Friday, January 7, 2011

Basic Waffles

No, they're not pancakes. They're the fussier, fancier cousin of pancakes. Waffles require a single-use appliance, either whipped egg whites or a yeast-based batter which has to rise overnight, and you're at the mercy of your waffle iron's cooking speed.

And while you can use pancake batter in a waffle iron and get decent results, waffles are better when they are airy on the inside and crispy on the outside. This recipe adds a little cinnamon, which I think goes beautifully with maple syrup. If you're planning an incompatible topping, you could leave the cinnamon out or substitute a different spice (dried lemon or orange zest, a small dash of almond extract, your pantry's the limit)

Basic Waffles

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 egg whites

  1. Heat your waffle iron according to the directions.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  4. In a third (and final, I swear!) bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk, and cooking oil.
  5. Add the liquids (minus the egg-white-foam) to the dry ingredients, and blend. I use a hand mixer here (since its already dirty from the egg whites), but stop just after all of the major lumps are gone. 
  6. With a spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray (go without if you're brave and your iron is especially new, but mine always stick if I skip this step).
  8. Pour batter into the iron, close, and cook until the steaming stops and the waffles are a light golden brown.


You don't absolutely need a hand mixer for this recipe, but I hope you have strong wrists. And if all you have is a stand mixer, good luck. My 5-qt Kitchenaid is useless at whisking less than half a dozen egg whites.

If you aren't loading cooked waffles directly onto empty plates, then you may want to let them cool in a single layer on a wire rack before stacking. If you are making a lot of them, heat your oven to 200, put the cooling rack onto a cookie sheet (or re-purpose your broiler pan), and keep your waffles warm in the oven until its time to eat.   If you let them get steamy, then you will have a plate full of soggy odd-shaped pancakes to serve.

If you have extra waffles, put them in plastic bags in the freezer. Pop one or two directly from the freeze into the toaster oven for a quick breakfast. And these are heck of a lot cheaper than the supermarket brands.

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