Monday, July 2, 2012

Easy, Impressive Breakfast

It's nice to have a fancy breakfast on the weekend, but I don't always have the time or the energy to make one.  That's why make-ahead and fast recipes are best.  You can enjoy a delicious meal without jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn.

The other morning, I wanted something new for Sunday breakfast.  After getting some inspiration over at Pinterest, I decided to try German Pancakes.  They're also referred to as Dutch Babies, and there are a zillion variations on how to make them.  I opted for the King Arthur Flour recipe.  These take about a minute to prepare and bake up in about 15 minutes.  By the time you set the table and make coffee, breakfast is ready!

I served the German Pancake with a squeeze of lemon and a healthy dusting of powdered sugar.  You could be really fancy and make a stovetop fruit jam or cinnamon apples for the topping.  Cinnamon sugar, fresh fruit, maple syrup, or other berry syrups or jams would also work.

King Arthur Flour's Puff Pancake
Serves 2-4, depending on appetites

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
small pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon oil (optional)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of half a juicy lemon)
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Melt the butter in an 11" straight-sided skillet, or a 12" skillet with straight or sloping sides. Make sure whatever you use is oven-proof. Or melt the butter, and pour it into a 10" square pan, or 12" round deep-dish pizza pan. Yes, the size of the pan matters. Too small, it’ll overflow. Too large, it won’t puff as high. Try to find a pan or oven-proof skillet whose square-inch cooking surface is about 100 square inches.

Whisk together the flour, salt, nutmeg, sugar, milk, vanilla, lemon oil, and eggs till fairly smooth. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake the pancake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until it’s very puffy and golden, with deeper brown patches. Remove it from the oven, and sprinkle with the lemon juice, then the sugar.

Cut in squares, and serve immediately, garnished with fresh berries, if desired.

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