Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange Millet Waffles


I like a hot breakfast on cold weekend mornings, or at least that’s when I seem to be able to get myself together enough to make one. One of my favorites is these waffles from Fine Cooking magazine. (I first found the recipe in The Best American Recipes 2002-2003). Recently, I varied the recipe a bit to include orange juice and zest along with a bit of millet flour.


The original waffles are lightly crisp and delicious thanks to some cornstarch in the batter and a few moments on a rack in a warm oven after coming off the waffle iron. They’re a little bit of a fuss to make, which is why I usually reserve them for lazier Saturdays. They require the use of a few bowls, egg separation, and the beating of one (yes, just one) egg white. Then I went and fussed them up even more by adding yet another dry ingredient to measure (millet flour) and the mess of zesting and squeezing an orange. I do not regret it.


The zest of the orange is what gives the waffles (or any other baked goods) a good orange flavor and perfume, but the juice contributes to the orangey taste as well. The original recipe called for buttermilk, so I simulated its tanginess and chemical nature by mixing milk and freshly-squeezed orange juice. This is a variation on “sour milk,” which is often suggested as an emergency substitution for buttermilk, and can be made with lemon juice or even vinegar. I liked the results so much that I think I’ll never let a lack of buttermilk in the refrigerator keep me from making waffles again. (I also often substitute a mixture of yogurt and milk.)

As for the millet flour, if you aren’t specifically probing for it, you might not notice it in this recipe. The baking waffles have a lightly nutty fragrance, and their millet flavor is gently sweet and grainy. I do not find that millet flour asserts itself as much as other whole grain flours do, and I liked its subtle presence here. If you don’t happen to have millet flour on hand, you might try substituting cornmeal, or just use more all-purpose flour. Either way, the orange flavor, which is the seasonal highlight of this hot breakfast, should still shine through nicely. And if you’re like me, you’ll love these waffles enough to barely resent all the measuring, beating, squeezing and pouring it takes to make them.



Orange Millet Waffles
Based on a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine via The Best American Recipes 2002-2003

This is a relatively small batch of waffles.

You could replace the millet flour with cornmeal or more all-purpose flour if desired.

1 large egg
1 medium orange
milk (about 3/4 cup)
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup millet flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Separate the egg yolk and white, setting each aside. Allow the egg white to stand and warm to room temperature. Preheat a waffle iron. Preheat the oven to 200 F. Place a cooling rack in the oven if desired (to hold the finished waffles).

2. Remove the zest from the orange. (I use a Micorplane grater, which makes finely-grated zest.) Set aside. Squeeze the juice from the orange into a measuring cup. Pour in enough milk to make 1 cup liquid. Stir together. Let stand while preparing the remaining ingredients.

3. In a medium-size bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, millet flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together. Sprinkle in the orange zest and stir to distribute evenly, breaking up the clumps of zest if necessary. Set aside.

4. In another medium-size bowl, combine the egg yolk and canola oil. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the orange juice-milk mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Set aside.

5. In a small to medium bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer on high speed until the foam forms firm peaks. Set aside.

6. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and stir together just until combined. Add the beaten egg white and fold in gently until well-distributed, but still puffy.

5. Spray the preheated waffle iron with cooking spray or brush it with oil or butter. Pour the batter into the waffle iron and bake according to manufacturer’s instructions until the waffle is golden brown. Remove the waffle and place on the rack in the preheated oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Do not stack the waffles, but keep them separated to allow them to get gently crispy. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or whatever you like.

Makes 5 6 ½ inch waffles.

Another recipe like this one: Barley Pancakes with Orange Juice and Vanilla

One year ago: Roasted Winter Vegetables and Sausage with Garlic-Parsley Aioli

Two years ago: Pumpkin Oatmeal Quick Bread with Dates and Pecans

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