A little after Mother’s Day last year, Molly Wizenberg asked the readers of Orangette for their favourite waffle recipe, because she didn’t have one good enough. I sent in the one I was using,, but she preferred something that did not require separating eggs and beating the whites before folding them in the batter. She actually read through all the recipes and realized that they were mostly riffs on two basic kinds of waffles, which she adapted into two master recipes. One is for yeasted waffles, the other is based on a recipe called “Waffle of Insane Greatness (WIG)”. You can read her post here, it’s really great.
Since the Engineer and I hosted guests in both November and December, we got to try both recipes. And I have to say that we have two keepers here! I tweaked them just a little: I did spray the waffle iron before using it (I once followed a recipe that said not to, and the waffles stuck horribly, so I’m not falling for that one again), and I set it to medium instead of medium-high. I also made them lactose-free, of course, but any other changes were unintentional. We loved both recipes, so it’s really up to you to decide which ones to make – the main difference is that the yeasted one, on top of tasting like yeast, is made the night before and rises overnight, whereas the WIG is a morning-of waffle. Each recipe makes about 6 to 8 waffles; you can keep them warm in a 200 °F oven until you are ready to serve them.
Marion Cunningham’s Raised Waffles
½ cup warm water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
2 cups lactose-free whole milk, warmed
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp baking soda
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. (The batter will rise to double its volume, so keep that in mind when you choose the bowl.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes.
Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour, and beat until well blended and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature.
Before cooking the waffles, preheat a waffle maker. Follow your waffle maker’s instruction manual for this, but my guess is that you’ll want to heat it on whatever setting is approximately medium. (My waffle maker has a heat dial that runs from 1 to 6, and I turned it to 3.) The original recipe doesn’t call for greasing the waffle iron, but I greased mine.
Just before cooking the waffles, add the eggs and baking soda, and stir to mix well. (That’s a step that I skipped. You see, I had inadvertently mixed the eggs and baking soda along with all the ingredients the night before, but the waffles were still great.) The batter will be very thin (again, that wasn’t my case, but if you follow the steps properly, that’s what should happen). Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp.
Waffle of Insane Greatness (WIG)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp table salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 cup lactose-free whole milk with a splash of lemon juice (or buttermilk if you can have it)
1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ tsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk well. Add the milk (which is really a buttermilk substitute), vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well, so that few (if any) lumps remain. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat a waffle iron. Follow your waffle maker’s instruction manual for this, but my guess is that you’ll want to heat it on whatever setting is approximately medium-high. My waffle maker has a heat dial that runs from 1 to 6, and I turned it to 3. I did grease the waffle maker, but that’s up to you.
Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp (your kitchen will smell delicious at this point).