‘Junk’ food: potato waffles

Sometimes one needs something junky to indulge in, and I was most impressed how unhealthy this tastes haha :D — must be the high fat content! This is a great snack that is free of gluten and sugar.

Making this potato snack or side dish couldn’t be easier. Simply make mashed potatoes by combining boiled waxy potatoes with butter, milk/broth/water, salt and pepper. Spoon into a waffle iron, which has been brushed with melted butter or oil.The final result was not crispy though….

Unlike some frozen potato products, by making this at home you can be assured that there are only natural ingredients.

Gluten-free waffles

Gluten-free waffles

Gluten-free waffles

I’m afraid I’ve been very slack at updating my blog. The truth is I have experimented with several gluten-free waffle recipes, one of which was wonderful – but because I didn’t make notes, I can’t remember which one it was now :(!

The last recipe I tried was from the book Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America. This recipe uses ‘Flour Blend #5′ which of all the flour blends in the book, is the one with the highest protein content. As you can read in my earlier notes, I modified the flour mix slightly too. If my inference is correct, this could be the reason for these waffles having a rather bread-like texture. I personally prefer my waffles more crisp, so perhaps I should experiment with using different flour blends with this same recipe.

This recipe also uses additional whisked egg whites to add more lift to the batter (just as my grandmother’s waffle recipe does). Actually I haven’t noticed a huge difference between waffle recipes that used the extra egg whites and those that don’t (although others swear that whipped egg whites are critical). Since I’m lazy and would also prefer not to use up four eggs on one batch of waffles, I’d probably choose another recipe as my basic waffle staple.

One thing I do like about this recipe is that it’s not as oily as the first waffle recipe I tried. Overall, it’s quite a good recipe.

1 1/3 cups (7.7 oz) Flour Blend #5: rice, tapioca, soy flours – see here.
1/2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt [omitted]
1/2 cup (4 oz) sugar [omitted]
2 eggs
1/4 cup (2 oz.) butter, melted
3/4 cup (6 oz.) milk
2 egg whites

1. Mix together dry ingredients.
2. Mix together wet ingredients separately.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix thoroughly.
4. Whip egg whites to medium peaks.
5. Temper egg whites by adding one-third of batter to egg whites and mixing gently.
6. Fold tempered whites into remaining batter.
7. Bake in oiled waffle iron.

Related posts:
A waffles novice
Four-grain waffles

Wheat-free at Carrefour

I’ve realised it’s time to face up to my less-serious intolerances, the ones that don’t make me obviously ill but also keep me from being in top form. Chocolate is one of these *sob* but quite an easy one to avoid. The more difficult one is wheat because it is used so heavily in baked goods. I have already purchased some wholegrain spelt flour to see if it works well for me in my next round of baking and will finally begin look more closely at other alternative flours. On the one hand, I feel tired at having to learning about new baking ingredients but trying to look on the positive side, it’s also an opportunity to expand my knowledge and improve my baking skills.

Quite by chance, I made some pleasant discoveries whilst shopping in Carrefour. The first was buckwheat crepes, a traditional staple in Brittany and Normandy, which are called galettes, from the premium in-house Reflets de France range. It was great to note that there were no nasty additives in the ingredients list. These aren’t cheap at more than S$1 a piece (pack of 6) but I’m tempted to get some to see how my own homemade version compares.

While the buckwheat crepes were huge, a small pack of organic wholegrain spelt waffles from UK brand, Dove’s Farm, costs just as much. Nevertheless, it was a great to see these organic non-wheat options right there on the shelves of a mainstream supermarket chain.

N.B.: Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat which is tolerated by some – not all – wheat-intolerant individuals. It is not gluten-free.

Four-grain waffles

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 :).

Waffles Four Grain

 

Four-Grain Waffles

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 :)!

A waffles novice

Last week I finally bought a waffle maker, inspired by what I was reading on the Failsafe discussion groups, but also because I realised I can still eat plenty of nice things, as long as I make them at home. With my choices even more limited now because of the Failsafe diet, I decided I have to make an effort to give myself as many eating alternatives as possible.

Choosing a waffle maker
My consumer watch investigations revealed that Tangs department store offered a few types of interchangeable waffle-sandwich-grill machines, around the S$60 range. They had the advantage of being able to remove the interchangeable heating plates, making for easy cleaning. (And if you are keen on the grill, some open flat so that you can have a BBQ grill right on your dinner table.) The disadvantage: none had a temperature control.

