Popover Recipe

Popover recipes tend to be very consistent in their proportions since the science that underlies them is constant. Herbs and other flavorings are an exception to that rule, and are popular with American cooks (traditional Yorkshire pudding has no herbs). Popover recipes can, however, differ in technique. I’m stymied by recipes that tell the cook to whisk the batter gently or until “just combined.” That’s a rule for pancake or crêpe batter — which popover batter closely resembles — or for quick breads or cakes, where you don’t want much gluten development.

It’s the opposite with popovers. In this case you want lots of developed gluten to give the rising bread the elasticity it needs to stretch and hold steam. For that reason I recommend a blender or a food processor. If you have neither of those and rely on a whisk, use plenty of elbow grease, and consider using bread flour (or a mix of half bread and half all-purpose) to amp up the gluten content. By no means use pastry flour, cake flour or a fine Southern flour, which won’t do the job here. Either go Yankee or make dinner rolls instead. The ingredients are:

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) melted, unsalted butter
5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
8 ounces (1 cup milk), room temperature

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a popover pan. Put all the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend for about 30 seconds. Pour the batter evenly into the pan cups and bake for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the popovers are well browned. Place the popovers on a rack and poke each one with a knife or skewer to allow steam to escape. Serve them warm.

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11 Responses to Popover Recipe

  1. Eva says:

    Hi Joe,

    This recipe sounds very much like a dutch baby pancake, but baked in a much smaller form. A dutch baby pancake is baked in one big dish in a pool of melted butter and is supposed to get really puffy. Then it sinks in the middle as it cools so just the edges are puffed up. They are wonderfully delicious!

    Eva

    • joepastry says:

      They are that exact thing! I was going to remark on it when I do Yorkshire pudding tomorrow. My uncle used to make those with some cooked apples in the pan. Wow, they were good!

      Thanks, Eva!

      - Joe

  2. Darren says:

    Is the popover pan necessary? Could a muffin pan do a serviceable job?

    • joepastry says:

      Yep, you certainly can use a muffin pan. Make eight or so, since they’ll puff up quite a lot!

      - Joe

  3. Bill says:

    Grease the pan before adding the batter?

  4. joepastry says:

    ;)

  5. Jennifer says:

    I made these for breakfast this morning, my seven-year-old and two-year-old sons adored them. You’re right, they were super-easy.

    Thanks!

    • joepastry says:

      GREAT Jennifer! I needed just that sort of testimony! So thank you.

      My little ones loved them too. The wide-eyed stare they gave me when these big things hit their plate was priceless. I think they’ll be demanding them regularly.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  6. Diana says:

    Thank you! I never had a problem with popovers before I lived in HI. I recently got a fancy popover pan and was dying to make some. Tried several recipes, all huge fails! Couldn’t figure out why as I followed the directions exactly. Well, a chef tells me we have issues with keeping eggs fresh here. But then I found your recipe. EASY EASY EASY FAST FAST FAST. And PERFECT every time. It seems the other recipes didn’t want me to develop gluten. They were so wrong. THANK YOU.

    • joepastry says:

      It is my very great pleasure, Diana! LIfe without popovers wouldn’t be worth living…even in Hawaii.

      Cheers and thanks for the note!

      - Joe

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