This Savory Dutch Baby Recipe is topped with melty gruyere cheese, perfectly fried eggs and shards of Serrano ham with a garnish of simply dressed greens. Savory breakfast lovers will swoon over this.
This recipe is part of the Cozy Mystery Cooking Club series. Visit the club page for more bookworm inspired recipes and to find out how to join!
German Pancake? Dutch Baby? Either Way, Savory is Delish!
The Dutch Baby, or German Pancake, is made from a simple batter of eggs, milk and flour then baked in a pan instead of being cooked on a stove top. It’s texture is similar to popovers.
It’s super cool to watch it puff up through the oven window. After you remove it from the oven, it begins to deflate pretty quickly, but the result is like a giant bread bowl ready to be filled with anything you want!
It’s often served with fruit and sprinkled with powdered sugar. But, seeing that I’m a savory breakfast lover, I love to enjoy this savory-style with ham + eggs!
We’ve been reading ‘Scone Cold Killer’ from the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mysteries in the Cozy Mystery Cooking Club and it has seriously got me craving all the breakfast things. I’m so inspired, that this is the first of several breakfast and brunch recipes coming your way over the next couple weeks! 😉
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How to Make a Savory Dutch Baby
A Dutch Baby itself is quick and easy to make. All you need is three ingredients, a bowl, and a fork or a whisk and you’ve got batter ready for the oven.
For the pancake, you’ll need:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of melted, unsalted butter
For your toppings, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces shredded gruyere
- 4 eggs
- kosher salt + pepper
- 1 oz Serrano ham (or prosciutto would be nice, too)
- handful of greens (think watercress, arugula, baby spinach, micro greens, etc.)
- red wine vinegary
- extra virgin olive oil
One of the tricks to a successful puff is to preheat your skillet in the oven. You want it good and hot before pouring the batter in. So, toss it in and set your oven to 425°F.
Your skillet should also be right-sized for the amount of batter. I use a 10” stainless steel pan because my cast iron pan, the popular choice, is much too large. I’ve even made this in a 9” earthenware pie plate.
I’ve made the batter in a blender and have mixed it by hand, and I’ve got to say that hand mixing always yields better results for me. (I’m not a sciency baker person, so I can’t tell you why. Sorry!) Anyway…combine eggs, milk, flour and a pinch of salt together. Let it rest as your oven and skillet heat up.
Don your oven mitts and carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Close that oven back up to keep the heat in. Add the melted butter to the skillet and swirl it to cover the entire surface. Or, use a pastry brush to distribute (that’s what I do — it seems way safer.)
Put the skillet back in the oven and allow it to bake for 13-16 minutes without opening the oven door! Opening the door too soon will release heat and steam and your pancake will deflate way too early.
While the pancake is baking, prepare your toppings.
Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add your fat of choice (cooking spray, butter, olive oil, etc.). Crack eggs, one at a time into a small bowl, then tip into the skillet. Allow them to cook undisturbed until the whites are opaque and just cooked through. Turn off the heat, and leave the eggs in the pan until assembly.
Once the eggs are cooking (don’t forget about them, though)…
- Shred the gruyere.
- Tear the Serrano ham into about 3” long pieces.
- Thinly slice the radish with a knife or mandolin.
- Toss the greens with vinegar and oil.
Assemble Your Masterpiece
Call your family and friends over and grab those oven mitts again. Remove the Dutch Baby from the oven and let everyone oooh and ahhhh over its puffiness. Be prepared to assure them that everything is okay as it deflates.
Slide it onto a serving plate or cutting board. It should slip out of the pan with little to no coaxing. Immediately sprinkle on the gruyere so it begins to melt. Add the eggs and Serrano ham. Place the little nest of greens right in the center and drop some radishes all over. Add a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Now you’re ready to serve!
Variations + Serving Suggestions for a Dutch Baby
To make a sweet version, add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tbsp of sugar to the batter. Top with fruit, powdered sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream or anything else your sweet tooth desires.
Breakfast or brunch is the obvious choice here, but you could totally serve this as a light lunch or dinner! In fact, make a bigger version of the salad to serve alongside.
Helpful Tips for a Successful Savory Dutch Baby
- You can also preheat the skillet on the cooktop over medium heat while you prepare the batter. Test that it is hot enough by adding a couple drops of water to the pan to see if it sizzles and evaporates quickly. While this method won’t heat the handle up too much, still take care when handling the pan.
- The Dutch Baby bakes on the center rack. Be sure to remove any racks above it so it has room to rise.
- Using room temperature eggs and milk creates a better emulsion and helps to trap air. Air = puff. Take these ingredients out about an hour before you begin and you’ll be good to go.
- You can make the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it in an air-tight container. Allow it to hang out on the counter while you preheat the oven.
- You can make the pancake without the toppings ahead of time and refrigerate it for day or two. Reheat it in a 350°F oven on a sheet pan while you prepare the toppings.
Create a Brunch Spread with These Additional Recipes!
- Greek Yogurt + Flaxseed Biscuits
- Mushroom + Swiss Egg White Muffins
- Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls
- Canapés and Tea Sandwiches
Savory Dutch Baby with Serrano Ham, Fried Eggs + Gruyere
- 9" or 10" oven proof skillet (like cast iron or stainless steel)
- non-stick skillet
- prep bowls
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup milk room temperature (I used 2%)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- kosher salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- cooking fat for frying eggs butter, olive oil, cooking spray, etc.
- 4 large eggs
- 2 oz gruyere cheese shredded
- 1 oz Serrano ham torn into bite size shards (prosciutto or similar works, too)
- 1 radish sliced thin
- 1 cup fresh greens (a good handful) like watercress, mache, arugula, etc.
- ½ tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Preheat a 9" or 10" oven proof skillet (cast iron or stainless steel) either in the oven or on the cooktop over medium heat. (see notes)
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, flour and a good pinch of salt with a fork or whisk. The consistency should be rather thin. Set aside until your skillet/oven is completely preheated.
- Once ready, swirl or brush melted butter over the surface of your skillet. Carefully pour in the pancake batter and immediately place in the oven. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes until it's puffy and dark golden brown around the edges. DO NOT open the oven door while it's baking.
- While the pancake is baking, fry the eggs. Add cooking fat to a nonstick skillet preheated over medium heat. Crack the eggs into a small dish one at a time before sliding them into the pan. Cook the eggs undisturbed until the whites are opaque and just cooked through. Remove the pan from the burner and leave the eggs there until assembly.
- If you haven't already, prepare the cheese, ham, and radish while the eggs cook. Toss the greens with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Very carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and slip the pancake onto a serving dish. Immediately top with gruyere so the cheese begins to melt. Add eggs and Serrano ham. Place the mound of greens right in the center and garnish with radish. Add a pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- To serve, slice into 4 wedges so there is one whole intact egg on each wedge.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only.