Buttermilk Waffles

I actually managed to make a “special” breakfast – Buttermilk Waffles from the September 2008 issue of Everyday Food – yesterday, and I’m ridiculously excited about it.  Beyond the fact that the waffles were amazing, it feels like I’m regaining some sense of routine.  FINALLY.  Unfortunately, we keep finding boxes of kitchen stuff in odd rooms of the house (old markings on recycled boxes can be a bit confusing, I guess), so the space still isn’t 100% organized.  At least my kitchen is becoming truly functional again.

Waffles have a special place in my heart because my mom ALWAYS made them when my brother and I were growing up.  She’d put the batter together, heat up what is now (and might have been then) an ancient waffle iron, and we’d wait anxiously for the steam to die down to signal that the waffle was ready to move from iron to plate.  They were SO good.  Seeing the Buttermilk Waffle recipe in last month’s Everyday Food brought that memory back, so I thought I’d see if I could recreate some of the magic while experimenting with a new recipe.

I really like this recipe because it presents an easy solution to the age-old waffle dilemma: Who gets the first waffle, and how in the world does the cook enjoy breakfast with everyone else at the table?  The first step in the recipe calls for heating the oven to 275F, putting a cooling rack on a baking sheet, and then placing the baking sheet in the oven.  As the waffles come out of the iron, you just transfer them to the baking sheet.  When you’re ready to serve breakfast, you can just take as many as you need from the oven; the cook’s work is done, and everyone gets warm waffles at the same time.

While the oven heated, I made the waffle batter.  (I also plugged in my waffle iron at this time to heat it as well.)  In a medium bowl, I whisked together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  I set the mixture aside.  In a large bowl, I whisked together 2 cups of low-fat buttermilk, 1 stick of melted unsalted butter, and 2 large eggs.  I added the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mixed until the batter was just combined.  (It’s good to have *some* lumps.)

When my waffle iron was heated (mine beeps when it’s ready), I brushed it lightly with vegetable oil and poured batter into its three wells.  (The amount of batter you’ll use depends on the size of your waffle iron.)  My iron also beeps when the waffles are ready, so I just waited for the signal.  I removed the waffles from the iron, transferred them to the cooling rack in the oven, and repeated the process until the batter was gone.  If your waffle iron doesn’t signal when the waffles are ready, just cook them for 3 – 5 minutes until they’re golden brown and crisp.

While my waffles cooked, I used the time to slice and macerate some strawberries, which I served over the waffles.

These were so incredibly good.  They were light as air and slightly crisp with a delicate, buttery flavor.  I think that unless you have one of those waffle irons that flips, it can sometimes be hard to have evenly-cooked waffles.  Putting the waffles in the oven at 275 was the perfect solution; I just put the less-cooked side down on the cooling rack in the oven, and the texture turned out perfectly.  I might start a family tradition of my own with this one! 🙂

TIPS:  Macerating strawberries is really simple.  Just clean and dry 1 – 2 cups of strawberries, slice them, place them in a bowl, and stir in 1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar.  (I like to use brown sugar.)  Let the berries sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, and stir them occasionally.  They’ll turn extra sweet and slightly syrupy.

Recipe link: Buttermilk Waffles

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