I usually have a batch of frozen waffles in my freezer, ready to be toasted for an instant hot snack (butter waffles are delicious even without any topping).
But since getting my waffle iron several months back, I haven’t tried many recipes. The ones in the recipe book that accompany the Philips appliance all seem to have too much butter, too much cream or too many eggs to appeal to me.
The four-grain waffle recipe in Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America caught my eye because of the chance to get to work with non-wheat flours (actually only two, because the ‘four-grain’ in fact includes two types of wheat flour), and I already had cornmeal to use up from the time I made wheat germ cornmeal muffins. This waffle recipe also uses only a moderate amount of fats and eggs :).
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus extra for greasing
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tbs sugar [which I reduced to 1 Tbs, you can probably omit altogether]
1Tbs baking powder
Preheat a waffle iron to medium heat.
Combine the buttermilk, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix by hand with a wooden spoon just until the batter is evenly moistened.
Lightly brush the preheated waffle iron with vegetable oil. Ladle about 1/3 cup of batter (check the waffle iron manufacturer’s instructions, since sizes may vary) into the waffle iron and cook until the waffles are golden brown and the iron opens easily without tearing the waffles, about 3 minutes. If necessary, keep warm in a 200°F/ 90°C oven while you finish cooking the remaining batter.
NB: If you are making these to freeze, don’t cook them so brown as you will be toasting them again later when you take them out of the freezer.
As you can see from the photograph, these waffles turned out beautifully. The appearance in terms of colour and texture was beautiful, with the rounded, white edges. (Do note that the cornmeal gives a slightly gritty texture that takes getting used to). The crisp waffles recipe I posted earlier produces waffles with a pitted surface – air bubbles, I assume – and a more evenly-browned colour so it doesn’t look as attractive as these ones.
Some notes on the ingredients:
1) Buttermilk. No need to go out and buy expensive imported buttermilk, you can easily use a variety of substitutes. The purpose of buttermilk is to provide something acidic to help the leavening process. I used milk+cream of tartar earlier, to make a whole wheat coffee cake.
This time I thought of trying milk+lemon juice, but as I don’t have lemons (not Failsafe because of salicylates), I used 3/4 tsp of citric acid instead. Citric acid is suggested as a Failsafe alternative to lemon juice, vinegar etc. I had a hard time finding it in Singapore, and finally got hold of some at a baking supplies store, Sun Lik at 33 Seah Street.
When I added the citric acid, the milk curdled immediately, which didn’t happen at all when I used cream of tartar. However, I used the lumpy milk and the end result seemed absolutely fine.
2) Oat flour. The recipe suggests that an alternative to buying oat flour, you can simply grind rolled oats in food processor until you have a fairly fine flour.
Next time I’ll try out my grandmother’s 1960s waffle recipe :)!