There’s an expression about how you won’t know what you’ve learned from a job until years later. The same goes for those we date. This recipe is the best thing to have come from a relationship I had about 15 years ago.

In this way the girlfriend served her purpose. She gave me delicious eating I could rely on and impress others with for years to come. The nomenclatures are many: Eggbabies, Dutch pancakes, Dutch Baby Pancakes. In the end they’re about the same: flour, milk, eggs, butter, salt, sugar and one very hot oven.

The best thing about the Eggbaby is that you can make it drunk, hung-over, in the morning or as a midnight snack. For a proper occasion you may serve it with marmalade and milk tea, but the common topping is fresh squeezed lemon halves and powdered sugar.

Because seeing it on a restaurant menu is rare, the Eggbaby can be your ace in the hole. Invite them over, bid two spades and play your hand smoothly. The recipe, although finesse-able, is as easy being the “dummy.”

EGG BABIES

2C All Purpose Flour**
1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt**
3-6 Tablespoons Sugar**
2-4 Large Eggs, preferably room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted**
@ 1 Tablespoon of butter for coating pan
Lemons
Confectioners Sugar

**these mark substitutable ingredients, explained at the end.

Tools:
1 Large mixing bowl, whisk, spatula, liquid measuring cup, small saute pan for melting butter. I use an enamel cast iron frying pan or my well seasoned cast iron skillet for baking, but you may also bake little ones in the ramekins of your choosing.

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Place preferred baking vessel in oven.
3. In a large bowl mix all drys until combined. Create a “well” in center.
4. Melt butter.
5. Crack eggs into measured milk.
6. Pour milk/eggs into center of drys and whisk, from center out, until almost uniformly combined.
7. While just barely whisking the mixture, pour in melted butter and whisk until just combined.
8. Carefully pull hot pan from oven and swirl about a tablespoon of butter in bottom to melt and coat.
9. Pour batter into hot pan, using spatula to get out every last bit.
10. Place in oven, do the dishes, set the table, slice one lemon per person, and sift the confectioner’s sugar if you’re picky.
11. Depending on how your oven behaves, take a peek at about the 20 minute mark.
The Eggbaby souffle is done when sides are browned and puffed like a trumpet player’s cheeks.

Take it from the oven nonchalantly and wait coolly for the oohs and ahhs. Slice in wedges and serve with lemons or your favorite seasonal conserve.

**This recipe is, by far, one of the most malleable recipes I know. I have added to the Eggbaby batter: leftover cooked rice, raw or cooked oats and farro, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, brown sugar, raw sugar, and sea salt from many an ocean. My favorite new addition is browned butter both in the oven pan and in the recipe. On the days I want it jiggly like custard I add more eggs and milk. Sometimes I do something crazy like add a small splash of rose water to the batter.

No matter if your Eggbabies are savoury, barely sweet, baked individually or doubled in size, they are sure to astound and delight, becoming a mainstay in your breakfast repertoire.

Eggbabies: The Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Souffle 13 March,2006Shuna Fish Lydon

  • cucina testa rossa

    oh this is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite thing that my mother used to make us when we were little (we called them dutch babies) and were well behaved which wasn’t very often. she would saute apples with cinnamon and nutmeg and add those on top of our wedge of dutch baby.

  • cookiecrumb

    Oh, wait. I get it now! I never really wanted to make this recipe with sugar and fruit and (ooh, am I outing myself as a sour-tooth?).
    But I can make it savory? I’m so there.
    Thanks.

  • ilva

    I will try this TODAY! Thanks!

  • Tea

    This looks delicious, Shuna. I think Eggbabies are going to be on my schedule for next weekend.

  • Claudia

    Your egg babies sounded so nice I had to try them. Unfortunately they didn’t “puff like a trumpet player’s cheeks”. What went wrong? Nevertheless they tasted nice. Have a look at them!

  • spots

    hiyee… am jus wondering – what causes the egg mixture to rise like a souffle? am totally clueless… jus curious 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Can we make this savory? By adding gruyere? Or spinach? Or mushrooms?

    I must try this this week.

  • Julie

    Shuna, your eggbaby looks just like the pillowy cloud that a sleepy weekend breakfast demands. Strangely enough, I often have variable results with both dutch babies and popovers — sometimes they puff for me, sometimes they don’t. But I’m going to try your formula soon, I think in my own well-seasoned second-hand skillet. Maybe the fact that I bought the skillet in the Bay Area will provide the magic puffing factor…

  • shuna fish lydon

    Claudia—

    Thanks for the visual on your try at EB’s. It looks like a few things. First it may be that your oven was not hot enough and that the vessel you baked it in could not “hold” enough of the heat. It could also be that your baking vessel was not round.

