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Today I experienced as close to waffle perfection as I have ever gotten. I don't think I achieved "perfect," quite... but damned close:

Waffle Whole.jpg

Waffle Interior.jpg

The recipe was from Cook's Illustrated March/April 2004 issue, and is a yeasted waffle with an overnight refrigerated retardation stage. I think the refrigeration of the batter is CI's main contribution here, the ingredient list is pretty standard:

1 3/4 cup milk

8 T butter

2 cups AP flour

1 T sugar

1 t salt

1 1/2 t yeast

2 eggs

1 t vanilla extract

The method is also pretty standard for a yeasted waffle (e.g. no separating the eggs, etc.): melt the butter with the milk, let cool, combine everything well, then refrigerate overnight. The waffles were very crisp on the outside and finely-texture on the interior, and were very light. They faded pretty fast out of the iron: these were not the sort you want to hold for any length of time. The flavor was yeasty and very reminiscent of brioche, with just the slightest hit of sourness, and quite a bit of vanilla flavor (I was using a homemade vanilla extract, which is quite potent at the moment).

With the overnight refrigeration, doesn't significant gluten formation take place? You have water and flour sitting together for a long time.

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I did not find the gluten increase problematic: the waffles were very tender. I don't really have a good explanation for that, but yeasted waffles have been around for a long time, and with good reason. I was especially concerned at first when the recipe called for whisking everything together quite vigorously, but it just didn't seem to be an issue.

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Tonight for dinner I made the "Waffles of Insane Greatness" linked to above. I used the whole milk option since I don't have any buttermilk at the moment. The WIG recipe has two major departure points from my normal waffles. First, it has a very large amount of cornstarch in it (the flour to cornstarch ratio is 3:1). Second, it uses vegetable oil rather than butter. Here is the waffle that came out:

Waffle of Insane Greatness Whole.jpg

And the interior:

Waffle of Insane Greatness Interior.jpg

I had some trouble getting these waffles to fill out the iron: the batter is very thin, and they didn't want to rise all the way up to the top. I suspect this recipe is better with a non-Belgian iron. Second, the texture of the waffles was quite good, certainly the crispiest I've ever had in a non-yeasted waffle, but I think this came at the expense of flavor: corn starch may be great for crispiness, but it it essentially tasteless. Last, to be honest, I missed the butter. The WIG were fine, for a non-yeasted waffle, and a good option when you want your waffles NOW. But I think several of the recipes up-topic are competitive with these, in particular those that use butter rather than vegetable oil.

Next up: Marion Cunningham's Yeasted Waffles.

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Today for lunch I tried to make Cunningham's yeasted waffles, but I must have screwed up the recipe last night, because the batter was much too thin: the waffle I tried to make with the batter as-is did not have enough structure to rise, it simple flowed out the sides of the iron. To salvage the situation I added another half cup or so of flour and beat it in well (my current working theory of waffles is that you actually want gluten formation so that they hold together). These are the waffles that resulted:

Cunningham Waffle Whole.jpg

Cunningham Waffle Interior.jpg

Still a very good waffle, but I have to withhold comparison to the others until I get the actual recipe to turn out correctly.

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Chris-what type of waffle iron do you use? Your waffles are beautiful. I bought a Cuisinart deep waffle iron last year and I love it. I do admit thought that I cheat and don't make my own batter. I've tried making it from scratch using the egg white recipe and while good, it never equals the powdered mix I buy-Carbon's Golden Malted Waffle Mix. It's the old-time diner mix they've been making since 1937. Delicious.

Yesterday I made waffles using a recipe that is a take on the Cargon Malted Waffle Mix. The key to the recipe is to used malted milk powder and to fold an egg white into the batter to make it light and airy. The malted milk powder gives the waffles a tangy flavor. Sometimes I substitute buttermilk for regular milk in the batter and it adds to the sweet yet sour flavors in the waffles.

Waffle Maker.JPG

Crisp on the outside and still fluffy in the center.

Waffle.JPG

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Having been on an inexplicable frozen waffle kick for a few weeks, I decided to breakdown and buy a Belgian Waffle maker. I found this thread and read through it first.

The recipes provided with the machine were very similar to the ones here so I decided start with those. First I tried a yeasted version and opted to just let it rise at room temp instead of leaving in the refigerator overnight (impatience). The results were okay. A little dense maybe. A few days later I tried the whipped egg white version. The results seemed pretty much the same. In fact, I was impressed by how similar they were. I was pretty sure of my technique, except for the heat setting and the amount of batter I was using. I suspect I'm using a bit too much batter and that's not leaving enough room for expansion.

