Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crispy Light Wheat Waffles

There’s a really great light and crispy waffle recipe from Fine Cooking magazine that I love. It was published in The Best AmericanRecipes 2002-2003, which is where I found it about 10 years ago. It makes delicious waffles with a gently crispy texture. They require a bit of extra time and result in some extra dish washing since they contain a (as in one, single) beaten egg white. I, however, have always found it worth that time and effort.

I’ve also always thought the recipe looked like a good starting point for all kinds of variations (such as this good one from a few years ago). This time I took a cue from some of my recent baking excursions and replaced some of the white flour with whole wheat flour. Again, exchanging about a third of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat seemed like a safe place to start, and this worked well. What worked even better, at least as far as new flavors in a familiar recipe are concerned, was to add cinnamon as well.

The combination of the slight nuttiness of that little bit of wheat flour and a decent dose of cinnamon is a really winner. Of course, I also added some more sugar, though there’s still not a lot in the recipe, which I think makes the cinnamon come through even more. The whole wheat flour did nothing to diminish the lovely crisp texture of these waffles, which gets a boost from a few minutes in a warm oven. I highly recommend not skipping this step for maximum loveliness.

I liked this version of my favorite waffle recipe so much that I think it’s going to achieve status as the new favorite. I hope that doesn’t stop me from trying other variations. I think other whole grain flours could work (and be delicious) in place of the whole wheat and other warm spices, such as nutmeg, cloves, or blends like Pumpkin Pie Spice or chai spice would be good, too. I also think that this recipe could be easily doubled. So many waffles to try, so few weekends off!

Crispy Light Wheat and Cinnamon Waffles

½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg, separated
¼ cup canola or other neutral oil
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat a waffle iron. Preheat oven to 250 F. Place a cooling rack on a rack in the oven.

2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk or sift together to combine well. Set aside.

3. In another medium-size bowl, combine the egg yolk and oil. Beat together until well-combined. Add the buttermilk, milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, beat the egg white to firm peaks with an electric mixer. Set aside.

5. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are moist. Fold in the beaten egg white, taking care to keep it light and puffy. Stir just until the white is evenly distributed.

6. Spray the heated waffle iron with cooking spray or brush it with butter or oil. Pour a portion of batter (the sized will depend on the size of your waffle iron) onto the iron and bake according to manufacturer’s instructions.

7. Remove the baked waffle from the iron and place on the rack in the preheated oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. The waffles will not only stay warm, but will also crisp in the oven. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Makes about 4 waffles.

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