Category Archives: Waffles

Waffles the Old-Fashioned Way

Thought it might be fun to end my Week O’ Waffles with a demonstration of how waffles have been made since just about forever. As it happens, cooking irons of the kind that have been used since classical times are still being made. Check it out:

Twenty bucks at any camping outfitter (if there’s a Bass Pro Shop anywhere near you, go there, if only for the fish tanks). This works in almost exactly the same way as the modern appliance. You start out by unhooking the hinge — very easy — and getting both sides hot. Not glowing, mind you, but about five minutes’ hot on the edge of your fire (here I’m using my brick oven).

Apply lubrication to both pieces of your (hopefully) well-seasoned waffle iron…

…add a scoop of batter (about 3/4 cup).

Slip the hinge back together, close the iron, and put the whole thing back by your fire.

Within about two minutes you’ll see (and feel) some expansion, a good sign that things are progressing smoothly.

Cook on the same side for about a minute more, then flip the device over and cook another three minutes or so. Begin checking for browning and doneness. Remove the finished waffle carefully from the iron. Eat!

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How to Make Waffles

Hang on, are those chicken livers? Maple-glazed chicken livers, yes. I chose to present waffles this way to underscore the point that — in the immortal words of Ms. Jane Russell — they’re not just for breakfast anymore. Waffles work in a whole range of contexts, just ask any southerner. From fried chicken to turkey hash to sautéed vegetables, folks in the South will put just about anything on a waffle. And I heartily approve.

Making waffles is a very simple wet team/dry team affair, regardless of the style you’re making. True, some people like to employ whipped egg whites, though I find many of those preparations on the dry side. Start by putting all your dry ingredients in one bowl…

…and your wet ingredients in another bowl or vessel.

Whisk both mixtures to combine…

…then add one to the other.

Whisk lightly until the mixture is mostly homogenous, though some lumps are OK, even preferred (just as with pancakes, you don’t want to overwork the batter).

Let the batter rest while you heat up your waffle iron (unless you’re making sourdough waffles, in which case you want to start using it right away). Depending on how well-used your iron is, you may need to apply a little cooking spray to it (both top and bottom). This one is an old-school model, you can tell by the small gauge of the squares (almost all waffle irons sold today are built for big Belgian waffles). It has about fifty years of seasoning on its cooking surface, and I consider it a treasure.

Depending on the make and model, you want to apply anywhere from half a cup to one and a half cups of batter to the center.

Close the top and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until the waffle is a delectable golden brown. Eat immediately. If you’re making a large batch, you can keep them on the rack of an oven set to 200. Even so, the quicker these lovely golden cakes are consumed, the better.

Oh, and for those of you out there who might be interested in maple-glazing your chicken livers, achieve that by applying a tablespoon of oil to a sautée pan set over high heat. Toss the livers for about two minutes, until the outsides are well-browned but the insides still pink. Transfer the livers onto a plate and turn the heat down to medium-high. Add a little more oil to the pan, plus one thin-sliced shallot. After about a minute, deglaze the pan with a tablespoon or two of white wine vinegar and cook until it has almost completely evaporated. Add half a cup of a sweet dessert white wine like a Sauternes, muscat or late harvest Riesling, plus 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Reduce the sauce until thick and return the livers to the pan. Toss, arrange on fresh waffles and serve immediately with an off-dry white wine.

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Sourdough Waffle Recipe

I use my bread starter pretty much whenever I get the chance. This is another excellent application should you have a starter brewing away somewhere in the back of your fridge. The night before you want to make waffles, mix together:

1/2 cup starter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk

…and let it sit out all night. By morning the starter will have doubled and fallen, and be rather strong tasting (if you like your waffles a bit more mild, make the starter the evening before and let it sit for about four hours (or until doubled), then refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to make waffles, beat together:

1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter (or vegetable oil, especially if the starter has been chilled)

…and add the mixture to the starter. Get your waffle iron preheating, and when it’s good and hot, stir into the batter a mixture of:

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

A few seconds after you add the soda, the batter will turn thick and foamy. Spray nonstick spray onto the waffle iron (if needed) and ladle batter in. Cook until golden!

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Belgian Waffle Recipe

Here’s a classic yeasted (known as “Belgian”-style) waffle. For an interesting (if inauthentic) twist, try adding a tablespoon or so of maple syrup directly to the batter!

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, then add the butter and stir until melted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Add the egg, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk lightly. Leave the mixture a bit lumpy. Let sit for one hour until bubbly, then use — or for better flavor, refrigerate the batter overnight.

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Waffle Recipe

Here’s a recipe that doesn’t call for either beaten egg whites or butter, but these are nonetheless extremely light and flavorful waffles. For an interesting twist, substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons of malt powder for the 2 teaspoons of sugar.

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup full fat buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another and whisk each bowl so the ingredients are combined. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, then let the batter stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your waffle iron. When the batter is ready, ladle it onto the waffle iron and griddle until golden.

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