KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Eggbabies: The Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Souffle
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Monday, March 13, 2006
Eggbabies: The Kitchen-Sink Breakfast Souffle

There's an expression about how you won't know what you've learned from a job until years later. The same goes for those we date. This recipe is the best thing to have come from a relationship I had about 15 years ago.

In this way the girlfriend served her purpose. She gave me delicious eating I could rely on and impress others with for years to come. The nomenclatures are many: Eggbabies, Dutch pancakes, Dutch Baby Pancakes. In the end they're about the same: flour, milk, eggs, butter, salt, sugar and one very hot oven.

The best thing about the Eggbaby is that you can make it drunk, hung-over, in the morning or as a midnight snack. For a proper occasion you may serve it with marmalade and milk tea, but the common topping is fresh squeezed lemon halves and powdered sugar.

Because seeing it on a restaurant menu is rare, the Eggbaby can be your ace in the hole. Invite them over, bid two spades and play your hand smoothly. The recipe, although finesse-able, is as easy being the "dummy."


2C All Purpose Flour**
1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt**
3-6 Tablespoons Sugar**
2-4 Large Eggs, preferably room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted**
@ 1 Tablespoon of butter for coating pan
Confectioners Sugar

**these mark substitutable ingredients, explained at the end.

1 Large mixing bowl, whisk, spatula, liquid measuring cup, small saute pan for melting butter. I use an enamel cast iron frying pan or my well seasoned cast iron skillet for baking, but you may also bake little ones in the ramekins of your choosing.

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Place preferred baking vessel in oven.
3. In a large bowl mix all drys until combined. Create a "well" in center.
4. Melt butter.
5. Crack eggs into measured milk.
6. Pour milk/eggs into center of drys and whisk, from center out, until almost uniformly combined.
7. While just barely whisking the mixture, pour in melted butter and whisk until just combined.
8. Carefully pull hot pan from oven and swirl about a tablespoon of butter in bottom to melt and coat.
9. Pour batter into hot pan, using spatula to get out every last bit.
10. Place in oven, do the dishes, set the table, slice one lemon per person, and sift the confectioner's sugar if you're picky.
11. Depending on how your oven behaves, take a peek at about the 20 minute mark.
The Eggbaby souffle is done when sides are browned and puffed like a trumpet player's cheeks.

Take it from the oven nonchalantly and wait coolly for the oohs and ahhs. Slice in wedges and serve with lemons or your favorite seasonal conserve.

**This recipe is, by far, one of the most malleable recipes I know. I have added to the Eggbaby batter: leftover cooked rice, raw or cooked oats and farro, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, brown sugar, raw sugar, and sea salt from many an ocean. My favorite new addition is browned butter both in the oven pan and in the recipe. On the days I want it jiggly like custard I add more eggs and milk. Sometimes I do something crazy like add a small splash of rose water to the batter.

No matter if your Eggbabies are savoury, barely sweet, baked individually or doubled in size, they are sure to astound and delight, becoming a mainstay in your breakfast repertoire.


Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

oh this is my faaaaaaaaaaavorite thing that my mother used to make us when we were little (we called them dutch babies) and were well behaved which wasn't very often. she would saute apples with cinnamon and nutmeg and add those on top of our wedge of dutch baby.

3/13/2006 2:28 PM

Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, wait. I get it now! I never really wanted to make this recipe with sugar and fruit and (ooh, am I outing myself as a sour-tooth?).
But I can make it savory? I'm so there.

3/13/2006 4:13 PM

Blogger ilva said...

I will try this TODAY! Thanks!

3/14/2006 12:19 AM

Blogger Tea said...

This looks delicious, Shuna. I think Eggbabies are going to be on my schedule for next weekend.

3/14/2006 4:26 PM

Anonymous Claudia said...

Your egg babies sounded so nice I had to try them. Unfortunately they didn't "puff like a trumpet player's cheeks". What went wrong? Nevertheless they tasted nice. Have a look at them!

3/14/2006 11:40 PM

Anonymous spots said...

hiyee... am jus wondering - what causes the egg mixture to rise like a souffle? am totally clueless... jus curious :)

3/15/2006 5:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we make this savory? By adding gruyere? Or spinach? Or mushrooms?

I must try this this week.

3/15/2006 11:30 AM

Anonymous Julie said...

Shuna, your eggbaby looks just like the pillowy cloud that a sleepy weekend breakfast demands. Strangely enough, I often have variable results with both dutch babies and popovers -- sometimes they puff for me, sometimes they don't. But I'm going to try your formula soon, I think in my own well-seasoned second-hand skillet. Maybe the fact that I bought the skillet in the Bay Area will provide the magic puffing factor...

3/15/2006 2:30 PM

Blogger shuna fish lydon said...


Thanks for the visual on your try at EB's. It looks like a few things. First it may be that your oven was not hot enough and that the vessel you baked it in could not "hold" enough of the heat. It could also be that your baking vessel was not round.

As for ingredients it looks like you made them in Europe so I can't speak to the flour, but you are looking for something not as fine as pastry flour or cake flour with a protein content around 10-11%. Just from looking I might add a few more eggs. Let me know if this helps.


Thanks for the question!

In a souffle waht makes it rise is the inclusion of whipped egg whites. They are basically an air-holding "foundation," if you will, which fluffy baked goods are baked on. In the case of the Eggbabies the very hot oven, the round baking vessel and this kind of basic custard or omelette that the base is is how the puff is achieved.


I think the trick with the popovers is starting them in a cold oven. Also there is no doubt that the kind of flour is key so that it doesn't weigh down the "custard" base.

Aren't eggs miraculous?!

3/15/2006 10:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, mine did puff up, but I found my mixture was rather dense. I either cooked it too long or stirred to much. As for making it savory; this dish definately has that written all over it.

3/22/2006 11:09 AM

Anonymous Kristin & Joie said...

We tried these this morning - they puffed up beautifully but deflated shortly after leaving the oven. :-( I swear I barely whisked them - maybe I left them in the oven too long, entranced by the browning? Still they were *so* *yummy* - Shuna you rock!

3/24/2006 8:26 PM

Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

Hello Joie & Kristin--

Thanks so much for visiting, and commenting! And for trying the eggbabies!

Yes, they are supposed to rise and fall, this is not a "proper" souffle. My edges tend to stay put but the middle becomes fairly flat. This is OK!

No need to worry too much about how it looks.

Now taste...mmmmmm, satisfying. Is this what the mouths said?

3/25/2006 12:35 PM

Anonymous kristin & joie said...

What the mouths said was more like, "More! More, more!" :-)

3/30/2006 1:35 PM

Blogger jessicafm said...

What a delicious recipe! It does beg to be made savory, doesn't it? I made it per your recipe this morning, as it was the first time, for my honey's 40th birthday breafast in bed. Served with fresh blackberry preserves. Yum! Next time I'll use my cast-iron skillet with more surface area, rather than the souffle dish (too much middle). http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicafm/172032493/

6/21/2006 9:35 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard of this dish being called (warning: phonetic spelling of a foreign word about to occur) ooo-nee gwa-kwa?

My childhood friend's mother used to make something that seems to be similar to this and I have been searching for a recipe for years!

1/16/2008 11:16 AM


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