1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and place a 9×13-inch baking dish in the oven while it heats. This step will help create that golden, crispy edge that makes German Pancakes so mouthwatering.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the flour, whisking until no lumps remain. The batter should be smooth and slightly thin.
3. Once the oven is preheated, carefully remove the hot baking dish and add a generous knob of butter or a drizzle of oil, spreading it evenly to coat the surface. Make sure the butter melts and spreads over the entire pan, ensuring a crisp pancake bottom.
4. Pour the batter directly into the hot baking dish, allowing it to spread evenly. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges are puffed and golden brown. The pancake will rise dramatically during baking, creating a spectacular display.
5. Remove the German Pancake from the oven and let it cool for a minute. The pancake will naturally deflate, creating a perfect vehicle for your favorite toppings. Traditional choices include powdered sugar, lemon wedges, fresh berries, and maple syrup. Get creative and experiment with jams, Nutella, or even a dollop of whipped cream!
Tips and Variations:
1. Customize the batter by adding a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg to infuse warm flavors into your German Pancake.
2. For a healthier twist, consider using whole wheat flour or substituting some of the milk with almond milk or oat milk.
3. Create individualized servings by pouring the batter into a greased muffin tin instead of a baking dish. This way, each person can enjoy their own adorable mini German Pancakes.
4. Serve with a side of crispy bacon or sausages to balance out the sweetness.
German Pancakes, or Pfannkuchen, not only warms the body but also brings loved ones closer together. The simplicity of this recipe allows us to embrace the joy of cooking and relish in the flavors of heritage. So, gather around, create new memories, and embark on your own culinary journey with this timeless and delightful dish. Guten Appetit!