Waffles can be made in
different shapes and sizes, from round, to square, to rectangular, to even
heart shaped. But what they all have in common is that unique honeycomb
surface which comes from cooking the batter in a special "waffle" machine
(iron). Now the honeycomb pattern (or grid) can be large or small
depending on the type of waffle machine you use. A "Belgian" waffle is
quite thick with a large grid pattern and deep indentations. A "regular"
(or standard) waffle is thinner with a smaller grid pattern and therefore more shallow indentations. But no matter which type of waffle you make
they all have a bread-like flavor with a crisp outside crust, yet inside
they are wonderfully soft and tender. Waffles can be served any time of
the day. Excellent for breakfast, brunch, or even as a light supper. They
also make a very nice dessert. Ideas for toppings include a
pat of butter with a drizzling of maple syrup or honey, jam, fruit sauces,
chocolate sauce, and even whipped cream and fresh fruit.
When buying a waffle machine (iron), you
have so many choices. There are a lot of different brands at various price
points, plus you have the choice of either a Belgian or standard waffle
machine. And while the electric waffle machines are most popular, there
are stovetop models which are especially good when camping. Waffle
machines consist of two metal grids, facing each other, that are held
together with hinges. If possible buy one with a non stick surface as it
prevents the waffles from sticking and also makes clean up a breeze.
Always preheat your waffle machine. If there isn't a "ready" light than
test to see if it's hot enough by sprinkling a few droplets of water onto
the hot surface and the water should bounce and sizzle and then evaporate.
Most of the time it's a good idea to grease or spray the grids with a non
stick vegetable spray (depending on manufacturer's instructions). Then
pour enough batter (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) (80 ml to 120 ml) into the
center of the iron to cover the grids, smoothing out the batter with a
heatproof spatula or with the back of a spoon. Then close the second metal grid over the batter and
cook the waffle (usually about 3 to 5 minutes) until crisp and golden brown.
As the waffles cook you will notice a lot of steam escaping from the sides
of your waffle machine, and this is normal.
Waffles: In a large bowl whisk together the
flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the
egg and milk. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, along with the melted
butter, and stir (or whisk) just until combined.
Preheat your waffle machine. Then,
depending on your machine's
instructions, you may need to lightly grease (with a flavorless oil) or spray the grids with a non stick vegetable
Spoon or pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) of batter (or amount that is recommended in your
waffle iron's instruction book) onto one side of the hot waffle iron. Take
the back of a spoon, or small heatproof offset spatula, and smooth out the batter. Close the lid of
your waffle machine and bake until brown and crisp (about 3-5 minutes). It is best to serve the waffles
immediately. If not, place the waffles (directly on the oven rack) in a 200
degrees F (95 degrees C) for up to 30 minutes. Waffles can also be frozen. Once
the waffles have completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and place in an
airtight freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for about a month. To
reheat, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the still frozen
waffles directly on your oven rack and bake for about 5-10 minutes, or just
until they are heated through.
Waffles are delicious when served
with butter and maple syrup or honey, jam, or fruit sauces (blueberry,
strawberry, or raspberry). They are also very good
when served as a dessert with fresh berries and whipped cream.
Makes about 4 - 4 1/2 inch (10 cm) square
Belgain waffles, or 4 - 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) round regular waffles. Preparation time 15 minutes.
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