A couple of hams having waffles.

Junior and I were shopping yesterday and he started clamoring for frozen waffles. Frozen waffles are so yucky! Okay, they’ve improved vastly since I was a kid, but I’d rather make them. Waffle batter is a little more complex than pancake batter, and therefore a little more challenging when I’m pre-coffee. You see, there’s a reason that just using pancake batter makes a thin, limp, lifeless waffle. Two reasons, actually.

The first is richness: waffles have several eggs and some butter or oil which make the lovely crisp outside. The richer the batter, the crisper the waffle.  The second is air: you need a light, fluffy batter to make a light fluffy waffle. And the trick to that is stiffly beaten egg whites. Every good waffle recipe I’ve tried held back the egg whites and had you beat them to stiff peaks and fold them in just before cooking.

Here are two great waffle recipes for your morning pleasure.

Joy of Cooking Waffles
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 egg yolks
2 to 7 tablespoons melted butter or oil
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites

I just use all-purpose flour, but I sift or whisk it before measuring.  Combine all dry ingredients and re-sift or whisk.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the butter (I used 3 tablespoons; the more oil, the more crisp the waffle), milk, and vanilla.Combine with a few swift strokes.  The batter will be slightly lumpy, like muffin batter.  If you want to add anything like nuts or chocolate chips to the batter, now’s the time.  1/2 cup is about right for most additions.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry.  Fold them into the batter until barely blended.

Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. On mine that’s about three minutes, or until steam stops coming out. Makes 12 4″ square waffles.

Oh, the vanilla is my own addition, and not part of the original recipe.  I just like it in my waffles and pancakes.  If you’re holding your waffles instead of eating them right out of the waffle maker and want to keep them crisp, warm your oven to 200°F and put the waffles on wire racks instead of a tray or plate.

Mr. Breakfast’s Whole Wheat Waffles
1 and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
4 Tablespoons melted shortening
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Beat egg yolks well; add milk and shortening. Combine salt, sugar, and flour. Add to first mixture. Beat until smooth. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Sift baking powder lightly over the mixture and fold in quickly. Bake in hot waffle iron. Makes 6 waffles.

If you have leftovers, make frozen waffles that aren’t yucky!  My waffle maker’s squares just fit in a sandwich baggie.  The trick to re-heating them in a toaster is to let them thaw first, which takes about 3 minutes sitting out or 30 seconds in the microwave.  Then pop in the toaster and they get their crispness back.

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