Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waffles, Waffles, Waffles!

Over the past year, I have been extremely addicted to waffles! At every farmer's market I would hunt down the Eva Sweet Waffle truck, order waffles at Culina Highlands, and check out the other waffle trucks such as Wanda's Waffle. The sort of waffle I was craving for was the round Belgian style waffle that was crispy on the outside, air pockets on the inside and slightly sweet for taste. After numerous variations of different waffle recipes and using 2 different waffle irons I have now come up with a good working waffle recipe that creates exactly what I'm looking for! The added bonus is that this recipe is super easy to make. It is slightly on the runny side after mixing, but this is needed to create the crispy shell.
Classic Belgian Waffles (makes approx. 8 large waffles)
1 1/2 cups (395 ml) water
2 1/4 tsp (11ml) active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
3 cups flour (sifted)
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, separated and 1 egg white
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk (I used 1% for this recipe)
8 tbsp unsalted butter (melted & cooled) 
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Heat 3/4 cup of the water to lukewarm. Safe the rest of later.
2. Dissolve the yeast. Add a pinch of sugar (You can also use honey or maple syrup).
3. Let stand for 5-10 min until foamy in a draft free place (i.e. microwave/toaster oven)
4. In a large bowl sift flour and salt, stir & blend. Set aside for later.
5. When yeast mixture is foamy, add egg yolks, one of the egg whites and rest of sugar to the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the water, milk, melted butter, oil, vanilla. 
6. Stir yeast mixture until smooth (I use the KA to complete step 5).
7. When yeast mixture is smooth, add flour to yeast mixture. Stir until smooth.
8. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into yeast mixture.
9. Let batter stand for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. (You can cover with a cloth or saran wrap. The batter will start rising in the first 10 minutes).
Making the waffles:
1. I am using a Cusinart rotating waffle maker. I've found that placing it on setting 7 gives the waffle a nice warm golden colour.
2. Add approximately 1/2 cup to the waffle iron. Spread mixture. Close iron and turn. If the batter starts bubbling out the sides of the iron, try using less batter on your next waffle.
3. When the waffle iron beeps, flip waffle iron back over and remove waffle.
4. Place on cooling rack.
These waffles are easily frozen, and will stay good for over 2 weeks. Chances are you won't have them in your freezer that long! I usually make a batch and freeze 4 waffles in a large freezer bag. I usually eat my waffles in the morning by lightly toasting in the countertop oven (though we've also have them for supper at times!). My waffles usually enjoy a variation of toppings such as maple syrup, fruit, strawberry jam, chicken stir-fry or whatever your heart desires.

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