The perfect waffle recipe

img_7527When we were still living in San Francisco, Scott asked if we could get a waffle iron once we got to Auckland. Of course, especially if he would use it?! And so long before we had records or instruments or bikes or crafty stuff or anything else we’d shipped, we had a waffle iron to play with.

After weeks of experimenting, I’m pretty sure we’ve worked out the perfect waffle recipe. The following results in a magic combination of light, crispy, chewy, and just sweet enough that they stand on their own without maple syrup:

Prep:
– Warm up the waffle iron
– Melt a bit more than 1/3 cup salted butter (low heat on the stove or microwave)

Mix the dries:
– 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
– 1/4 coarse cornmeal (sometimes sold as polenta)
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 4 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt

Into a blender:
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1/3 cup of the melted butter (don’t forget to keep the rest aside!)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Blend for a good 15 seconds or more

When the waffle iron is ready:
– Using a paper towel or basting brush, butter both sides of the iron
– Add the 1/3 cup to the blender and blend again (don’t forget to save aside the extra for buttering the iron!)
– Add the dries to the blender and blend on low just barely long enough to mix everything (don’t over-mix)

Cook ’em up:
– Butter the iron before each waffle
– Don’t open the iron until they’re ready (less time for chewier, more time for crispier)

Serve!
– Eat as you go for best results, or keep them separated on a rack (ideally in a barely warm oven) so they stay crispy until you’re ready to eat them
– Favorite toppings: real maple syrup. If we’re feeling really ambitious, we fry sliced bananas and strawberries in butter. I’ve also added plain yogurt, one of these days actual whipped heavy cream…
– The batter gets a lot thicker as it sits, so cook up all the waffles in one sitting rather than keep the batter around for later
– Store leftovers in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and heat them up in a toaster or under the broiler (barely a minute each side, keep an eye on them!) the next day

img_7524General comments about the experiments (because: Cooks Illustrated, we don’t subscribe tho so beyond this into paragraph I have no idea what they advise WRT waffles):
– Everyone suggests whipping up the egg whites separately and folding into the rest of the batter, but I’m HUNGRY by the time we’re making waffles, and there’s enough to clean up as it is… if someone actually tries doing this and can convince me an extra step and dish is worth it, maybe then we’ll try it 🙂
– Similar thoughts regarding buttermilk. We tried using a bit of yogurt in place of some of the milk once, but I figure the convenience of straight milk is worth whatever minor benefit the sour provided.
– The more sugar, the crispier… but 4 tbsp is too much and you won’t want to add any maple syrup.
– The salt really brings out the sweetness and the corn flavor; 1/2 tsp isn’t enough.
– The more butter, the crispier… but honestly I think part of why I like all this butter is that it’s adding more salt. We tried 1/4 cup once and had some issues w/ the waffles sticking. Not worth risking it, and really, why hold back on butter, ever..
– Too much fine cornmeal or too little liquid and they get far more dense than fluffy.
– Not enough fine cornmeal and they tend to go soggy rather than crisp up.
– Since cornmeal has a stronger (and better, IMO) flavor than all-purpose flour, you definitely want a bit more vanilla than usual in this recipe.

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