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TDG: Desperate Measures: Waffles


mamster
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I made the waffle recipe from Real American Breakfast this morning, and it made fine waffles. Cook's is correct in that if you leave the mix out overnight, you don't get maximum rise out of the yeast, I could tell by looking at the bowl that the mix had risen and settled some, but there was clearly plenty of air left in it and there's no way to mix the eggs in without deflating it a bit anyway. The resulting batter was enough to fill my iron twice, so it doesn't really seem worth worrying about. I found that setting the iron fairly light but leaving it on a couple of minutes extra made a nice crispy brown (but not too dark) outside and light fluffy inside. Yesterday I found some nice ripe strawberries to go with.

I'm trying not to think too much about how much butter went into the batter.

"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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Just one minor question: wasnt the NY Worlds Fair in 1964? I was there as an eleven year old (or nine, if 1962 is the correct year) and the young kid from Utah was quite amazed by the first site of a Belgian waffle.

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How about sourdough instead of yeast, Mr. Mamster?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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We had the waffles this morning and thought they were wonderful. They were much lighter than any buttermilk ones we've ever made. Our 6-year old twins, predictably, headed for the freezer where they found Eggo waffles. We're talking about "plain pasta" eaters so it might be a while before they learn what they missed out on this morning.

We only had one problem but it had nothing to do with the recipe. I forgot to buy maple syrup during my post-Passover shopping trips. :sad:

Thank you again, mamster, for a wonderful article and recipe.

jayne

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For anybody in or visting the greater Boston area, Centre Street Cafe in Jamaica Plain has incredible yeasted waffles. I had them for the first time recently and they blew me away. A hint, though, order the fruit on the side, it makes the waffles a little soggy.

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Jinmyo, I think that would be delicious, but I would probably do a mixed-method version with a bit of commercial yeast -- I'm not sure whether wild yeasts would be quite exuberant enough. Although that could be an advantage. My starter is currently dormant in the back of the fridge and will take a few days to rejuvenate, but I'll let you know what I determine, if you don't try it first.

jaynesb, I'm glad you liked them. Frankly, I like the Eggo cinnamon toast waffles.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I made my waffles yesterday and, for the most part, really liked them. I had some leftover buttermilk so I used a combination of that and 1% milk. I think using the buttermilk made the waffles a little tangy for my taste. I also had a hard time combining the melted butter and the flour/yeast mixture. It was quite lumpy and didn't whisk out when the milk was added. Next time I will mix the butter and milk together then whisk it into the flour. I loved the way the house smelled as I was cooking them though! I'm going to make some fruit syrups when we start getting berries up here. What a treat to have during the summer.

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I have a confession.

I make a white-trash version of yeasted pancakes that's pretty decent. I mix together krusteaz, a bit of sugar (I don't measure when I make these) and a packet of yeast. Then I heat up some milk/buttermilk and butter and beaten eggs on the stovetop. I then mix the warmed mixture into the dry. Let sit for 1/2 hour or so, then make 'em pancakes. I especially like to use buttermilk. Its also acceptable to use beer in this recipe if you are out of yeast. I've done it before with success.

All in all, it doesn't beat the overnight made from scratch variety, but its a damn good sub.

Bonus: one of my favorite syrups: fresh blueberries (which are out now!!!) mixed with a bit of butter and a bit of sugar. add some fresh lemon zest. put on medium heat and stir till it starts to breakdown a bit and make syrup. Mix with hot maple syrup over pancakes/waffles. Its divine.

And, need I talk about the importance of REAL maple syrup??

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Thanks for the article, Mamster. I've made yeasted waffles for years (mostly with Marion Cunninghams recipe, though I use much less butter) and love them. In fact, I agree they are the best waffles you can make at home. But I'm actually here to stand up for Belgian waffles. Belgian waffles are not just about the size of the indentations! You have to use a special maker - preferably cast iron - to make them right and you can't use just any waffle recipe (and certainly not a mix). I know all this because we made them in pastry school and they were by far the best waffles I've ever had, though they do seem more of a dessert than a breakfast item. I feel sure that you haven't had a truly authentic Belgian waffle, or you would not have disparaged them as you did you in your article. Sadly I know of no place in or near Seattle where you can get the real thing - guess you'll just have book the eGullet jet to Belgium for the weekend sometime. :biggrin:

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No doubt, nightscotsman. About the jet, I mean. By "Belgian waffle," I was of course talking about American waffle batter in your basic nonstick "Belgian" waffle iron. If you know anyone at the Belgian chamber of commerce who wants to bring me to Brussels for some reeducation, let me know.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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No doubt, nightscotsman. About the jet, I mean. By "Belgian waffle," I was of course talking about American waffle batter in your basic nonstick "Belgian" waffle iron.

