1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. NOTE: It is very important that you preheat your oven. Place oven rack on the middle rack of your oven. Place a large, heavy ovenproof frying pan or a cast iron skillet (I like to use my 10-inch cast-iron skillet), in the oven until hot and sizzling. While pan is heating, prepare your batter.
NOTE: Use a shallow pan, not more than 3 inches deep (pie pans, cast iron skillets, oven-proof fry pans, baking dishes, paella pans). Like I said before, I prefer using a cast iron skillet or pan because it acts as a heat reservoir, retaining the heat and distributing it evenly.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and frothy; add milk, flour, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; beat for 5 minutes more. The batter will be thin, but very smooth and creamy.
Using a pot holder, remove the hot skillet from the oven; add the butter; tilting the pan to melt the butter and coat the skillet.
. Pour the prepared batter into the hot skillet, all at once, and immediately return the skillet to the oven.
4. Bake approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown (bake until the pancake puffs up around the edges - it may puff irregularly in the center).
5. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Either bring the pancake to the table in its pan or slide it onto a serving plate. Once out of the oven, the pancake will begin to deflate.
6. To serve, cut into serving-size wedges and transfer to individual serving plates. Top with your favorite topping and serve immediately. For a classic German Pancake/Dutch Baby, sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and dust the top with powdered sugar.
Sifted powdered (confectioners) sugar
Fresh applesauce with a dash of cinnamon
Crushed pineapple, drained
Whipped cream and sliced fresh strawberries
Syrups (maple, your favorite fruit syrup, or honey)
Canned pie filling, cold or warm
Makes 2 to 4 servings:
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup sifted bread flour or all-purpose flour*
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 teaspoons butter
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Powdered (confectioners') sugar
*Bread flour is a high-protein flour. The high protein helps the pancake rise. All-purpose flour may be substituted but the results won't be as spectacular.