Waffles were a special treat when I was growing up. We always had them for dinner, never breakfast, and they were always homemade. We had a cast iron waffle iron that my parents had received for a wedding present. It had to heat on a stove burner and you turned it over halfway through to cook the other side. It wasn’t as quick as an electric waffle iron, but it worked beautifully. Mom or Dad cooked the waffles and we ate them as they were done. The cook got to eat last. It made for a different kind of dinner, but it was always fun and the waffles were always fabulous.
I am now the proud owner of that waffle iron, in addition to the electric one my grandmother gave us for a wedding present. Mom and Dad got a flat top stove a few years ago and were uneasy about using the waffle iron on it. I didn’t even hesitate when Mom asked me if I wanted it. They are more relaxed about their stovetop now – I hope they don’t want the waffle iron back after they read this.
Waffle night at our house is easier since we have two waffle irons, though I must say I actually prefer the waffles the cast iron makes. They are crisper and their ridges are taller. It is a little tricky to time the preheating and the turning, but it is worth it.
If you have never had waffles from anything but a mix or a toaster, please try these. Yes, they are a bit more work than using a mix, with the separately beaten eggs, but they are worth it – crisp on the outside, fluffy inside, fragrant with butter and vanilla, with just a hint of nuttiness from whole wheat flour.
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Waffles
Adapted by The Cook’s Life from “Joy of Cooking”
Makes 6-8 waffles, depending on size
You can make these with only all-purpose flour, if you prefer. They will still be delicious.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons melted butter
1¾ cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Butter, maple syrup or fruit, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place a large baking sheet in the oven. Start a waffle iron preheating.
Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks for about a minute, until slightly lighter in both texture and color. Add melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. Gently stir in dry ingredients until well combined – do not beat. Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
Cook waffles in the preheated waffle iron. As each waffle is done, place it in the oven to stay warm until all the waffles are done. Or serve each waffle as soon as it is done cooking.
Serve with butter and maple syrup, or fruit. These are best the day they are made.