I don’t do a lot of baking. I find all the, well, precision to be a bit fussy for me. I like throwing stuff into a pot, adding a sprinkle of this and a dash of that, and not having to worry about my concotion not having the proper chemical reaction. But sometimes I come across a recipe I can’t pass up, and this was one of those times.
I admit I laughed a little when I read “Dutch Baby” in one of my favorite cookbooks ever, The Bread Bible. I imagine Rose Levy Beranbaum wrote that with a straight face, but I couldn’t keep from giggling. Once I got past the funny name, though, the Dutch Baby started to look like a pretty worthwhile endeavor.
It’s basically a giant popover in which you add a fruit filling. Or I guess any other kind of filling you want, but I feel like the fruit balances out the gratuitous use of butter in the Dutch Baby batter (for some reason, I feel compelled to capitalize “Dutch Baby” each time I write it). Never mind that there’s also a generous amount of butter used when you sautee the fruit. It’s still fruit, darn it. It’s not like you’re sauteeing doughnuts in butter for the filling.
Anyway, the original recipe calls for apples, but, faced with a growing mound of peaches in my fridge, I used those instead with divine results. I also want to mention that if you have a food scale, weigh your flour rather than measure it – you’ll always get better results because the measurement is more accurate. If you don’t have a food scale, just scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon, then level.
Dutch Baby with Peaches (from The Bread Bible)
5 oz all-purpose flour (about 1.5 cups)
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 cup milk
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
4.5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 lbs peaches, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 in. thick
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
In a food processor or using a mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add 2 tbsp melted butter and process until it’s the size of tiny peas, about 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the container. Add milk, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla and process about 20 seconds, until batter is smooth. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in an 11-inch cast iron skillet on the stovetop, until butter bubbles. Coat the inside of the pan with the butter. Pour batter into pan, place in oven, and bake 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and continue baking for 30 minutes, until puffed around the edges above the sides of the pan and golden brown. About 15 minutes before the end of the baking time, open the oven and quickly make 3 slits in the center of the Dutch Baby to release steam and allow the center to dry more.
While it’s baking, prepare the filling. In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat until bubbling. Add peaches and sprinkle with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Saute peaches, stirring occasionally, for 12-15 minutes, until slices are glazed and tender.
When the Dutch Baby is finished, pour peaches into the center. Serve warm.