done dual waffles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As long as you have a waffle iron, there’s nothing too complicated about making them yourself. Waffles are baked using a waffle iron. Waffle irons are typically electric although older waffle irons were used to bake atop gas stoves. Some older irons were even used in the fireplace. The waffle fable says an armored knight sat down on pancake batter forming the familiar grid. The waffle was born. Waffles are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack. The early ice cream cone allegedly was baked and formed using waffle batter.
- 2 cups (470 ml) unbleached, all-purpose, pastry, or cake flour. You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour up to half of this amount. Don’t use bread flour for waffles.
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar
- 5 eggs, separate the yolks and the whites
- 1 1/2 cups milk (355 ml)
- 2 to 5 tablespoons (30 – 75 ml) of melted butter or oil. More oil will make crispier waffles. Less oil will make them more cake-like.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 ml) vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the waffle iron.Plug it in and make sure it’s turned on or turned up to a temperature, according to how yours works.
- A good test of the temperature is to let a drop or two of water fall on the plates of the waffle iron. The drops should sizzle and dance for 2-3 seconds before vanishing. If the drops sit there for much longer than that, the waffle iron isn’t warm enough yet. If they vanish in less than a couple seconds, the waffle iron may be too hot.
Mix the dry ingredients.
Mix together all of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder) into a medium-large bowl. One way to do this is to add the salt, sugar, and baking powder to the flour as you sift.
…and carefully pour the egg white into a bowl.
Separate the eggs.Egg separators, such as this one, hang onto the yolk while you pour off the white. It’s also possible to use half of the eggshell to do the same thing.
- It’s all right to leave a bit of the egg whites in with the yolk, but don’t get any yolk in with the egg white. The egg whites won’t foam properly if there is even a little yolk in them.
Beat together the butter or oil and egg yolks in a separate bowl. When finished, add the milk.
Beat the egg whites.
Beat the egg whites until creamy in another separate bowl. Joy of Cooking describes the right stage as “stiff, but not dry”. You can use a wire whisk, as shown here, or use an eggbeater if you have one. Either way, the goal is to whip the eggs into a foam.
Add the yolk mixture.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg yolk mixture.
Mix the wet with the dry.
Stir the yolk mixture into the dry ingredients until everything is moist. The batter may be a little lumpy, but don’t leave dry spots or lumps that are too big. Make sure to stir all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
- It’s important not to over-mix batters that are based on baking soda. Unlike when baking a yeasted bread, you don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour.
Fold in the egg whites.
Gently fold in the egg whites and mix them with the batter until everything is a fairly even consistency. Again, don’t over-mix. Remember that folding is a very gentle, top-to-bottom sort of stirring.
Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.
Brush with oil.
Brush oil on both the top and bottom plates of the waffle iron. Do this before each waffle, or it is very likely that the waffles will stick.
Pour in the batter.
Pour or spoon 1/2 to 1 cup of batter onto the bottom plate, depending on your waffle iron. If you’re not sure, go a little under the amount you think you will need.
Close the lid onto the batter.
Close the lid all the way onto the batter and wait for the waffle to cook.
- Don’t press. The lid will press down enough and the waffles will naturally puff a little.
- Allow about 2 minutes for the waffle to form.
- Watch the steam. It will stop or reduce greatly when the waffles are done.
- Listen and watch for the thermostat in your waffle iron to turn off and on. Sometimes having it turn off is a cue that the waffles are done.
- Waffles get a lot less sticky once they’re properly cooked. If the waffle iron is hard to open and you oiled it properly, try giving it another minute.
- You’ll get better at gauging the correct time and temperature for your waffle iron after you’ve made a few waffles.
- Don’t open the waffle iron if you can help it. Try to cook each waffle in one go. If you do open the waffle iron on a waffle that’s still a bit too pale, carefully close it again and let it go a bit longer.
The finished waffle.
Remove the waffle.A spatula can help you lift it without breaking the waffle or burning your fingers.
Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. The real thing is best if you can find it.
Slice some strawberries
Slice some strawberries and mix sugar into them for a different topping. The right amount of sugar will turn them a bright red. Beyond that point, sweeten to taste and let them set for at least 30 minutes. Refrigerate them if it will be longer than this or if you’d like them chilled. They’ll develop their own syrup. Try other fresh fruits the same way.
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