One thing that struck me was that although there ws a lot of butter in the batter, I didn't feel that the results were all that buttery. I thought the same amount of melted butter poured on top of a baked waffle might be better. Having never had a proper Belgian Waffle, I had no preconception about what it was I was after. So I decided to throw convention to the wind and just start playing.

Thinking of similar baked things, the first thing that came to mind was pate a choux. Could I get a crispy exterior and a very light interior? I tried it, adding an extra egg to loosen the paste. I still had to pipe the dough onto the machine.

Perhaps because of the extra egg, I didn't get a crispy result. But it was eggy and buttery in a good way. Actually, it was a crepe in waffle form (a creffle?). I like crepes, so I may explore that path further.

Later I thought "Hey, what about funnel cake batter?" Looking it up, I discovered the potentially useful bit trivia that funnel cake batter pretty much is waffle batter.

Being generally fascinated by yeast leavened things, I then decided to go minimalist. What if I just poured a poolish in the thing? (a poofle?) Well, I had to find out. I took 150g flour (hi gluten), 200g water, 3g salt, and about a gram of yeast, and mixed it in a measuring cup. I let it bubble up and poured it into the hot waffle maker. It became waffle bread.

I'm still trying to decide what I think about it. It's bread - nice and freshly baked - but in a weird form. Visually, it would fool pretty much anyone (okay, maybe a little light in color). As I chew it, I think "Why isn't this a waffle?" Maybe a bit too chewy, not crisp enough on the outside, needs something in the flavor department....

Hmmm, What if I threw some blueberries in there? An egg? I could let the poolish sour. What if I used pastry flour? Cornstarch would likely help with crispiness.

Or, what if I poured brownie batter into the thing...? :raz:

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Hmmm, What if I threw some blueberries in there? An egg? I could let the poolish sour. What if I used pastry flour? Cornstarch would likely help with crispiness.

I followed up my waffle bread experiment with some gut level modifications. Much to my own surprise, I nailed my goals for color and texture - A nicely thin crispy golden brown exterior with a very light, airy, tender, slightly eggy crumb. The flavors could be more complex, but I'll feel very comfortable further developing that aspect. Still, with a pre-planned external application of butter and syrup, these were exactly what I was going for.

For two 7" diameter, 1.5" thick waffles....

75g White Lilly Flour (for lightness...)

75g All Purpose Flour (...but hedging my bet)

10g Cornstarch (for crispyness)

4g Sugar (for browning)

3g Salt

3g Active Dry Yeast

225g Water

1 Large Egg (50g)

Whisk together dry and wet ingredients separately. Then mix together. Let proof for an hour or two until risen about 50% over original level.

This basic recipe could use a bit more salt, but is okay as is. And as waffles go, these should be pretty healthy. I'm almost ashamed of that. But as my original goal was to drizzle butter over the top, I'm okay with it.

Future flavor enhancement plans:

  • A touch more salt
  • Cold ferment in the refrigerator overnight
  • Vanilla
  • Malt
  • Replace some water with cream

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Recently I've been following this blog.

The guy is a waffle historian/cook, and works a lot on his recipes, also he uses some unorthodox techniques, that makes a lot of sense and achieve great results.

Heating the eggs on a hot water bath before using them, and using all wet ingredients above room temperature (43-50 C). wich really makes a difference on waffle making.

He has some great recipes there and a lot of experimental ones.


Edited by felipetruji (log)

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Just read through this thread, after following a link from the "air waffles" thread. My very favorite waffle recipe, which happens to be a yeasted waffle, is this one. I will halve the recipe if it's just two of us (but go ahead and use a whole egg). Had them first at a B&B in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western Maryland, fell in love and begged for the recipe. The host laughed, and pulled a copy out of a stack she had in a file folder. Apparently requests are frequent.

 

I also like to put cornbread batter in the waffle iron, a trick I learned from @Kim Shook. A cornbread waffle with a healthy serving of beans atop it...now that's some good stuff.

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Comments: It has been my experience that waffle recipes differ very little from each other. Yeasted or not, eggs separated or not--those are the distinctions. Fruit and nuts can easily be included in recipes, as can corn meal and oats. My favorite waffle cookbook is of course Dorie Greenspan's. I especially appreciate the way she gives us permission to eat waffles at any time of day.

