Monday, March 26, 2007

rich buttermilk waffles

rich buttermilk waffles

This is just soo typical for me–finding something haphazardly, deeming it the ideal, losing track of it and then spending really just ridiculous amounts of time searching for it again. But, considering without such, well, undoubtedly better-placed energies there would be a whole lot less of me and you at this URL, today I present to you: The Belgian Waffle.

The waffle-maker is pretty much tops most lists of kitchen stuff you will buy and never end up using. Considering that an ex-boyfriend bought me this Krups one probably five years ago and I’ve used it less than ten times since, I’d not going to argue that you run out to purchase one, even for the sake of the recipe inside that I will not shut up about for the next couple paragraphs.

Unlike a real, traditional, World’s Fair circa 1964 Belgian Waffle, which is yeast-raised in the refrigerator overnight, this one was more like a pancake batter in its simplicity, save for one thing–the egg whites were whipped separately, folded back into the batter making for a waffle that was both light but crisp. I loved the soft crunch on the outside, and determined this was the ultimate waffle but only got to making it once because I lost the booklet. The Krups website and countless Googles proved no help, and sure, I could just ask if you have this same model (odds are, one of you do) and to please share, but that wouldn’t be much fun, would it? Instead, I have tried a bunch of recipes since.

The most recent one was made on Saturday morning, because I had a friend staying over and growing up, a houseguest always meant that we had waffles or pancakes the next morning. Always. I find myself doing the same, torturing my sister a while back with caramelized peaches on top of French toast made from my own homemade challah. This weekend I had buttermilk to use up and though it lacked separated egg steps, this recipe was so highly praised by reviewers, I gave it a shot. It was indeed delicious–I especially loved that it didn’t have much sugar inside, seeing how I slather mine with syrup, anyhow–but it had really no crunch at all. They were so soft that it took both a fork and a spatula to lift them out of the waffle iron and onto the tray in the oven to keep them warm. Still, they were tasty and tangy, just not, you know, that waffle.

saturday morning

I think it’s really the whipped egg whites that were missing if you want that whole ever-so-subtly crisped exterior thing, thus I will instead present to you today the recipe that has come closest to the long-gone Krups one, one from Mark Bittman. Were I giving you a proper tour of homemade Belgian waffles, I’d also try a yeast-raised one, but I just haven’t gotten there–yet! Perhaps one more stay by a house guest will do the trick. Do I hear any volunteers?

Rich Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted from How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canola or other neutral oil for brushing on waffle pan (Deb note: Pam works great!)

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with the whisk or electric mixer (spotlessly clean ones work best) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter.

Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.


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