When I was a kid, there was nothing I loved better than that rare night when we would have breakfast for dinner. One the nights when my mom hadn't planned anything else, after our requests for pizza were rebuffed, my sister and I would turn to my dad and beg for waffles. Occasionally he'd give in, pulling out the tall, narrow Bennington Pottery bowl that was the pancake'n'waffle mixing bowl (that I accidentally broke when I was 14) and stir up a batch of batter (with his homemade mix). He'd heat up the 1950's era waffle iron that my parents had picked up at a thrift store before I was born, swab it down with a little canola oil and get those waffles cooking.
Tuesday night around dinner time, I found myself hungry and without a plan for dinner. I wandered around my kitchen, opening and closing cabinet doors, gazing into the vegetable bins of the fridge, looking for inspiration. My eyes landed on the box of multi-grain pancake/muffin/waffle mix sitting on the top shelf of the cabinet and I knew that nothing was going to hit the spot like a plate of waffles. I stirred up a bowl of batter and pulled out my own vintage waffle iron (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I own three of these guys, but they work so much better than the ones on the market these days and you never know when you'll come across one, so I make a point of buying them when they cross my path for $5 or less). The waffles came off the maker with a perfectly browned and crisp exterior, the perfect vehicle for real maple syrup.
If you're interested, I've got a waffle mix recipe after the jump, as well as some tips for better waffles.
photo by Marisa McClellan Waffle Mix
8 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal
1 1/2 cups oat flour (you can make this in your blender or food processor with regular old rolled oats)
2 cups buttermilk power
5 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 cup sugar or sucanat
2 tablespoons salt
For one batch of waffles (or pancakes)
Beat together 2 eggs, 1 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of canola (or other vegetable oil). When combined, fold in two cups of the mix. Cook as you would any other waffle batter.
Tips for waffles
Oil the iron well, using a pastry brush to distribute the oil completely.
Let the the iron get really hot before you pour on the batter.
I use a four-square iron and apply the batter in a four-leaf clover pattern with a large mixing spoon, working out from the center of the iron.
Use a spoon, not a pitcher to apply the batter, you will have so much more control over the amount of batter you are putting down.
Be prepared to toss the first waffle that comes off the iron, as it is often a little too greasy.
When you think the waffle is ready to come off the iron, give the top of the iron a gentle lift. If it doesn't raise easily, let the waffle have another minute or so. The worst thing is to have your waffle split in half.
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