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Traditional Dutch Pannekoeken

Pannekoeken are a popular breakfast food where I come from in the midwest, though perhaps a bit less so now. But, when I was a little girl, there was a eateries chain here called simply 'Pannekoeken'. With a blue and yellow color scheme and a very dutch theme (oftentimes the buildings had windmills on them), you could see them coming from a mile away. It was one of my favorite places to go, regardless of the time of day it was always time for a pannekoeken. They were served with all kinds of delights on them from simple sugar to bananas to even chocolate syrup! No matter what you ordered, however, they would always coming out running, yelling "Pannekoeken!" when they served it to you. By the time I was ten, however the Pannekoeken chain had dried up and all of the locations closed. Eventually another pannekoeken chain opened some years later, Pannekoeken Huis, but it wasn't really the same. For many years after this I had been deprived of my favorite breakfast item as I always loved it, until one day I stumbled across the recipe that I eventually modified and am now sharing with you.

The traditional dutch pannekoeken, or at least this version's recipe, works best with a dutch baby pan. When times were difficult and little baking tools were to be found (including my dutch baby), I've found a large (think about a foot give or take), shallow and round baking dish will suffice but the baking time will be longer. A dutch baby can be picked up at Amazon for about $18, or probably at any cooking speciality store. This is a no frills recipe, but I've altered it on a few occassions to include things from apples to a friend's request for chocolate chips. However... the last one won't come with my blessings.

1/4 cup butter
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

#1 Place the butter in your dutch baby pan (or whatever it is you have, be it a shallow baking dish or oven-proof skillet).
#2 Make sure your oven rack is in the center, not anywhere else. Then preheat your oven to 400°F. Take your dutch baby/skillet/baking dish with the butter and put it into the oven. Keep an eye on it, because when it reaches about 250°F, the butter should be melted and you need to remove it from the oven.
#3 You can do this while the butter is melting or afterwards, its up to you. But whisk the eggs and salt in a medium bowl, then add the milk. After that's mixed, whisk in the flour until its nearly smooth.
#4 Take your now finished batter and pour your soon-to-be pannekoeken into your dutch baby/skillet/baking dish. Now put it back in the oven.
#5 Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes (maybe longer if you used the baking dish or skillet). When the top starts to turn golden brown, it should be done. Its just me, but I do the fork test to make sure for thicker pannekoekens.
#6 Serve hot with your favorite syrup, fruit, or other pancake topping. Pannekoeken are traditionally sprinkled with a little powdered sugar on top, but that's up to you if you want it.

I hope you enjoy this strange recipe for the dutch pancake, otherwise known as pannekoeken. :)

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