Oh, well - of course. Not even worth wasting the flour and eggs on that.

Carry on. :wink:

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I also had a hard time combining the melted butter and the flour/yeast mixture. It was quite lumpy and didn't whisk out when the milk was added.

I should have mentioned this. It's supposed to do that--I find that it's impossibly lumpy when I put the batter to bed, but then in the morning it's smoother than Smoove B. Do try mixing the milk and butter first and let me know if it's a more reassuring method, though.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I've been seeing all kinds of Waffle Irons latelly, even some that make heart shaped waffles, great for VValentine's Day, Mother's Day and - Well, that's about it.

In any case, we used to make some killer Waffles at this restaurant I was working. They were savory: onions and basil, and were served with a Heirloom Tomato Salad. In any case, the recipe we used had no yeast in it..., it used paking powder: Flour, Sugar, Salt, Milk, Baking Powder and Whipped Egg Whites. You can keep the whole mixture except the egg whites in the freege overnight, and mix in the egg whites in the morning. They were always fluffy and delicious. I think I want some right now! Who said breakfast food was only to be eaten for breakfast?

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I made these yesterday morning, thanks to the thread and mamster. I was pretty pleased with the flavor, but I undercooked them a bit. They still had formed a crumb throughout but were a tad wet in the middle. Next time I'll add another minute or two to the waffle iron's suggestion. I was pleased enough that there definitely will be a next time.

Thanks!

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I made the waffles last weekend and they were lovely. I tossed butter chunks into the milk so the butter could melt and the milk could heat up at the same time.

I believe this is unrelated - my batter didn't seem to have the structure to support the risen, finished waffles - they spread a great deal. I found they turned out best if I overloaded the waffle iron so I got lots of that "waffle runoff." Messy, but worth it. And I noticed that the waffles only browned on one side. They couldn't puff enough to touch the top of the iron. I did use the lower protein Gold Medal brand of flour and wonder if my usual King Arthur would have made a difference.

Any thoughts?

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I made the waffles last weekend and they were lovely. I tossed butter chunks into the milk so the butter could melt and the milk could heat up at the same time.

I believe this is unrelated - my batter didn't seem to have the structure to support the risen, finished waffles - they spread a great deal. I found they turned out best if I overloaded the waffle iron so I got lots of that "waffle runoff." Messy, but worth it. And I noticed that the waffles only browned on one side. They couldn't puff enough to touch the top of the iron. I did use the lower protein Gold Medal brand of flour and wonder if my usual King Arthur would have made a difference.

Any thoughts?

While I'm by no means an expert, having just done this once myself, mine rose well and didn't spread out like you mentioned. I wonder if melting the butter into the milk didn't allow the fat in the butter to coat the dry particles in the dry mix and thereby created a problem. I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that you didn't stir the butter in first, and then follow with the milk since that's the only place you diverged from the recipe.

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I had them for dinner last night, and breakfast this morning! Murrmaid, I don't have any good explanation for why your treatment of the butter should make a difference, but when I make the waffles, they definitely have enough lift.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Waffles, you guys think you want waffles?

Not a chance. It's fully transparent what you want:

You want to wake up in a sleigh bed, with your head on six goose down pillows and under a dozen hand woven wool blankets in a rustic bedroom in a ski house heated with a large fireplace downstairs with snow falling outside in the Alps and from the kitchen smells of bacon, caramel apples, and, yes, waffles being cooked and then brought to you on a tray in bed by a Fraulein with long blond hair in a decorative apron with a full figure expanding around and above the apron saying "Guten Morgen! Wie geht's?" Now that's what you want for "waffles".

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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How'd I know? Easy enough: Waffles are one of the foundations of 'comfort food' that men really like, even without the food, better with it. A related point is the common claim that one of the standard goals of adult life is to reproduce the happy memories of childhood, and waffles may be associated with some of those, some special celebratory breakfast where everyone was happy, the children were the center of attention, etc.

But, off the comfort and back to the food, in the article there is a mention of

"... I want the sour tang given off by exhausted yeast"

Can you explain "exhausted"? My guess would be that the little microbes would just keep growing as long as they had food, water, and temperature.

They don't do this? Why not?

For more detail, the source of the "sour tang" is just the ethyl alcohol given off by the yeast or something else?

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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Actually, I was glossing. I think the sour tang is acetic acid waste from bacteria, not anything to do with yeast at all. At some point, of course, yeast will die off because they can't live in an environment above around 17% alcohol, but that's not what's happening here. Fair enough?

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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