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TDG: Desperate Measures: Waffles


mamster
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Imagine waking up and being offered homemade waffles, light and crispy, with butter and syrup. See? You will want waffles. . . Waffles.

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Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I make a yeasted waffle recipe from Fanny Farmer's cookbook..........I make it anytime family is visiting. I don't bother with whipping egg whites, though - my eyes are too blearly in the morning for anything more difficult than pouring orange juice! The smell as the waffles are cooking is *heavenly*!!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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This actually raises an issue that I'd like to address: breakfast cooking. I'm adventurous and love being in the kitchen for dinners and lunches, but when it comes to breakfast, I typically pour myself a bowl of cereal and a glass of grapefruit juice like a lazy loser. One thing I require is protein in the morning. Protein in cereal, you ask? Well, the milk provides me with either the protein or a false sense of protein consumption. Oh, sure - I'll occasionally fry an egg with some bacon or put together a breakfast taco, but it's a rare occasion.

The sad thing is that I work from home and I'm up around 6 almost every day, so I have a little time to make breakfast, I'm just lazy. I make waffles sometimes on the weekends - and I'm sure to be trying the yeasted waffle recipe soon - but I can't last from 6 until 11 (my typical lunchtime) without some sort of protein. Maybe I should just drink a glass of milk with my waffles. I don't know, but I think the real solution is a cure for my morning laziness. How do you guys motivate yourselves on weekday mornings to cook?

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I recently got a waffle iron and have tried yeasted waffles once, and they came out pretty good (just after that, the kitchen had to be packed up and moved, and has only just been set up again). I was thinking of trying again this weekend. I also read the Cook's article, and don't recall that my batter went flat before the morning. But then, it was close to midnight by the time I got the batter together, so it sat out for maybe nine hours before getting cooked.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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This actually raises an issue that I'd like to address: breakfast cooking.

I don't know, but I think the real solution is a cure for my morning laziness. How do you guys motivate yourselves on weekday mornings to cook?

I'm an early riser: If I'm still abed at 06:00, I've slept in. This gives me lots of time to make full breakfasts (think Amish). My current favorite is johnnycake - which takes about an hour, start to finish - and bacon.

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Johnnycake batter is made with johnnycake meal, which is coarse ground white flint cornmeal. They're very thin and crisp and (in my experience) very difficult to make well. John Thorne has a piece about them in Serious Pig, and there are good illustrations of johnnycake making in Artisan Baking Across America.

Susan, if you have any johnnycake tips, I'd love to hear them.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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This actually raises an issue that I'd like to address: breakfast cooking.

  I don't know, but I think the real solution is a cure for my morning laziness.  How do you guys motivate yourselves on weekday mornings to cook?

I'm an early riser: If I'm still abed at 06:00, I've slept in. This gives me lots of time to make full breakfasts (think Amish). My current favorite is johnnycake - which takes about an hour, start to finish - and bacon.

Hey Mark, my 3 year old wakes up every day between 6 and 6:15. If you'd like, I could give you a daily wake up call.

Or, better yet, I could have HIM call you. Nothing beats a 3 year old jumping on you to wake you up.

Really, I'm serious, nothing beats it. It's the best way to start the day. The jump is always followed by a hug and a kiss.

then the dog joins in, and THAT I could live without.

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A word to wafflers: Beware the yeasted waffle recipe in Bittman’s “Everything” cookbook. Repeated tries have produced nothing but thin, lifeless waffles. I suspected the unheated milk Bittman uses was killing (or at least crippling) my yeast. (He calls for “milk” and doesn’t say to heat it. Since milk is generally kept cold, one must conclude it should remain so in the recipe.) After trying Marion Cunningham’s yeasted waffle recipe (calling for warmed milk) and now reading Matthew’s article and recipe, my suspicion is confirmed. Thank you.

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I've made yeasted pancakes several times, with good results, but I don't really have a recipe to give you. I ran out of baking powder one night, and decided on impulse to prep the batter the night before and use yeast instead. They came out really, really, well; so I've made them off and on ever since.

I'll see about making them again, this weekend (if I'm over this *#&^#^ infection) and I'll record the quantities I use. Should get you close enough to fine-tune for your own taste.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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A word to wafflers: Beware the yeasted waffle recipe in Bittman’s “Everything” cookbook.

I've never had trouble with Bittman's recipe. Although, I do recall adding the molten butter to the milk (thus raising the temperature significantly)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Mamster, you've inspired me to make these. But let's talk waffle irons for a minute. Tell me more about the one you mention in your article. I have a small, two-waffle iron that I hate using because it is impossible to clean. If any of the batter seeps out the edges, it goes between the metal plates and the outer plastic shell. There is no way to remove the plates (that fact alone makes it difficult to clean) to get to the batter, so it just cooks in there becoming hard little pieces of waffle that rattle around inside. It drives me crazy. So I'm off to buy a new waffle maker to attempt this but I need to make sure I can sleep at night knowing I have cleaned it efficiently (at least enough so that nothing rattles) :laugh:

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I've also been inspired to make these. I'll mix them up tonight for a Saturday morning treat and will report on them over the weekend.

LEdlund, I have a Villaware waffle maker from Williams-Sonoma which I like very much. It's been no trouble to clean and has a metal exterior, not plastic. You can find it on their website - here's a photo:

img72l.jpg

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LEdlund, I looked at our waffle maker, which is cheap and has a plastic exterior, but it doesn't seem to have room for anything to drip in between the metal plates and the plastic. It's the Toastmaster Family Waffle Baker and we got it on sale at the Bon for $20. Its biggest flaw is that it does an imperfect job of browning the corners of waffles.

Cook's Illustrated tested waffle irons for the April issue. Their recommendations were the Villaware Uno Classic Waffler ($90) and the Black and Decker Grill and Waffle Baker ($57). I'm sure they're great, but that seems like a lot to spend on a waffle iron, and I like waffles.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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This sale was a while ago, so it's probably not $20 today. I think it was probably $10 off. You can get a much cheaper waffle iron that that--our previous one made two waffles at a time and was bought at Target for $7, but it sucked.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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