Part of me came of age in the Netherlands.
I vividly remember a late 90s New Years Eve party in Amsterdam at Magic Minds, an ancient warehouse that had been converted into a sort of one-off, pleasure dome. The party was thrown by X-Porn Stars, a collective of freaks who were famous in Amsterdam for putting on the wildest, most debauched throw-downs the city had ever seen. There were fire dancers, naked women riding unicycles, the best djs from all over Europe and a stiff tariff to get in assuring the organizers that only the most well-heeled of the louche could garner entry. Back at the dawn of the double aughts I’d save up some money by working seven days a week, when I hit my funding, I’d fly to the Netherlands, rent a motorbike and go blazing across North Holland. I recommend this sort of activity. There’s something about parking your bike on a beach at the North Sea and taking a refreshing dip before eating fried cod at a fish shack, hard beach-side.
The Dutch aren’t known for their food but they should be. The proximity to the North Sea means you’ll always have access to the finest seafood, and the melting-pot nature of the populace assures you that there will be authentic Thai, Surinamese, German, Turkish-name it, there are dozens of ethnic restaurants in the northern part of the Netherlands near Amsterdam.
And the Dutch love their pancakes.
Acting on a tip from an Amsterdam local, I duck down a cobblestone alley and then into an almost hidden entryway. Climbing a tiny, steep set of stairs I eventually make my way into a child’s playhouse of a dining room serving pancakes and variations on breakfast cakes.
This is where I found the Dutch Baby. I have no idea what the name of the restaurant was or if this is an authentic Dutch food but I do know that it’s delicious and easy to concoct at your house.
When you roll into the dining room at your home with a Dutch Baby, expect your guests to nearly bowl themselves over as they jostle about to get at your dish. It’s impressive for a minute or two as it soars skyward. But be aware that it also quickly deflates, if you want maximum crowd appeal, shrug into a pair of New Balance before you open the oven door and get ready for a quick sprint.
Dutch Baby Recipe
4 each eggs, room temp
1 c. Flour, self rising
1 c. Milk, whole, the good stuff
2. t. Sugar
1 t. Salt
1/2 stick butter
plenty maple syrup
* Heat oven to 450 degrees [it’s important that it be really hot]
* Whip eggs, milk, sugar and salt until thoroughly combined, add flour, combine
* Let stand on counter for 20 minutes
* Divide butter into two portions and place each portion in a 9″ pie pan
* Place pans in oven
* Melt butter thoroughly
* Remove pans
* Make sure each pan is thoroughly coated
* Pour half of batter in each pan
* Bake for 15 minutes on lowest rack til golden
Remove, flaunt your work in front of your guests, cut each Dutch Baby into sizes that suit you and garnish as you see fit
I like to pour maple syrup over my Dutch Baby, but berries and powdered sugar would go well too
Bon Appetit Y’all