rustic and craggy puff pancake that crisps up on the edges a bit like hash browns. The crags and crannies in the top of the pancake holds onto the mixed berry sauce (or whatever sauce you choose to use), and the interior is gorgeously custardy. When The Beloved and I tried them? Well, we were both sold. So very delicious, you guys. And easy to make.
Dutch Babies, Popovers, and Yorkshire Pudding, Oh My.
If you think Dutch babies are similar to popovers and Yorkshire pudding, you are 100% correct. The batters are almost identical, and you make them the same way:
- preheat pan in a hot oven
- add the fat and let it melt and sizzle
- pour in your batter and wait for the puff magic to happen.
Popovers are less sweet and are made in individual portions, while savory Yorkshire pudding is made with beef fat and also soaks up the drippings from the roast which is traditionally roasted above the pudding. (Although these days, you’d probably just spoon some of the jus over the puddings at the table.)
How Much Nutrition Does the Idaho® Potato Add?
Even though we’re not talking about a lot of potato in this recipe–only 1/4 cup to make sure the pancake would indeed rise–you still get the added benefit of nutrients from the potato including a bit of protein and fiber, some B Vitamins including niacin and folate, and Vitamin C. All in all, I’d say adding some Idaho potatoes to your delicious puffy oven pancake is an excellent plan, both for flavor and nutrition. Before we make one, let’s make sure you’re all set with what you’ll need.
I made my “Dutch” baby in my (affiliate) 10″ cast iron chef’s skillet. I love it because it has sloped sides so you can easily tip out delicate omelets and, well, puffy pancakes! It is very well seasoned, so if you are at all unsure about yours, use a (affiliate) non-stick pan that will work in high heat.
Here are some more of my recommendations for German pancake-worthy cookware.
How To Make German Pancakes
Now that we’ve done some shopping, let me show you how to make German pancakes with some tasty and nutritious Idaho® russet potato snuck in for good measure!
- 1 ½ oz (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 oz (about ¼ cup) mashed Idaho® russet potatoes at room temperature (no milk or butter)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 oz (¾ cup) whole milk
- 2.5 oz (about ½ cup) bread flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups mixed berries fresh or frozen (I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar more or less, depending on your taste and how sweet your berries are
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice lime juice, or apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Put a well-seasoned 9” cast iron skillet on the rack. If you have one with sloped sides, even better. Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Cut the butter into 6-8 small pieces and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the mashed potato and eggs together until very smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla and the milk. Set aside.
- In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Open the oven door and quickly scatter the butter into the pan. Close the oven.
- Pour the egg/milk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk a few times. It is okay to have a few lumps.
- Open the oven door, carefully pull out the rack and pour the batter into the pan. The butter will have browned a bit and it should smell really nutty and lovely. Push the rack back in and close the oven door.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 450°F, then turn the heat down to 375°F and continue baking for another 8-10 minutes until the pancake is deeply golden brown and is puffed all over.*
- Remove from the oven, sift on some powdered sugar, spoon on about half the berry sauce and eat as soon as it cools off enough so you don’t burn your tongue. Pass the extra sauce at the table.
- In a medium saucepan, combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Heat over medium heat until the berries begin to release their juices.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the berries soften. Use a potato masher to mash the berries (you may also puree the sauce if you’d like it smoother.
- Continue to cook at a low boil until the juices thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Refrigerate if not using right away. Before serving, reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave on medium power.
The pancake will puff a bit unevenly. Don’t worry. Just look for the deep golden brown color to let you know it is done.
Well, friends, there you have it. Whether you call it a puffy pancake, an oven-puffed pancake, a German pancake, or a Dutch baby, know that it will be completely delicious. I’m really pretty happy that my Idaho® Potato Commission friends asked me to show folks how to make German pancakes using Idaho® potatoes. Otherwise, it may never have occurred to me, and I would be going through life puffy pancake-less and sad.
Thank goodness this won’t happen to you, though! Enjoy this guy–maybe make one or two for Mother’s Day or even as part of your Easter brunch. You won’t be sorry!
Thank you for spending some time with me today. Enjoy the pancake/s and have a wonderful day.
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