    As for ingredients it looks like you made them in Europe so I can’t speak to the flour, but you are looking for something not as fine as pastry flour or cake flour with a protein content around 10-11%. Just from looking I might add a few more eggs. Let me know if this helps.

    Spots—

    Thanks for the question!

    In a souffle waht makes it rise is the inclusion of whipped egg whites. They are basically an air-holding “foundation,” if you will, which fluffy baked goods are baked on. In the case of the Eggbabies the very hot oven, the round baking vessel and this kind of basic custard or omelette that the base is is how the puff is achieved.

    Julie–

    I think the trick with the popovers is starting them in a cold oven. Also there is no doubt that the kind of flour is key so that it doesn’t weigh down the “custard” base.

    Aren’t eggs miraculous?!

  • Anonymous

    Well, mine did puff up, but I found my mixture was rather dense. I either cooked it too long or stirred to much. As for making it savory; this dish definately has that written all over it.

  • Kristin & Joie

    We tried these this morning – they puffed up beautifully but deflated shortly after leaving the oven. 🙁 I swear I barely whisked them – maybe I left them in the oven too long, entranced by the browning? Still they were *so* *yummy* – Shuna you rock!

  • shuna fish lydon

    Hello Joie & Kristin–

    Thanks so much for visiting, and commenting! And for trying the eggbabies!

    Yes, they are supposed to rise and fall, this is not a “proper” souffle. My edges tend to stay put but the middle becomes fairly flat. This is OK!

    No need to worry too much about how it looks.

    Now taste…mmmmmm, satisfying. Is this what the mouths said?

  • kristin & joie

    What the mouths said was more like, “More! More, more!” 🙂

  • jessicafm

    What a delicious recipe! It does beg to be made savory, doesn’t it? I made it per your recipe this morning, as it was the first time, for my honey’s 40th birthday breafast in bed. Served with fresh blackberry preserves. Yum! Next time I’ll use my cast-iron skillet with more surface area, rather than the souffle dish (too much middle). http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicafm/172032493/

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone ever heard of this dish being called (warning: phonetic spelling of a foreign word about to occur) ooo-nee gwa-kwa?

    My childhood friend’s mother used to make something that seems to be similar to this and I have been searching for a recipe for years!

  • I finally got around to making one of these today, and it was indeed much easier than I expected. But it didn’t puff up, not even a little bit. I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour (it’s made all from hard white wheat), 3 eggs, 5 Tbsp sugar, and cooked it all in my cast iron skillet. The only thing I can imagine that might have been wrong was the butter in the skillet: I used one TBsp but that seemed an awful lot. Thoughts?

  • Hello Priscilla,

    Whole wheat flour is like brown rice. Both are heavier, coarser and absorb a lot more moisture. Also when a flour says the word ‘hard’ anywhere near it, it’s really high in gluten and mostly used for bread baking. Hard wheats also absorb more moisture.

    If you wish to use whole wheat flours, decrease this recipe by 25% to begin with, and then if you want even more rise, add an extra egg or two. The hotter the vessel and your oven, too, the taller the souffle-ing that can happen.

    Happy experimenting!

  • I made this today from a savory brunch. It rose out of my cast iron skillet and then it fell. See it here: http://twitpic.com/zfvoc I plan to experiment with a more jiggly/custard version.

    Back to today’s results:
    On top of a slice, I stacked fresh local chantrelles sauteed in butter and onions.
    Added a bit of a gruyere.
    I finally topped with a fried egg.

    Scrumptious.

    I also served a slice with brandied soaked cherries and honey. Also, yummy.

Author

Shuna Fish Lydon

Shuna fish Lydon was whisked and baked in San Francisco but served and eaten in New York City. She's had a 16 year tumultuous love affair with professional cooking and has BFA in photography from CCAC.

Working with and for some of the best chefs in NYC and California, Shuna's resume reads like the who's who of cooking today. She identifies as a fruit-inspired pastry chef and calls the many local farmers' markets her muse.

Currently "at large," Shuna spends her time teaching baking and knife skills classes, consulting at local restaurants and writing for a number of outlets about deliciousness.

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