Call it a German Pancake, a Dutch Baby, or apfelpfannkuchen (I’m guessing that’s German for something?), but whatever you call it, it must include awesome or mind-blowing in the description.
I first came across the Dutch Baby on the menu at The Original Pancake House, a breakfast chain that originates in Oregon. Celebrated chef James Beard (a Portland, Oregon native) named it one of the Top 10 best restaurants in America. According to the restaurant’s website, in 1999 the James Beard Foundation named OPH a regional landmark restaurant.
OPH’s Dutch Baby is an oven-baked delight. But beware, it takes at least 30 minutes for this bountiful goodness to arrive at your table. The main ingredients are eggs, milk, flour, eggs, and some seasonings like vanilla or cinnamon, more eggs and still more eggs. I asked once at OPH how their rendition gets so fluffy and tall. The trick? Using a blender and a bit of their famous pancake batter. The blender aerates the batter creating a fluffy mixture that then bakes in an oven for quite a while. Top it off with some lemon juice and powdered sugar and the result is magic in your mouth.
If you want to take it up a notch, try OPH’s Apple Pancake. They take a Dutch Baby and slather mounds of cinnamon and apples on top. My husband usually opts for that one. I like the traditional Dutch Baby. The Apple Pancake is almost too dessert-like, if that’s possible. But both are excellent choices. And either way, you come home with enough for two or three more meals.
But, I didn’t come up with this blog post because of OPH’s variation on the Dutch Baby. I was going through some pictures and came across one from a brunch about a year ago. We went to Capitol Cafe one Sunday afternoon. I saw they had a German Pancake on the menu. Ok, why not?
For $8.50 and about an hour wait, I was greeted with about 8 pounds of food. Honestly, the stares and gaped mouths from people in the restaurant were worth the price of the pancake all on its own.
Unlike OPH’s Dutch Baby, the Capitol Cafe’s version was dense. I compare OPH’s version to a souffle that has fallen. Capitol Cafe’s didn’t fall. It’s a rock…in a good way. Filling up an entire plate, the German Pancake (which also has a little sister for $6.95) is easily eaten if you cut it into pie-like slices. One slice was more than enough. (On a side note: I challenge Adam Richman from Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” to eat the entire German Pancake in one sitting…) Almost half a week later, I was still eating remnants of the pancake (yes, I heated it up thoroughly in the microwave to nuke any bad stuff), and it still tasted great.
Capitol Cafe is located at 14375 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield, Wis. Find out their hours and view their full menu (they also do an Apple Pancake in two sizes) on their website. Another one of my favorite dishes at CC is their Michigan sugar sweet apple and cheddar cheese omelet. It sounds really strange but once you try it, you’ll be dreaming of it. Now I know why my mom liked to put slices of cheese on her apple pie. You know what I call those moments? Total mind blow.
One day, I’d like to try baking my own German pancake at home. Get out the cast iron skillet, fire up the oven and try America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe from my voluminous cookbook.
I think it’s time you go and find yourself a total mind blow.