The Best Classic Homemade Popovers

classic homemade popovers

You are going to love this quick and easy recipe for Classic Homemade Popovers, the fluffy bread with endless variations perfect for any meal of the day. 

classic homemade popovers in pan

Part of what we love about cooking and baking is the magic of it. The way just a few simple ingredients are transformed into something so amazingly delicious. Where you end up is so different from the starting point, yet it doesn’t seem to take much to get there. 

Popovers are a perfect example of this. Start with the perfect ratio of eggs, flour, and liquid mixed together with a bit of salt in a buttered pan. Close it away in the oven and – *poof* – a wonderfully golden, puffy, bread emerges!

The Ratio for Classic Popovers

This is a recipe in which precision counts, as it depends on the interaction of the three main ingredients to create that perfect puff. Too much or too little of any one ingredient will affect your popovers’ ability to rise and hold their shape while baking, which affects the final texture and flavor. 

The classic ratio is 1 part eggs with 1 part flour with 2 parts liquid, all measured by weight. Yep, pull out that scale if you have one. If you don’t have one, we’ve included the cup measurements for you. But consider purchasing a scale to use in all your baking. We can’t say it enough – a scale is the single kitchen tool that we can’t live without! It makes all baking more consistent, makes it easier to measure ingredients, and makes clean-up a breeze. Seriously, there’s no downside. A great scale isn’t even very expensive. (Here is our favorite model.)

You need each of these three main ingredients in this exact relation to each other to get the classic popover “pop.” And while it may sound a little fussy, it really couldn’t be easier to mix together!

single classic homemade popover

Eggs

The eggs provide moisture, fat, and protein that helps the batter expand and hold the steam in a crispy golden shell. This creates nice big pockets within the bread, perfect for holding butter, jam, or whatever topping you like.

Flour

All-purpose flour works best here, though bread flour would work, too. The liquid activates the gluten in the flour, which creates the network capable of expanding then holding together. Without this, the perfect popover dome isn’t possible. Mixing the flour and liquid lightly allows for the formation of gluten without strengthening it so much that your popovers lose their tenderness. (For a recipe using gluten-free flour, look here and scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

classic homemade popovers cut and spread with jam

Liquid

The liquid is perhaps the workhorse ingredient here, as it is the steam from evaporation that allows the popovers to rise to that perfect shape. In the hot oven, the liquid in the batter evaporates. It is this steam, caught in the structure created by the eggs and flour, that pushes the surface of the batter up and out of the pan compartments. So, you want your batter to be pretty thin and runny.

We used whole milk here and found that it gave us the best texture and rise. Skim and 2% milk with both work, but may give you a crispier crust as a result of the lower fat content. Non-dairy milks definitely affect the rise, but can contribute great flavor. We tried these with almond milk and full-fat canned coconut milk. In both cases, the popovers didn’t rise as well but tasted amazing. 

classic homemade popovers with berries and syrup

Heat

Popovers are baked at a higher temperature than most breads, and that temp serves a very specific purpose. Preheating the pan itself is also important, as it gives the exterior of the popovers a head start so it can hold all that steam.

When the batter hits the hot pan and then the heat of the oven, the parts of the batter exposed to the heat directly begin to bake right away. This creates surface tension, allowing the exterior to hold together when the steam pushes against it from the inside. Without this, the popover wouldn’t rise. Just be careful handling that hot pan and pouring your batter!

This article from King Arthur Flour does a great job of explaining the elements of a great popover. If you like the science of baking as much as we do, it’s a great read! They also include a recipe for GF popovers for you to try, too.

classic homemade popovers

Serving Your Classic Homemade Popovers

These are great with soup or a main protein like chicken or steak. Serve with salted butter and they are perfect on their own. You can also add a handful of shredded cheese or diced or crumbled meat (like ham or bacon) to make these more savory. Don’t add any more than a handful (about half a cup) or your batter will be weighed down too much to rise. 

Yes, this measurement is less precise, but that is because the weight will depend on what you are adding. The takeaway is try not to add too much, but play around with it to make this recipe your own!

Classic Homemade Popovers are also great when served as a sweet option for breakfast or even dessert. Top with berries and maple syrup for an amazing and simple breakfast. Or serve them with some drizzled honey or jam. 

Treat these as the blank canvas that they are and see how you like them best! Or leave them as they are – they are delicious on their own, too!

classic homemade popovers on a plate with syrup and berries

More Classic Bread Recipes

Try these other bread options, too! What is your favorite?

Enjoy!

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classic homemade popovers

Classic Homemade Popovers

This quick and easy recipe for Classic Homemade Popovers gives you a deliciously fluffy bread perfect for any meal of the day!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Bake Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Bread, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, European
Servings 6 large popovers

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 6 ounces (1-1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces (1-1/2 cup) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place your pan into the oven so that it can heat, too.
  • Mix: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up a bit. Add the flour and salt, then whisk in the milk until the ingredients are fully combined. Some small lumps will remain.
  • Bake: Carefully remove the hot pan from the preheated oven and place a small piece of butter into each space (use only 9 spaces of a muffin tin). Pour the batter into each of the buttered spaces, filling no more than three-quarters full. Bake for 30 minutes if using a muffin pan and for 40 minutes if using a popover pan. The popovers will be very puffy and golden brown. Resist the urge to open the oven mid-way through baking or your popovers will fall!
  • Serve: When golden brown and towering, remove the popovers from the oven and immediately tip them out of the pan into a cloth-lined basket or bowl. Serve right away with butter, jam, or any topping you like.

Notes

  • Popovers take some additions really well, especially cheese or some cooked bacon or ham. Simply stir in 1/2 cup or so of your chosen shredded cheese or small-diced meat before putting the batter into the pan to bake.
  • A popover pan is specifically designed to allow this batter to spread up and out, creating a pillowy, soft bread with hollow spots in the middle. We like the Nordicware large or petite pans, which are heavy, hold the heat well, and will last for a very long time. If you need a less expensive option, this one has a lot of great reviews. A muffin pan will certainly work for this, too, so feel free to use what you have!
  • You can sub in vegan butter and non-dairy milks. It will still taste great but may affect the way the popover puffs up. We tried it with almond milk and coconut milk with delicious, but less puffy, results.
Keyword bread, popovers
Tag @mealtimejoy on instagram if you made this recipe

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