Seeded Popovers Recipe

Popovers are the most delightful thing my oven produces - sky-high and billowy. Here's my go-to recipe, a few tips, and the overall technique I use.

Seeded Popovers

The most delightful thing my oven produces is the popover. Gougères are a close second, but the popover wins for sheer drama. They're golden-crusted bready crescendos made from the simplest ingredients. Their crunchy exterior belies a billowy eggy interior that absolutely begs for a slather of butter or honey. Popovers are worth learning to make well. Which, I'll be honest, takes a bit of practice. I've chipped away at this recipe over the years, and I suspect I'll continue, but I thought I'd put it out there today and encourage you to give them a go. I suspect some of you popover specialists out there have a thing or two to teach me as well.

Popover RecipePopover Recipe

I'm going to talk a bit about technique down below, but before you dive down the rabbit hole related to then endless number of popover techniques that are out there, you really want to make sure your oven is on point. You need to make sure you have even constant heat, and good control over temperature. You need a blast of heat in the beginning to get that upward push going, then a more gentle heat to cook the popovers through and to allow a beautiful crust to develop. Just know, while a bad run of popovers might not be pretty, they'll likely be tasty regardless.

Popover RecipePopover Recipe

Before we get to the recipe, I'll mention that just about every variable related to making popovers is up for discussion - both related to the recipe and the technique. There is debate on what type of flour to use, baking powder vs. none, batter resting time, oven temperature, food processor vs. blender vs. mixer, preheating the baking tins or not......people are passionate. I'll tell you that I haven't had luck using bread flour or whole grain flours, too dense and heavy. I'm all ears though, if you've had luck. Some famous popover recipes use a much higher ratio of flour than I do here - I just never had any success with that. I fill my tins a hint over 1/2 full with batter, and get great pop. I've gone higher, but sometimes get spillover, particularly with an eggier batter. I've written a few tips into this recipe, from things I've learned the hard way - for example, it really is worth dirtying a pitcher and using that to quickly fill your pans. Bonne chance my friends - let me know how it goes.

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Seeded Popovers

I use individual timbales here, but you can use a special popover pan, or muffin tin. Deep and narrow tins get great results, but muffin tins deliver the delight as well.

2 cups / 475 ml whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups / 9 ounces / 255 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup / 1.5 oz / 45 g raw, uncooked millet seeds*
2 tablespoons / .5 oz / 15 g toasted sesame seeds*
2 tablespoons / .5 oz / 15 g toasted sunflower seeds*
5 large eggs, room temperature(!)

Start by preheating your oven to 425F / 220C, with a rack in the low-center. If you're using popover or muffin pans, grease them, I like to use clarified butter. If you're using individual timbales (like I did), do the same. Place the tins on a baking sheet, preferably rimmed.

Place the milk and butter in a medium saucepan and gently heat until it is warm to the touch, not more than 115F/45C - you don't want to scramble the eggs down the line. Remove from heat.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the millet, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Set aside.

Now you're going to whisk the eggs. It's important to start with room-temperature eggs here, using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment at medium-high speed. It'll take a couple of minutes, but you want the eggs to get nice and voluminous, light, and take on the color of yellow taffy (see photo up above). Dial back the mixer speed, and add the milk in a slow, steady stream. Gradually add the flour mixture a bit at a time, and whisk for another 60 seconds. Transfer to a pitcher.

Preheat the empty popover pans in the oven for five minutes. Quickly, but carefully, remove them (you don't want to let all the heat from the oven), and fill each tin 1/2 full with batter, maybe a tad more. If you're using muffin pans, fill every other hole, to give room for the popover. Transfer to the hot oven carefully (but quickly!), and dial back the heat to 400F. Bake for 30-45 minutes. I hate to give exact times here, I really go by sight. Without opening the oven look for deep golden coloring on all sides, and lots of airy lift. Bake as long as you can without letting the tops get too dark, if you let them bake on the long side, you'll end up with more structure, which helps keep your popovers puffed when they come out of the oven. When golden, remove, turn out onto a cooling rack, and enjoy as soon as possible.

Makes 6-8 large popovers, or more smaller ones..

*If you opt out of the seeds, you're back to the basic popover recipe. Feel free to swap in chopped dried or fresh herbs, grated cheese, spices, zests, etc.

Prep time: 65 minutes - Cook time: 50 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

The popovers look delicious.

