Rye Puff Pancake With Greens & Eggs

October 11, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

The puff pancake—which also goes by German pancake, Bismarck pancake, and Dutch baby (but why?)—is a peak weekend breakfast or weekday breakfast-for-dinner. Think less American pancakes, which are halfway to cake, more oversize popover or Yorkshire pudding: eggy, crusty, and Grand Canyon–shaped. It’s also mostly hands-off. Really, this is my favorite thing about puff pancakes—you can whisk up the batter in a matter of minutes, pour it into a blistering skillet, and let the oven take care of the rest. While that bakes, work on whatever toppings you want. My go-to is sautéed kale, sunny eggs, and crème fraîche (not in the least because the eggs and crème fraîche are already in the pancake). But don’t let that stop you from swapping in another green (say, chard or spinach), or replacing it altogether with smoked salmon or bacon or prosciutto. And if you can’t find crème fraîche, sour cream is a great understudy.

Adapted with permission from Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, published by Ten Speed Press, 2021.Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Rye Puff Pancake With Greens & Eggs
  • Puff Pancake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) rye flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fixings
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Crème fraîche
  1. Turn on the oven to 450°F and immediately stick a 9-inch or 10-inch cast-iron skillet inside. Now work on the pancake batter. Combine the eggs, crème fraîche, and 1⁄3 cup water in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and whisk again.
  2. Use oven mitts to transfer the skillet to the stove over medium heat. Add the butter, swirling the pan for full coverage. Once the butter has melted, whisk the batter, then pour it into the pan. Turn off the stove and get the skillet into the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pancake has dramatically puffed.
  3. While the pancake is baking, work on the greens. Melt ½ tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until it just starts to brown, then add the kale and toss a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute, until wilted. Uncover, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then transfer the greens to a bowl and lower the heat to medium-low.
  4. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon butter to the emptied skillet. Once that’s melted, crack in the eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, checking frequently, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Turn off the heat, uncover the skillet, and let the eggs hang out until the puff pancake is ready.
  5. Serve the hot puff pancake with the greens, eggs, and spoonfuls of crème fraîche: You can arrange everything in the cast-iron skillet, or cut the pancake into pieces, transfer to two plates, and divvy up the toppings there.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Mirene
  • Josephsm
  • F00dl0ver!
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

10 Reviews

Mirene January 4, 2022
Served this last night for dinner, and it was perfect. I made a couple of minor changes: heavy cream in lieu of creme fraiche (that’s what was in the fridge); spinach in lieu of kale; and the frying pan preheated to 450 (it was smoking) because that’s how I interpreted the instructions. The baby was beautifully puffed and fully cooked in about 15 mins. It was gorgeous. A delightful, savory pancake. Thank you.
Josephsm January 2, 2022
I followed the recipe and weighed the ingredients. I did substitute sour cream for the creme fraiche, but I think that is ok. The pancake was, well, flat as a pancake. No puff at all.
Jordan January 3, 2022
Do you think it is the sour cream vs creme fraiche that made it not puff? I was going to make the same sub
Josephsm January 3, 2022
No, she says in her author notes that it’s ok to swap in sour cream. That should just change the taste slightly, but not the puffability.
F00dl0ver! October 23, 2021
It didn’t puff up at all. I think it needs a little baking powder.
dmtran October 17, 2021
Can I just turn the oven on to 450? Do I need to wait for it to get to 450?
Emma L. October 18, 2021
Hi dmtran—you don't need to wait for the oven to get to 450°F. Just turn it on to 450°F and immediately put the skillet inside.
dmtran October 18, 2021
That did the trick. I had pre-heated my oven on my first try and it came out flat.

On my second try I skipped pre-heating the oven, like you said, and I got the curly edges and billowy insides. Thanks!
LULULAND October 15, 2021
I was wondering if almond or coconut flour could be used instead of the Rye? Trying to stay Paleo. Thanks!
ritu October 14, 2021