Saturday, July 22, 2017

REAL Waffles

If you are like many people, the thought of a freshly made Belgium Waffle is very exciting. Popping it off the griddle and lathering it up with butter and syrup sounds really good. Most of not all of the mixes you find in the grocery store produce something resembling a waffley pancake more than an actual waffle. In fact, many of these mixes are sold as, "Pancake and Waffle Mix". Checking the ingredient list I noticed that all of these mixes are missing one vital ingredient that you will find in commercial mixes- corn. So I decided to try and replicate my own mix. The corn meal adds the bite to a waffle that pancakes don't have. When cooked on a waffle iron, the corn crisps up and gives it that crust.

 My mix is not only tastey, but a lot less expensive than what you will buy in the store. One of the ingredients, malt powder or malt syrup is not something everyone will have in their pantry. If you do not have it, you can omit it or add molasses instead (this can also be purchased at any beer brewing supply store). I think the molasses will give it that unique taste that the malt would add. When I make this batch of waffles, it is always enough for everyone to have extras and then have even more that I put into the freezer for the kids to eat during the next week or two. I prefer to use buttermilk for the liquid. The acidity of the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to give the waffle its airiness. Kefir (fresh, unflavored, preferably homemade) will have the same effect. You can use milk but you will be losing some of the flavor the buttermilk would add.

 3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Corn meal
1 T baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 whole eggs, scrambled
2 sticks butter, melted (half pound)
1/4 cup malt syrup OR 1/2 cup Malt powder
1 qt (approx) buttermilk, kefir or whole milk

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and butter (and malt syrup), then your milk. The amount of milk needed will depend on a couple factors, so an exact amount is hard to say, but it will be about a quart. The batter should have a thin consistency, not as thick as pancake batter because it will need to spread when you close the lid on the waffle iron. Cook the waffle as the maker requires to your desired degree of doneness. Enjoy!

A couple of footnotes. I bought an old waffle maker at a thrift store about 15 years ago and it is still working fine. I had to replace the plug once, but I used one from another appliance that was broken. I have seen plenty of waffle makers in thrift stores so I suggest you look for one there first. Kefir is a fermented, live culture milk product that is so easy to make at home, that no one can say they can't do it. I will write a blog about it in the future. Buttermilk is also a fermented, live culture milk product that is equally as easy to make as kefir. If you buy either in the store, be sure you get ones that are live culture and do not have added ingredients like carrageenan, guar gum, whey, etc. These are not needed to make buttermilk, but they are added so the manufacturer can cut corners and time in production.

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