Since Yakum had an early basketball game this weekend, I changed up our Saturday pancake tradition and went with oven pancakes. I was first introduced to these by my in-laws (before they were in-laws), where the German Oven Pancake breakfast is a very big deal. They put on a phenomenal spread at my wife’s grandparents’ house, which includes the oven pancakes, cinnamon apples, and lots of other breakfast foods.
So, I certainly didn’t put on that level of a spread, but did play with the baking vessel. Most recipes specify a cast iron skillet, and with good reason: the cast iron guarantees a well-crisped crust develops, which contrasts with the buttery-custardy body of the pancake. The challenge is in mass producing, which is difficult when you only have one cast iron skillet (and a relatively small one at that). So, I doubled the recipe and put it in a well buttered 9×13 glass dish. It worked beautifully, puffing way up and getting nicely crisp.
My next attempt was a single recipe, but baked in muffin tins to try for mini oven pancakes. The challenge here is getting the right amount of butter in the bottom–you don’t want too much, otherwise it runs everywhere. Not enough and the puff isn’t as good (and they stick like the dickens). Not as successful, but I think this would work well with a tablespoon of cinnamon apples in the middle. The hope is that the pancake would puff up around the filling, making serving easy.
Even though they deflate once you take them out of the oven, the real secret to getting them out of the tins is to let them rest at least 10 minutes.
Here’s the recipe I used, modified from Alton Brown, cross-referenced with a bunch of recipes and tips from multiple sources on the internet:
2.25 oz flour
.25 oz sugar (or less, and I tried putting in some molasses)
pinch of salt
4 oz milk (by weight–use a scale! By volume, this is 1/2 cup)
2 oz butter
400 degree oven
Put butter in pan and put in oven to melt the butter–watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. It should take just a couple of minutes. Take out of oven once melted.
Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl (or a measuring cup if you have one large enough). Beat eggs and add milk. Pour wet on dry ingredients, and mix until smooth. Pour in pan, and put back in oven. In a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet, this will take about 20 minutes to bake up into a well-puffed oven pancake. Doubled, and put in a 9×13, it also took 20 minutes. The recipe made 18 muffin-tin pancakes, and only took 15 minutes.