Lail | With A Spin

lovely post, as usual. I make a version of these with matzo meal for Passover, depending only on the beaten eggs for the rise, as leavening is prohibited during the Passover holiday.

joanie

Oh my days, these look incredible! Looks like I already have plans for what to bake at the weekend then... Lucy xo

Lucy Wilkinson

I love your images and recipes. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jennifer Thomson

What would you think of substituting poppy and/or flax seeds for one or two of the other seeds? I don't have millet in the house but I have poppy, flax, sunflower, and sesame. And, I must make these popovers right.now.

blair

Oh, delicious! I can't wait to try these. My mom used to make them, but somehow, I never have. I wonder if it is possible to make them with Whole Wheat Pastry flour? I will have to try that...

HS: Hi Rosalie - Let me know if you give it a try!

Rosalie (The Joyful Pantry)

Wonderful pics! Popovers look so cute and delicious!

Tibs

My go to recipe came from my mom....the secret is to accurately measure the flour, so I sift directly into a flat top metal measuring cup. Ratio is 1 cup flour to 1 cup milk, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup melted butter or oil and a dash of salt. Into a hot oven 450 for 15 mins then the oven gets turned down to 400 to finish off a half hour more. Turn off at 45 mins, prick the sides with a skewer to dry out the inside a bit then shut the oven door for 5 mins with the heat off. Perfect every time. Room temp eggs and milk is the way we do it and in a blender but have done with mixer also, usually resting while the oven heats up. I use popover pan and oil the pan.

Anonymous

Your popovers look amazing! These are something I truly miss since having to go gluten free ... I've attempted GF versions, but none can compare to those using regular all purpose flour. But I can just dreamily imagine how delicious these are through your gorgeous photos!

Georgina | Gorging George

Oh yum yum and yum! The photos turned out absolutely beautifully. LOVE the look of popovers, they are truly a work of art IMHO in the baking world. Inspiration!!!

Serenity

Wow, these look soooo good! I love this idea because it's a little different than most baked goods you can make for some guests for a low-key day. I wish I had one now for breakfast :)

Lauren | Sweet Splendor

Oh my goodness, Heidi...these are GORGEOUS! Somehow, popovers are one of the very first things I learned to bake on my own & this year I've started passing that early-learned skill onto my four year old niece. These seeded ones will be our next delicious adventure for sure -- thank you!

spoon&sailor letterpress

Oh my goodness, Heidi...these are GORGEOUS! Somehow, popovers are one of the very first things I learned to bake on my own & this year I've started passing that early-learned skill onto my four year old niece. These seeded ones will be our next delicious adventure for sure -- thank you!

spoon&sailor letterpress

Soooooooooo pretty! I love them already!

Alicia

These popovers look so delightful. I have never tried my hands at them more so because of the fear of failure. Looking at yours motivated me to try them soon!

ami@naivecookcooks

Thank you for the tips here H -- particularly the notes with respect to the heavier flours. What are some of your favorite things to slather on top of these goodies?

Noelle @ greenlemonade

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. These are the pimpest little things I've ever seen. I mean seed! Get it? (sorry)

Bev @ Bev Cooks

I am so into seeds right now... it is like you read my mind with these popovers! They are so gorgeous and dramatic. I can't wait to try. Thank you!

shelley

I have never heard of popovers before - we just don't have them in Ireland. But you spoke the magic words - gougeres. And they are the most fabulous recipe I've made from your blog, Heidi! Are these similar in texture, or closer to a muffin/cake? I love the millet in your supernatural millet muffins, so another use for that ingredient is promising - would these freeze??? Thanks - this is a steep learning curve for the non-American baker! E

Era3

I have been making popovers for years, always served with Honey-butter. My first recipe mixed everything in the blender. It was a grand success, but I must have gotten careless because the next time they failed to pop up, and every time I tried thereafter until I finally learned to beat them gently. I mix them by hand now, and my popovers pop! My only complaint is often they stick in my non-stick popover pans even with generous greasing, or PAM spray. That is so frustrating. I sometimes use Pyrex custard cups, that (because of their shape) release the popovers easier, but the popovers come out smaller and rounder. And the custard cups don't sit easily on the oven rack. I didin't think I could use a baking sheet to hold them, because I thought the heat had to flow up between them. Now I will try a tray. If it works for me, we'll have them more often. In this cold weather I need to bake to heat the kitchen.

Marilyn

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