For golden-brown popovers that really popped, we used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in the batter — the bread flour’s higher protein content ensured the highest rise and crispiest crust. Resting the batter before baking prevented the popovers from setting up too quickly. We first baked our popovers at a high temperature to jump-start the initial rise, then turned the oven down so they would cook through evenly. To let steam escape (which can cause popovers to collapse), we poked a hole in the top of each one when they were almost done baking, and then again as they cooled.
Greasing the pan with shortening ensures the best release, but vegetable oil spray may be substituted; do not use butter. Bread flour makes for the highest and sturdiest popovers, but two cups (10 ounces) of all-purpose flour may be substituted.
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups 1-percent or 2-percent low-fat milk, heated to 110ºF
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 450ºF. Grease a six-cup popover pan with the shortening, then flour the pan lightly. Whisk the eggs until light and foamy in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk and butter until incorporated.
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Whisk three-quarters of the milk mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps remain, then whisk in the remaining milk mixture. Transfer the batter to a four-cup liquid measuring cup, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for one hour. (Alternatively, batter can be refrigerated for up to one day. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
- Whisk the batter to recombine, then pour into the prepared pan (the batter will not reach the top of the cups). Bake until just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Without opening the oven door, decrease the oven temperature to 300ºF and continue to bake until the popovers are golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Poke a small hole in the top of each popover with a skewer and continue to bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, poke the popovers again with a skewer, and let cool for two minutes. Remove from the pan and serve.
Makes six popovers.
To make ahead: Cooled popovers can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. To serve, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400ºF. Heat the popovers on a rimmed baking sheet until crisp and heated through, five to eight minutes.
For muffin tin popovers: If you don’t have a popover pan, you can bake the popovers in a 12-cup muffin tin — with a sacrifice in stature. To ensure even cooking, use only the outer 10 cups of the tin. Grease and flour the outer 10 cups of the muffin tin, then fill 1/4 inch from the top (you may have some batter left over). Reduce initial baking time in step three to 15 minutes, and reduce the secondary baking time to 20 to 25 minutes after the oven temperature has been lowered. Poke the popovers as directed and continue to bake for another 10 minutes.
- Other, Breads
- North American