Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wonderful Waffles!

There are a lot of waffle irons in this world. It seems like most people have one tucked away somewhere. Maybe it was a shower gift, or a hand-me-down from mom or grandma, or just something you picked up along the path of life. I own a few waffle irons, most of them I picked up at thrift stores or estate sales. A couple of them date back to the 20’s and 30’s. But the one thing all the waffle irons have in common is that they all show very little wear. I can extrapolate from this that the original owners of these appliances didn’t make waffles very often. What a shame. 

Making homemade waffles certainly takes more effort than the kind you just put in the toaster, but the little extra work pay off big in flavor, texture and versatility. You can make waffles that sweet or savory, depending on the direction you want to go. While you could include chocolate chips, coconut or berries, waffle batter can also include things like crumbled cooked bacon, ham, cheese or corn. 

You can enjoy waffles the traditional way, with butter and syrup, or make sandwiches using waffles in place of bread. Waffles also provide a wonderful “stage” for dishes like chicken ala king, chipped beef, and other dishes with lots of gravy or sauce. 

So here is a basic waffle recipe to get you started. Enjoy the waffles as-is, or let your own creativity inspire you to experiment with additional flavor ingredients. This recipe makes a large amount of waffles – good for four or more people. If you have left overs, waffles can be frozen and brought back in a toaster. If you are cooking for one or two, you can cut this recipe in half.

Wonderful Waffles

2 2/3 cups sifted flour
4 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
3 eggs, separated
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 cups milk (don’t use skim)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large sifter (if you don’t have a sifter, you can use a fine-mesh sieve or just add the ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together). Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.

In the bowl containing the three egg yolks, add the oil and the milk. Mix wet ingredients together and pour into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Stir together until combined – there will be some lumps, and that’s okay. Do not overbeat! NOTE: If you want to add other ingredients (chocolate chips, berries, meat, cheese, etc.) add them at this point. 

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff. Best to use an electric hand mixer for this if you have one. Once egg whites are still, using a spatula add the egg whites to the batter mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites until combined being careful to be gentle and not over mix.

Heat up your waffle iron. Each one is different, so make sure to allow enough time for the iron to get hot. If you have a modern waffle iron, it may have a non-stick surface. If not, once the iron is hot, spray top and bottom plate with non-stick cooking spray. Using a ladle, spoon batter onto bottom plate being careful not to let the batter go all the way to the edge. When you close the iron, the pressure will push the batter out a little closer to the edge. Cook waffle until golden brown.

Every waffle iron cooks differently. So follow the manual (if you have one) for your iron, or check for doneness when you can no longer see steam escaping from the cooking waffle. If you lift the lid and it still looks pale, just lower it and let it cook a little longer. You will get a sense of how long it takes after you’ve done a couple. Serve warm with your favorite toppings! Enjoy!

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