This month Lodge is celebrating its 120th anniversary, and since I’m a big fan, I’m joining the party. And I’m bringing Dutch babies!
When you think about it, 120 years of “Made in USA” is a big deal.
Lodge hasn’t merely survived where all of the other major cast iron cookware foundries have failed, it has managed to innovate and prosper, and perhaps what’s most exciting to CI aficionados like myself is that Lodge is currently undergoing a massive expansion. I, for one, cannot wait to see what they’ll come out with next and whether they’ll bring back some favorite pieces from their past. (Like the breakfast skillet and maybe the chile-shaped muffin pan. Hint, hint, Lodge.)
Too bad 120 candles won’t fit in a Dutch baby! Because these puffy pancakes are my absolute favorite thing to make in my Lodge cast iron pans. I especially like to use their cute little 6 ½” skillets to make individual babies. I mean, who doesn’t love having a baby of their very own?
There was only a second to snap this photo before the heat from the oven started melting my phone, but this is how properly puffed Dutch babies should look.
They’re enormous! For that unbelievable puff, use high heat, preheat the cast iron skillets with the butter until the butter is nutty and brown, add the batter directly into the hot pans, and bake until the crust is set and very dark and caramelized. Go darker than you might think—they’ll taste amazing and they won’t fall when they come out of the oven.
I’ve made Dutch babies in other vessels before, and they’re not the same. A Dutch baby made in a stainless pan or a ceramic baking dish lacks the deeply caramelized crust and deflates as soon as you take it out of the oven. You’ve just got to have Lodge cast iron for Dutch baby perfection!
Happy 120th anniversary, Lodge!
Individual Dutch Babies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Divide the butter among 2 6 ½” cast iron skillets and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture in thirds, whisking after each addition until smooth. If you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, you will inevitably wind up with a lumpy batter. As soon as the butter is brown, divide the batter among the hot skillets and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Serves 2. For breakfast, lunch, or brinner, these babies are delicious served with nothing but a spoonful of preserves or a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Take them from simple to spectacular with a topping of seasonal fruit and lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. Strawberries and cream is always a hit at my house.
Sometimes I serve the babies right in the pans, sometimes I slide them out onto plates.
The cast iron keeps them warm longer, but of course it melts toppings like whipped cream faster too. For a more substantial crust that is even more resistant to falling, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch for 2 tablespoons of the flour. If you treated yourself to a Lodge 120th Edition 8” skillet, you can use it to make a single large Dutch baby. It will take 7 to 9 minutes to brown the butter and 24 to 27 minutes to bake the 8” baby.