🥧🎉 LIVE online class: Let's make choux pastry & Discuss Science. Oct-22nd, sign up here 🎉🥧
As you might know by now (example 1, 2 and 3), pancakes are a great way to illustrate culture and science of food. So when a fellow Dutch blogger recently wrote about ‘Dutch baby’ pancakes, it was time to try those out! This is the first pancake type on this blog which is made in the oven instead of a pan. That new aspect, combined with the fact that most Dutch don’t seem to know what a Dutch baby is, was enough reason to dedicate a post.
Dutch Baby = Dutch?
Even though Dutch baby sounds like it’s something Dutch, it didn’t really sound familiar to a lot of Dutch people. A quick search taught us that it is pretty likely that Dutch doesn’t even refer to something from the Netherlands. Instead, it seems to refer to something German. This isn’t as strange as you might think, there’s more examples of ‘Dutch’ things actually being German by origin.
So why call it Dutch? Because the German word for German is Deutsch, pretty similar to Dutch isn’t it? And why call it a baby? No idea to be honest, if you know, let us know below in the comments.
Oven vs pan pancakes
This non-Dutch Dutch baby has another interesting aspect, it’s a pancake made in the oven. This will allow you to use a different type of recipe, and it will give you a bit of a rest while baking since you don’t have to flip them over.
When baking something in the oven the type of heat transfer is very different compared to that on the stove. On the stove all the heat will come from the bottom. However, in the oven heat will come from all sides. This overall heat will make it easier to heat something large and thick. In a pan it will take a long time before the top has heated enough for the pancake has cooked through. However, in an oven heat comes from the top as well, helping your pancake cook overall fast. It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen as well when baking cookies on the barbecue.
Baking pancakes in the oven is a bit more troublesome though regarding loading and unloading pans. Therefore it tends to be more convenient to bake large thick pancakes that take a while to bake. Making crepes in the oven probably isn’t a good idea. These super thin pancakes are cooked so fast that by the time you’ve put them in the oven, they’ll be cooked and have to be taken out. Stick to the pan.
For thicker pancakes though, the oven is ideal. It will cook a little more slowly, but that keeps the pancake moist on the inside.
Oven pancake recipe
The recipe we describe here is such a pancake from the oven. It actually tastes a bit like Austrian Kaiserschmarnn! This is a pancake type food that can be found in Austria (in Vienna you can find it in loads of places). It also has that slightly eggy taste to it.