I felt that a temperature control would be important as a low-temperature, slow-cooking waffle would be of even texture throughout, whereas a high-temperature, fast-cooking waffle would have the nice contrast of being crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Both types sounded nice so I wanted to have the option of being able to do both.

Finally, because of my obsession with having a temperature control, and also because we already have a steamboat+BBQ set at home, I bought a Phillips brand waffle-only maker (S$49, Takashimaya) which makes four thin, heart-shaped waffles with small pyramid-shaped depressions. It felt a lot less cheaply-made than the all-in-one machines for $60. Incidentally, Philips also does an all-in-one with temperature control (cannot open flat) for $92. That one makes two square Belgian waffles with the deep square holes.

Tip on cleaning the waffle maker: the shop assistant said I could put a little bit of water on the surface and heat it up. I did so and the water boiled and evaporated away. Subsequently, after making waffle, the maker is usually rather oily, so the only thing to do is wipe with kitchen tissue as the plates cannot be removed for washing with soap and water. I might try wiping them down with a tissue soaked in Chinese tea, as its known for ‘washing away’ that oily feeling during Chinese banquet dinners


Waffle recipe #1
(from Philips manual)

Simple Crisp Waffles (8pcs)
150g butter or margarine
400 ml (250g) wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 spice measure of salt
300ml cold water
200ml milk

Melt the butter and let it cool down. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water and milk and beat to a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Cook the waffles.

As usual I used all wholemeal flour but followed the rest of the instructions correctly. I was a little shocked by the amount of butter! But I didn’t want to experiment too much the first time. The waffles were crispy and delicious (at all temperatures) but oh-so-oily. I didn’t even have to brush butter/oil on the waffle maker, it was covered in butter after each waffle.

I froze the extra waffles and put the left-over batter in the fridge. The first was excellent, I could heat them in the toaster for a quick snack just like store-bought waffles! but the latter was a total mistake. The next day, the batter was barely liquid and I stupidly added water to make it possible to pour it onto the waffle maker, which of course made the batter far too liquid! It totally lost its elasticity, and was too sticky to harden into a solid mass. I ended up scraping oily, burnt, brittle crumbs off the waffle-maker. Trying to salvage the batter by using it to make pancakes was also a disaster, there wasn’t the elasticity, and they were wet, sticky and fractured when trying to lift them out of the pan, whilst oozing oil the whole time – yuck.

Waffle recipe #2 (from Philips cookbook)

Having completely OD-ed on butter, I chose the recipe with the lowest amount of butter. This one is for Ham Waffles, but I don’t eat preserved meats so I just made it without any ham :).

Ham Waffles (6 pcs)
50g butter or margarine
100g smoked lean ham
400ml (250g) wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
300ml water

Melt the butter and let it cool down. Chop the ham and mix with flour, salt and baking powder. Add eggs and water or milk. Stir all the ingredients into a smooth batter. Add the melted butter. Cook the waffles.

Oh dear, this one didn’t come out as expected either. They just refused to go crisp no matter at what temperature I used or how long I cooked them. *sigh*. This time I used up all the batter immediately and froze the leftover waffles.

I also learnt that three ladlesful (of the ladle I have a home) fills the cavity of the waffle-maker exactly :).

I suppose one can think of these waffles as having the soft, chewy texture of bread, and I eat them as a bread substitute with savoury toppings like tuna. It’s always good to have bread substitutes — I’ve made scones and savoury muffins as bread replacements — as I limit the amount of bread I consume. After eliminating yeasted breads when on the anti-candida diet, I eventually started eating bread in small amounts which I found I could tolerate, but I also learnt that I start to get an itch after several days of consecutive, uncontrolled bread eating. So now that means maximum one slice per day of additive-free of bakery bread from Cedele, absolutely no commercial sliced bread, and I try skip a few days in between my bread-eating. I guess you could say I am trying to manage a Failsafe diet whilst being conscious of anti-candida principles.

I’ll write more on waffles when I eventually hit on a good recipe :).


Update 16/7/07

Just made waffles again. I used the Simple Crisp Waffles recipe (recipe #1) and reduced the amount of butter to 100ml. Perfect!

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