Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Belgian Waffles

I first published this recipe on February 18, 2007

I have had my Belgian waffle maker for a few weeks now and it has been a great addition to my kitchen. Thanks to my neighbor Kathleen for recommending it. The waffles that I have made are as tasty as any that I remember eating in Belgium and they are far superior to any that I have ordered in American restaurants anywhere. Do not expect this recipe to be as good if you use an ordinary waffle maker, as it will not become hot enough. When my waffle maker first arrived I did not have all the ingredients to make the recommended recipe, so I used Jiffy Mix and the waffles turned out wonderfully. With the Jiffy Mix recipe, I did separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the batter and folding in the whipped egg whites at the last. Following is a recipe that I adapted from the one that came in the instruction booklet for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker. That original recipe did not turn out well for me, and I feel it was probably because the fresh milk was not scalded, which may have affected properties of the yeast.

Edna's Belgian Waffles (Makes Ten Waffles)

Classic Belgian waffles have a crispy outside and are soft and moist on the inside. The Belgians often serve them as a part of a celebration. You can try these waffles for something as simple as celebrating a beautiful day. My husband likes his with Mrs. Butter-Worth syrup. I prefer fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries or blueberries mixed with sweetened Greek yogurt or whipped cream.

* 1 1/4 cups water
* 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
* 4 eggs, separated
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups milk (scalded if using fresh milk)
* 3 cups sifted flour
* 1/3 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm (105°-110°F) water with a pinch of real sugar (not Splenda); let stand for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.

Cool the scalded fresh milk or heat the dry or canned milk in a heavy saucepan. Add the butter and when it has melted, stir in the oil, vanilla and remaining ¼ cup water and cool the mixture to lukewarm, 105°-110°F. Add the egg yolks to the yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Slowly stir the egg yolk - yeast mixture into the lukewarm liquid mixture.

Put the flour, sugar (or Splenda) and salt into the large bowl; stir to blend and then slowly stir the entire liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until it is smooth.

Let stand for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Whip the room-temperature egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into the waffle batter at the first 15-minute interval.

Preheat your waffle maker on your preferred setting. Setting #4 for the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker achieves a golden brown baked Belgian waffle. You can adjust the browning control if you prefer lighter or darker waffles. The green ready indicator light will turn on and the waffle iron will beep when preheated.

Using the provided measuring scoop, pour the batter into the preheated iron. You may use a heat-proof spatula to spread the batter evenly over the grids, however once you get the knack of pouring the batter evenly you will not need to do this. Close the lid and rotate the waffle iron 180° to the right. Bake until the beeper indicates that the waffle is done. Rotate the waffle iron 180° to the left to open.

For best results, do not open the iron during the cooking of the waffle, as doing so offsets the timing mechanism.

I save the remainder of the batter not used, covered in the refrigerator, and two days later, I give it a stir or two, and it is just as delicious as when first made. Be creative. Orange or apple juice or flavored tea can be substituted for the 1/4 cup of water. Freshly grated orange rind or nutmeg can be added or a teaspoon of almond flavoring. The oil used can be a flavored one such as walnut or almond. A small amount of whole wheat, bran, ground oatmeal or almond meal can be substituted for the white flour. A couple teaspoons or so of flax seeds or chopped nuts can be added.

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