Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For Light and Fluffy Waffles, Under Mixing is the Ticket

Under mixing is a lesson you'll only ever learn from a pastry chef. I've spoken before about being gentle with cake batters and other bakery items where flour is involved. Most items produced in the sweet kitchen are delicate. Flaky. Crumbly. How do you make such a flaky crust? Under mix the butter into the pie dough. How do you make delicate scones? Don't over mix the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. How do you make a light and fluffy pancakes and waffles? You see where this is going.

Pie dough and waffle batter are the extremes in this rule. Pie dough and waffle batter should be riddled with blobs of butter and egg whites, respectively. Next time you're making either, resist the urge to mix thoroughly. Your waffles will be lighter than air.

Here's a photo of ready to cook waffle batter. The whites were added with just a few turns of a large spatula. Somehow, when the waffles cook, the clumps of whites take care of themselves.

Buttermilk Waffles
Print recipe only here

Makes 5 waffles

2 cups AP flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
4 T canola oil
2 eggs, separated

Preheat waffle iron.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Separate eggs, cracking egg whites into a medium mixing bowl and reserving.

Measure out buttermilk and canola oil and add egg yolks, whisking well to combine.

Whisk egg whites until solid white and foamy - they should be loose and not peak-forming.

Add liquid to dry ingredients and combine with a few swift strokes. The batter should be lumpy and mostly - but not too thoroughly - combined. Dump the egg whites on top and combine in the same manner with about 5 or 6 total folds. The egg whites should be evident in the mixture.

Cook 1 scant cup batter on hot iron per manufacturer's instructions or until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack if you have too many and want to freeze some. Allow them to cool completely on the rack, then transfer to a one-gallon Ziploc storage bag.

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