 

Having said that, I have to relate The Great Waffle Experiment that took place many years ago when my husband was away and nobody was watching. The counters were covered with ingredients--roasted poblanos, sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, blueberries, grated lemon rind, walnuts, pine nuts, cheddar cheese--on and on. It was the cheese that was my undoing.

 

I made a basic batter to work with and started adding ingredients and tasting the outcomes. By the way, this was being done on my parents' old non non-stick, which required extensive oiling to reduce sticking. All went well, though some experiments were more successful than others, if you get what I mean. I cannot recommend sun-dried tomatoes and raisins, no matter how interesting the idea may be.

 

My Waterloo came when I tried to make cheese waffles. The cheese had a death grip on the waffle iron. I thought I'd oiled it enough--I had great hopes for that waffle--but only a jackhammer could remove it. I had another glass of wine and considered my options--I could keep hacking away at it, or I could just ditch the whole thing, throw away the waffle iron. I had a moment's pang about tossing my parents' waffle iron, but then I recalled that they never really made waffles, at least in my memory. I think it was a wedding present.

 

So I threw away the waffle iron, cheese waffle still bonded like glue to the grids of the iron. And the next day I bought a nice Vitantonio with a blissfully-nonstick surface, which I have used to this day.

 

Like all of you, I love waffles. I have no favorite recipe and I work through Dorie Greenspan's book whenever I get the craving. I tend to like waffles that are more substantial but are still crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Perhaps that's a contradiction? For what it's worth, my favorite waffle has a bit of cornmeal and blueberries. Real maple syrup, of course.

 

We're going to a friend's house for brunch tomorrow, otherwise I'd be making waffles. But it is on my list for next Sunday. That and Bloody Marys.

 

Happy waffling--N.

 

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Great story!  Thanks for sharing. Dorie has a book on waffles? Who knew. Must look it up. 


Edited by Anna N (log)

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15 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

My favorite waffle cookbook is of course Dorie Greenspan's. I especially appreciate the way she gives us permission to eat waffles at any time of day.

 

Oh man....I don't even have a waffle iron and I ordered a copy of the book because I couldn't resist the title:  Waffles: From Morning to Midnightir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=068815804 and the teaser text on Amazon:

Quote

A collection of sixty sensational waffle recipes features instructions for making Dill Waffles with Soft Scallion Cream Cheese, Spicy Ricotta Waffles with Roasted Red Pepper Spoon Bread, and Cumin Waffles with Humus

 

I figure I'll read it and then give it to my cousin who makes waffles regularly.....that, or I'll end up back on Amazon for a waffle iron...xD

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19 hours ago, kayb said:

 

I also like to put cornbread batter in the waffle iron, a trick I learned from @Kim Shook. A cornbread waffle with a healthy serving of beans atop it...now that's some good stuff.


Stuffing in a waffle iron topped with leftover turkey and gravy and some cranberry sauce on the side is pretty tasty too.

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On 2/4/2017 at 7:37 PM, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

My favorite waffle cookbook is of course Dorie Greenspan's. I especially appreciate the way she gives us permission to eat waffles at any time of day.

 

I am back to report that I purchased a copy of Dorie's Waffles: from Morning to Midnightir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=068812609. It's out of print but there are a lot of used copies on Amazon for a penny.  I picked a hardcover and it's the nice spiral-bound type that opens flat on the kitchen counter.

I don't even have a waffle iron and fully expected to read through it for fun and then hand it off to my cousin who makes waffles often.  No dice - the combination of so many interesting recipes, Dorie's recommendations that they freeze beautifully and my possession of the perfect tool for reheating them (my CSO :x, of course) means I am now in the market for a waffle iron.  I will peruse the thrifts for a while before shelling out for a new one.  

What piqued my interest appetite?   Curried waffle club sandwiches with chutney mayo!  Smoked salmon and dill waffles with scallion cream cheese! Scallion waffles flavored with ginger, garlic, chili paste and sesame with sesame chicken salad!  Mashed potato waffles with garlic-rosemary oil!   New England clam-hash waffles!  Polenta waffles with creamy goat cheese sauce!

 

A list of the recipe titles and ingredients is here on EYB.

 

Edited to add:  Thank you, @Nancy in Pátzcuaro!


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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No! No! No!   I will not succumb.

