Buttermilk Waffles


Special equipment –

3 bowls

Hand mixer

Waffle Iron

Ingredients-

1 ½ cup all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda (not powder, if you baking powder, they will be flat, though I have done it before on accident and the taste does not change much, just the texture)

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated (put the egg whites into a separate bowl and set aside)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ¾ cup buttermilk *

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Saturday was January 6th, the 12th night, which means in our house, that Christmas comes down!  It is much more fun, of course, to put it all up than to take it all down.  Putting up the decorations is done with so much fanfare, taking out the lovely trinkets and ornaments that brighten up the house during the longest night of the year, filled with so many traditions and emotional memory.  Taking down Christmas, on the other hand, tends to be a more solemn event, a dreaded but necessary chore. I insist on it being done by the 12th night of Christmas as per old Irish tradition.  Otherwise, you risk bad luck all year long.  The only hint of the Yuletide that remains is the mistletoe above the front and back doors of the house.

Sunday morning, I decided that for breakfast, it was time to get back to the basics.  No coffee cake, panettone french toast, or cinnamon rolls.  January 7th is for something classic and simple, to be had with a good cup of coffee before the start of a busy Sunday, maybe something with leftovers that the teenager can make for breakfast before heading to a long day of high school. Something like waffles.

Waffles, and their flat cousin pancakes are a great canvas for flavour.  A few simple additions can add so much.  In the summertime, some blueberries and lemon zest are bright and jammy.  In the fall, chai tea, pumpkin, and spiced apples can warm you up (Yes, those variations will follow).  I think I have even done these with caramel sauce and white chocolate chips for the kids or cinnamon sugar for a snickerdoodle flavour. But, there is something clean and easy about a great buttermilk waffle.  It doesn’t need anything more than butter and maybe syrup (preferably the good maple stuff from upstate New York thank you, McBaths), a plate, and a fork.  This recipe is based off an old Weight Watchers one and can be used for both pancakes and waffles.  I started making these years ago for our daughter, who could give Eleven a run for her money when it came to Eggos.  They can be made ahead for the week, kept in the refrigerator, or even frozen and toasted up later. I can’t say how long they last in the freezer, my family has never let them last long.  I do prefer using the recipe for waffles over pancakes since they batter is spread thin, you get more for your money, so to speak.  

Ingredients-

Dry-

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda (not flour, if you baking flour, they will be flat, though I have done it before on accident and the taste does not change much, just the texture)

½ teaspoon salt

Wet-

3 eggs, separated (put the egg whites into a separate bowl and set aside)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ¾ cup buttermilk *

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set your waffle iron to maximum so it can get good and hot while you make the batter.  

In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients well.  Separate your eggs and put the egg whites aside in a glass bowl.  If you have a kitchen helper, have them whip the egg whites with a hand mixer now to firm peaks, otherwise, whip them yourself once you have everything else mixed up.  In the egg yolks, whisk in the sugar and once that is combined, whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients and mix till it is smooth, but do not mix it too much- you want to do this by hand and not a mixer so that the final product is still tender.  Fold in the egg whites.  

Poor ⅓ to ½ cup batter into the waffle iron (or, whatever you know will get you a good sized waffle) and cook until golden, brown, and delicious.  The recipe normally makes eight regular size waffles, enough for the three of us to each have one and some leftovers for the week.  Now, if you want to get fancy, there are some good recipe variations!!  

Lemon Blueberry waffles

Add to the dry ingredients- the zest of one lemon

To the wet ingredients- the juice of one lemon. You don’t need to replace the buttermilk with any of the lemon juice since the lemon juice will cause the buttermilk to thicken slightly.  

To the mixture after you fold in the egg whites- 1 cup (at least) blueberries.

Cook as normal, I like to top with lemon curd instead of butter.  

Pumpkin Chai waffles with spiced apples

Add to the dry- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix or ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon allspice, and a few grates of whole nutmeg.

Replace ½ cup buttermilk with chai tea concentrate (I prefer Oregon chai)

Replace ½ cup buttermilk with canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Cook at normal, but while it is cooking, take 1 tablespoon butter and brown two granny smith apples, thinly sliced.  Once there are browned, add ⅓ cup chai concentrate and let the apples simmer, infusing them with the flavour of the chai, which will mostly cook off.  Use the apples instead of butter and syrup.

*Buttermilk is best for the recipe when it is NOT fresh.  I have used it up to a month after the expiration date with no issue.   As long as you do not have chunks, it should be good.  Just shake well before using.  Older buttermilk will result in a thicker batter.

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