Joined: Oct. 2007
Figured it was about time for me to contribute something to the Thread of Food-Like Substances; what this is, is my standard dish for potlucks and similar 'contribute to the feast' gatherings. It has always been well received.
Dutch Baby, or, the Pancake of Doom
A paella pan. If you're not sure what that is, look for a round, shallow, wide pan with a flat bottom and sloping sides; any pan which fits that description should do nicely.
Eggbeater. I heartily recommend an electric beater, but if you prefer a manual eggbeater, that's your business.
Functioning oven. You'll want the pan to have a lot of empty space above it, so arrange the cooking racks accordingly.
Four fresh eggs
Milk -- 1 (one) cup , or 250 ml
Flour -- 1 (one) cup, or, again, 250 ml
1 (one) cube of butter -- 4 ounces (120 g), that is
Start pre-heating the oven. 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or 190 degrees Celsius for those of you who live in a country that's gone metric.
Use the eggbeater to blend the eggs together into a yellowish goop. Set the beater/blender on 'high'; you want to force a bunch of teeny little air bubbles into the batter in colloid suspension.
Add the milk to said goop, blending all the while.
Stir/blend the flour into the egg/milk proto-batter.
After the oven reaches the desired temperature, put the butter in the pan, and then put the pan in the oven.
Keep stirring/blending whilst the butter is hotting up.
When the butter is completely melted, pour the batter into the pan.
Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the batter is a friendly golden-brown with inviting 'hills' billowing up from its surface.
When the pancake is done, its edges should be rising/curling up like a big bowl (see also: "empty space above the pan"). Together with the billowy hills in the center, it's quite impressive-looking.
Carve that sucker up like a pizza pie. Serves as many as 8-12, depending on how big you make the slices.
The recipe scales up or down, depending on the size of the pan you're gonna cook it in. Let N be the number of quarts (liters) of water your pan can hold; you'll want N eggs, N/4 cups (N * 60-odd ml) of milk, N/4 cups (N * 60-odd ml) of flour, and N ounces (N * 30 g) of butter (up to a maximum of N=4 -- as long as you've got enough butter to 'wet' most of the pan's bottom when said butter melts, you should be good to go). Yes, the recipe above assumes a pan that holds four quarts. Personally, I use a six-quart pan, hence I need 6 eggs and 1.5 cups apiece of milk and flour; when it's done, I slice it into 16 bits like any self-respecting hacker-type would.
Margarine can be substituted for butter with little/no ill effect.
The butter gives it enough flavor (salt) that this can be eaten as it stands. At the same time, the recipe is sufficiently 'neutral' that you can get away with adding a wide variety of other ingredients, if you like; you can add sliced hotdogs to the pre-cooking batter, or slather fruit preserves on the finished pancake, or add pretty much anything else within arm's reach of 'edible', really.
I've been told that this recipe is basically "Yorkshire pudding without the drippings". This phrase may inspire some ideas amongst those of you who are more familiar with British cuisine than I am.
I have tried using ground-up rice in place of wheat flour. The taste is pretty much unaffected; the resulting rice-based pancake is somewhat... 'heavier', I suppose is the best way to describe it... than the usual wheat-based version. Key point: Make sure the rice is thoroughly reduced to powder before you stir it into the batter! To whatever extent the rice kernels remain kernels rather than powder, your pancake is gonna have some real dense pockets in it.