A Chef’s Guide To Waffle Making
Around breakfast tables everywhere, there exists a near eternal debate: waffles versus pancakes. Both food items definitely have their unique merits, and often the final choice comes down to your own personal preferences. If you happen to fall on the waffle side of the breakfast battle, you no doubt appreciate both the waffle’s crispiness and distinct pockets for absorbing rich syrup. If you’re not swayed by the power of the waffle, perhaps you might make your decision after preparing your own plate of waffles. To ensure the crispiest, most golden brown waffles possible, follow these helpful tips:
Watch your oil and butter
A common complaint chefs have while making waffles is that they often stick to the machine. Some will rely on sprays or olive oil, coating the waffle maker as to better prevent stickage. However, the problem may actually be in the waffles themselves. If your waffles stick too often, just increase the amount of oil and butter used in the mixture. This should result in more fluffy waffles that won’t be able to stick to the machine.
Perfect your mixture
Getting waffle batter just right is sort of like an art form. You don’t want it to be too chunky or you’ll end up with waffles with a decidedly inferior taste. However, if the batter is too smooth or syrupy, you won’t be able to make stable and consistent waffles. The trick, then, is to be careful with how you mix the batter itself. Using a rubber spatula, take your time, making sure to use a gentle, repetitive motion. The final batter should move around smoothly and have no chunks whatsoever. You’ll know you’ve over-mixed if there are bits of gluten in the mix.
The core of your waffle batter only requires flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, butter and milk. However, some chefs will add in a few additional ingredients to make the batter all that more rich and fluffy. These add-ins include:
- Cornstarch: During cooking, the heat can cause waffles to get soggy. The cornstarch helps maintain the overall consistency of your batter.
- Buttermilk: If you’re concerned with flavor, buttermilk adds some nice subtlety to your batter, resulting in more rich waffles.
- Amaretto liqueur: Like buttermilk, Amaretto is for flavor, making the waffles more rich and aromatic. If you don’t have any liqueur handy, you can also use vanilla extract or frangelico.
Pick the best iron possible
No two brand of waffle makers are actually the same, and it’s important you choose a model that’s best for your kitchen needs. As such, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Size and shape: There are two basic sizes for all waffle makers – the smaller classic size or Belgian-style, for larger, thicker waffles.
- Bells and whistles: Do you need browning controls? Is a drip tray going to come in handy? Just be aware that some of these added features can make the waffle maker noticeably more pricy than some basic models.
- Cleanup: You’ll more than likely want a model that cleans up quick and easy. Teflon coating helps with this process, but be aware that not every waffle maker is treated with this substance.
Perfect your waffle making skills by taking online baking courses.