Savory Dutch Baby Pancake with Salmon and Fried Egg

Breakfast and BrunchQuick and EasySmoked Salmon

From its dramatic puffy rise to its whole grain flavor, this Dutch baby pancake is a winner. Top it with smoked salmon and fried eggs and serve it for brunch — or for dinner!

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

My first food memory is of sitting on a kitchen countertop watching Anna, the young German woman who came to our house to help with cleaning and tidying, pull a puffy pancake out of the oven.

It was the biggest pancake I had ever seen. She slathered it with butter, sprinkled it with lemon, and doused it with a snowy shower of powdered sugar. I was fascinated.

The History of Dutch Baby Pancakes

I have since learned that Anna’s pancake has an American counterpart: the Dutch baby.

The legend goes that Manca’s Cafe in Seattle started serving it in the first half of the twentieth century. The owner’s daughter could not pronounce ‘Deutsch,’ the German word for German, and so the Dutch baby name was coined.

In 1966 the food columnist Craig Claiborne popularized the pancake by writing about it in The New Times. (You’ll have to visit the library archives to reach Claiborne’s original piece, but here’s Amanda Hesser’s more recent account.)

Try Buckwheat Flour For a Savory Twist

But enough history. Dutch baby pancakes are most often served as a sweet baked treat (with powdered sugar, berries or apples and jam), but there is no reason to limit it to that.

Since I love buckwheat crepes, I thought of trying a Dutch baby made with all buckwheat flour, but the flour is simply too dense to make the pancake puff. That experiment was a failure.

However, I found that adding just a touch of buckwheat along with the all-purpose flour in the batter produced an earthy quality that I loved. It pairs beautifully with smoked salmon and eggs.

If you have trouble finding buckwheat flour, the pancake is also delicious without it. Just replace the amount of buckwheat flour in the recipe with all-purpose or whole wheat flour.

German Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Whole Wheat Flour

How to Make a Dutch Baby Pancake

Heat the pan and the oven until very hot while you make the batter. Swirl the butter in the hot pan, pour in the batter, pop it into the oven and wait. Assemble the filling while the pancake bakes. By the way, whizzing the batter in a blender instead of whisking it helps to make thin, liquidy batter is smooth with no clumps of flour.

The Dutch baby usually has a dramatic puff when you first pull it from the oven, but it is ephemeral—it becomes, well, flat as a pancake after a minute or two. Don’t despair. Your creation is just as tasty without the puff.

I think this is a super meal for Sunday supper, but you be the judge. When would you like to eat it?

More Great Pancake Recipes!

Savory Dutch Baby Pancake with Salmon and Fried Egg Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Dutch baby:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt (1/2 teaspoon if using Kosher salt)

For the topping:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 4 small ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 tablespoons chopped scallions, thinly sliced including some of the green part
  • Black pepper, to taste

Special equipment:

Method

1 Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 450ºF. Set a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (such as cast iron) in the oven to heat. Heat for 15 minutes or until very hot.

2 Make the batter: In a blender, blend the eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour and salt together until frothy and well mixed.

German Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Whole Wheat Flour

3 Bake the pancake: Swirl the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter in the hot skillet and pour in the batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

German Dutch Baby Pancake with Whole Wheat Flour Puffy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Buckwheat Flour pour the batter

4 Meanwhile, fry the eggs: In a skillet over low heat, melt the butter for the topping. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Break the eggs into the skillet, and cover the pan.

Cook for 2 minutes, or until all but a thin rim of egg white around each yolk is opaque. Remove the pan from the heat, keep covered, and let sit for about 30 seconds to finish cooking. Remove the cover and keep warm.

5 Serve the pancake: Slice the pancake into quarters and set each on a plate. Top each quarter with a fried egg, a slice of salmon, tomato slices, and a few dollops of sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley, scallions, and a few grinds of black pepper.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

5 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSavory Dutch Baby Pancake with Salmon and Fried Egg

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Yasmine Yusuf

    Hi. Did this on the stove (not in the oven) and changed some of the ingredients (nothing major, I believe) but it didn’t work.
    Turned out looking a bit like a thick omlete and wasn’t brown and crunchy-ish at all.
    I’m pretty sure this is because I simply didn’t bake it but I was wondering if there is a way to do a no-bake dutch baby on the stove?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Yasmine! I think it might be hard to get the same texture on the stovetop. You could try covering the pan with a lid — the steam would make the pancake puff, but you probably wouldn’t get the crispy edges. If you have a broiler, you could try running it under the broiler for a minute or so at the end. Good luck!

  2. Sandy S

    We just had this savory Dutch Baby and it is Soooo Good! I made a GF version using Bob’s Red Mill ‘1 to 1’ flour and a little garbanzo bean flour in place of the buckwheat flour because that was what I had on hand. I also made a 2/3’s recipe for an 8″ cast iron skillet, which was easy to do and worked out great. I have never made a Dutch Baby – savory or sweet, thinking it was just a big pancake, but it really is a flavor and texture all of it’s own. I really like it! I will be making this again and I’m looking forward to trying a sweet version sometime soon. Loved the instructions, including making the batter in the blender and how to fry the eggs on low to have them just right when the Dutch Baby is ready to serve.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Mike

    It’s a Yorkshire Pudding.

    • Patricia

      Mike – It definitely is a Yorkshire pudding. Usually cooked in lard rather than butter and served with a roast dinner. Also very tasty served with raspberry vinegar and sugar.

Puffy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe with Whole Wheat FlourSavory Dutch Baby Pancake with Salmon and Fried Egg