We have 18″ of new snow on the island this morning, and that means waffles for breakfast.
This recipe does not make fluffy, delicate waffles – oh no. These are all-day hiking-after-breakfast waffles made with half whole wheat flour and sour cream (or yogurt if, it’s going to be a short hike). Other recipes dictate all sorts of tricks to make waffles extremely tender: separating the eggs and whipping the whites into soft peaks to be folded into the batter, using seltzer instead of dairy as the liquid, but to what end? I’m a fan of waffles that require a knife and fork – if you don’t plan on using flatware perhaps you should make yourself a breakfast shake instead.
Tools: 1 large bowl, 1 small bowl (or a 4 C liquid measuring cup), whisk, spatula or wooden spoon, measuring cups and spoons, waffle iron*.
*I’ve had a few electric waffle irons in my day and they all died horribly. It could be that being filled with sticky batter and heated to high temperatures isn’t a good match for an electric appliance – who knew? We now have a cast iron Belgian waffle iron that works perfectly and dependably on our gas stove. It may be a little more problematic to adjust on an electric burner, but it will last forever and work during a power outage, which in my mind is when you really need waffles.
Whisk together in a large bowl: 2 C all-purpose flour (or 1 c white and 1 c whole wheat), 1/4 C sugar (less if you use buttermilk or sour cream, a little more if you use really tart yogurt), 1 Tbls baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.
Whisk together in a smaller bowl or 4 C measure: 2 C some sort of soured dairy product: yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream (or 1 C sour cream and 1 C milk), or any combination of milk or cream with the above, 3 eggs, 2 to 4 Tbs of melted butter and 2 to 4 Tbs of vegetable oil. Sorry to be so iffy with the amounts of butter and oil, but this depends a great deal on what kind of dairy product you use. Low-fat yogurt requires the larger amount – otherwise the waffles won’t develop crispy edges and may stick to the iron. If you’re making the recipe with 2 C of sour cream, well, more power to you and use the lesser amount of butter.
This recipe is a great way to use up odds and ends of dairy products in the fridge. If all you have is regular milk, use 1 Tbs lemon juice and let the 2 C of milk sit out on the counter for 15 minutes or so, and it will “sour” enough to use in the recipe. Another alternative is to use regular milk and add 2/3 C dry buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients. This is great stuff to have on hand in the freezer.
Get your waffle iron out and put it over a medium-low heat to warm it up. You may want to brush it with a little vegetable oil on a paper towel if it’s new, but once you’ve made a few batches it should be fine without anything added.
Melt the butter in a small pan or microwave. Whisk the eggs into the dairy mixture, then add to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl. I like to whisk this gently, just a bit, then add the butter and stir gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Don’t mix it too energetically because you don’t want to excite the gluten in the flour – think of this as the opposite of making bread. If you can, let the batter settle on the counter for a few minutes.
Time to make the waffles. Set the table, find the maple syrup (or jam, or fresh or dried fruit compote, or powdered sugar and lemon juice), and turn the oven on to very low heat if you want to stack the waffles on a tray and serve them all at once. I don’t cover them while warming in the oven because I like my waffles on the crispy side, feel free to cover lightly with a piece of foil. You can skip this step if you’re just sliding them onto plates for people to eat them fresh out of the iron – I prefer this method. These waffles are fairly large and you can halve them to keep your audience happy as you go.
If you made more than you need (this will never happen) or someone is late for breakfast, stack waffles in a single layer on a platter or piece of wax paper and reheat in the toaster oven.