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5 minutes ago, Anna N said:

No! No! No!   I will not succumb.

 

Perhaps I didn't use the correct ammunition, but I clearly hit my target xD!

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4 minutes ago, Anna N said:

No! No! No!   I will not succumb.


While I never feel inclined to bet against anything you say you're going to do (or not do, in this case), I think I know which side of the betting pool my money would have to go on this time. :D

Seeing this thread rise to the top today just helps shine a spotlight on my shame. I had everything ready to go yesterday to make a batch of yeasted waffle batter so it could spend the night doing it's yeast reaction thing. I was looking forward to those waffles for a nice Sunday breakfast. I was going to take a few of my homemade breakfast sausage patties* out of the freezer to go with it. I woke up in the middle of the night with the realization that I went to bed without making the batter. It was somewhere around 2 am and I just wasn't willing to get up and do it then... so next Sunday it is.

*I can't speak for all parts of Canada but it's impossible to get anything even remotely close to southern U.S. style breakfast sausage anywhere near where I live. The bland, squashy, joyless tubes of fat and gristle they call breakfast sausage in the local restaurants and grocery store aren't the slightest bit tempting. I need flavor, a nice touch of heat and plenty o' sage in my breakfast sausage.

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17 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Perhaps I didn't use the correct ammunition, but I clearly hit my target xD!

P.S.  I already have a very adequate waffle iron.

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8 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I am back to report that I purchased a copy of Dorie's Waffles: from Morning to Midnightir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=068812609. It's out of print but there are a lot of used copies on Amazon for a penny.  I picked a hardcover and it's the nice spiral-bound type that opens flat on the kitchen counter.

I don't even have a waffle iron and fully expected to read through it for fun and then hand it off to my cousin who makes waffles often.  No dice - the combination of so many interesting recipes, Dorie's recommendations that they freeze beautifully and my possession of the perfect tool for reheating them (my CSO :x, of course) means I am now in the market for a waffle iron.  I will peruse the thrifts for a while before shelling out for a new one.  

What piqued my interest appetite?   Curried waffle club sandwiches with chutney mayo!  Smoked salmon and dill waffles with scallion cream cheese! Scallion waffles flavored with ginger, garlic, chili paste and sesame with sesame chicken salad!  Mashed potato waffles with garlic-rosemary oil!   New England clam-hash waffles!  Polenta waffles with creamy goat cheese sauce!

 

A list of the recipe titles and ingredients is here on EYB.

 

Edited to add:  Thank you, @Nancy in Pátzcuaro!

 

Unless you want a Belgian waffle iron,  I suggest you look for a Sunbeam waffle iron from the  last century.  They produce a better result than any more recent irons.  The Sunbeam CG1 is, in my opinion, the best consumer waffle iron ever made.  The Toastmaster commercial double automatic iron - made for regular wiring, is even better but extremely expensive.  

 

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I picked up my Belgian waffle iron at Big Lots for, I think, $12.50. Granted, it only makes one at a time, but then, I can only eat one at a time...

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I have three. 

 

One's a Kenmore of 1960s vintage, making four of the old-school thin, rectangular waffles at a time (probably not unlike the Sunbeam Andiesenji endorses). It's not non-stick, of course, but makes very good waffles. I also have a Cuisinart Belgian waffle maker, the rotating variety, which is adequate but no more. My third is the same as the Cuis but dates from when they were sold under the Waring Pro brand name (a 300, rather than a 300c) and is somewhat better built and makes a better, crisper waffle. Unfortunately it's currently in pieces... again. I've reassembled it twice after it was dropped and broken; this time it happened during a move when it fell and then had a heavy box drop on it. It's a little "more broken" than usual, and I've only found time to halfway reconstruct it. Also I'm out of epoxy at the moment. 

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On 2/12/2017 at 0:47 PM, blue_dolphin said:

I am back to report that I purchased a copy of Dorie's Waffles: from Morning to Midnightir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=068812609. It's out of print but there are a lot of used copies on Amazon for a penny.  I picked a hardcover and it's the nice spiral-bound type that opens flat on the kitchen counter.

[...]

A list of the recipe titles and ingredients is here on EYB.

 

I have no idea how I was unaware of the existence of this book. I have several of Greenspan's others, and I love waffles, so I ordered myself a copy. After reading it through, I figured I'd try a bunch of the recipes, so started a separate topic for it here. Please come over and post your experiences!

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