The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Replacing butter with Canola oil in waffles - outcome

Harry's picture

Replacing butter with Canola oil in waffles - outcome

I've been making some killer waffles by replacing the AP flour in the King Arthur Belgian waffle recipe with Graham flour. I also only use 1 tsp yeast,as 1.5 was too yeasty tasting.

The recipe can be found at

In our quest to balance taste and fat intake, this morning I replaced half the butter with canola oil, using a replacement ratio of .75 by weight (I used 45 g butter and 30 g oil).

The result? A chalkier, noticeably less flavorful waffle.

Any thoughts here for future tinkering?

Yerffej's picture

Canola oil is a genetically modified product responsible for effects on the human body that are,  at the very least, unknown.  Butter on the other hand is a natural product that has been consumed for thousands of years and demonized only in the last few short decades.


"Heart disease was rare in America at the turn of the century. Between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose precipitously to become America's number one killer.  During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. "

suave's picture

Vaccines are engineered products responsible for effects on the human body that are,  at the very least, unknown.  Prayer on the other hand is a natural way of healing that has been used for thousands of years and demonized only in the last few short decades.



suave's picture

I, as a matter of fact, prefer oil in my waffles although I use only about 50 g in 4 lb of batter, not much difference in the taste, but much less sticking to the iron.  Here's another thing - butter is only 70% fat, while oil is 100%, so you are actually increasing your fat intake by switching to oil.

Harry's picture

I used 30g oil to replace the remaining 40g butter for exactly that reason. Thanks!

G-man's picture

There's a big difference between saturated and unsaturated fats and therefore a rather large difference in how they are treated by our bodies. Saturated fats increase blood cholesterol levels pretty significantly, while unsaturated fats don't.

Butter has less fat because it contains milk solids, protein and sugars and salts and such, but it's a far less healthy fat than a vegetable oil.

This isn't me getting down on butter by any means. I love the stuff, I always have it on hand and I use it every day. In addition to butter I also keep bacon fat on hand, and I get duck fat whenever I can find a good excuse (the wife isn't a fan of duck, sadness). Just something to keep in mind before you go thinking that because something has less fat it's healthier. The type of fat matters just as much, if not more, than the amount.


(Edit: Because I couldn't possibly be more annoying than when I wake up and try to be helpful and informative. Sorry.)

copyu's picture

But we 'butter-users' are stubborn, in the face of the onslaughts of the 'nutritionists'! I gave up using margarine in 1973, for taste reasons. Two years ago I read [from a journalist] that over 50% of heart-attack victims in the USA had 'healthy levels' of "bad cholesterol"...(Interesting, but so, what?)

A year ago, I read [from a US cardiologist and a UK cardiac surgeon] that: US heart doctor: if you have EXTREMELY HIGH 'bad' cholesterol you could die next week. If you have high bad cholesterol and high good cholesterol (as a man) you can expect to die around age 85. If you have low bad cholesterol and EVEN LOWER good cholesterol, you can expect to die at about age 65. The UK heart doctor said that the medical profession was re-thinking the cause-effect relationship of heart disease and high (bad) cholesterol. He said it was possible that high levels of (bad) cholesterol might be a SYMPTOM of CHD (Chronic Heart Disease) rather than a CAUSE!

Two months ago, I read an article in Time Magazine [from a Cardiac Surgeon] that 75% of US heart attack patients had 'bad' cholesterol levels which were so low that it would have made their doctors proud...(but they still had heart attacks!) A couple of weeks ago, a GP posted an article on a health blog, stating categorically that: "There is NO connection between dietary cholesterol intake and serum (blood) cholesterol levels..." quoting a  prominent US specialist. [That's definitely NOT what we've been told for the past 50 years!]

BTW...coconut oil is touted these days, on many health blogs, as being the only 'good' cooking fat to's obviously vegetable-based, but is classified as a 'saturated' fat. Go figure! 



clazar123's picture

I'm not familiar with what is in the recipe though I guess milk-flour-eggs-butter-salt? And yeast?

Some ideas:

1. Use buttermilk,yogurt or kefir instead of milk.

2. Use a preferment to improve flavor-all the milk and some of the graham flour and a pinch of yeast-allow to sit at room temp for 4-6 hours or even overnight(covered). Then mix with other ingredients and proceed from there. The flour may actually absorb more of the liquid than usual so you may have to increase the liquid amount slightly. If it is too thick after the final mix, just add a splash more of milk/buttermilk.

Have delicious fun!

I composed a response about the butter/heart disease comment and decided to ignore it instead. In that short time,several more responses were added.

Let's not make this a heated discussion and rob the original poster of valuable input.

K.C.'s picture

Clarified butter (Ghee) has all the flavor without the part that is bad for you, the milk solids.

Harry's picture

and the recipe calls for yeast.

You're also correct that I add some milk in the morning to reduce thickness.

clazar123's picture

Sourdough anyone? This is a good use of sourdough discard.

I looked up the recipe on the King Arthur site-

Harry-do you use maple syrup as the sweetener? Can I use something else? Dare I mention corn syrup? Honey? Sugar?Or would it change the final characterisitc?

Harry's picture

The waffles had a sweetness with the butter and Graham flour, so I've never added any other sweetener (and I lived in Vermont and am a firm supporter and otherwise consistent user of their fine maple syrup).

Would maple syrup take away some of the chalkiness?

Doc.Dough's picture

If you want killer waffles, try Liege waffles instead of Brussels waffles. They are a bit tricky to make, but worth every iteration!

More butter and lots of sugar, including some pearl sugar (though I prefer to use Billingtons sugar crystals and roll the dough ball in it just before it goes into the waffle iron).

It is what they actually serve on the streets of Brussels. Thick, heavy, chewy, sweet, crunchy from the sugar crystals and the caramel that is formed from melted sugar.

sam's picture


Did you make that in the picture above?    Looks delicious.   I've never had true Belgium waffles before, I don't think anyway, either Brussles or Liege style.   I didn't know there was a difference.   Thanks for the clarification.  

It would be nice to wake up on a Sunday morning, get stuffed full of the sugary crystals from the Liege, and then pass out for a couple hrs.   :-)



Doc.Dough's picture

Liege Waffles
Serves 4 as Main Dish.

This recipe makes 4 - 290g round Waffles in a square iron, each containing about 885 calories with ~203g calories from fat. They are very close to the real thing – as close to the Waffles that are served on the streets of Brussels as I have ever come (and getting closer at every iteration - and this is Rev #17). The secret ingredient is pearl sugar or an adequate substitute. You will need a mixer that can handle a stiff dough (I use a Kitchen Aid 600 which I dislike intensely) and a Belgian Waffle iron. The one I have is a very old Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler, cast aluminum with a non-stick coating and little bi-metal thermometers built into each plate (I am told that the new ones don’t have the built-in thermometers). And even with the built-in thermometers I always use my Fluke 62 Mini IR thermometer to guarantee that they come out right every time.

The original recipe was found without attribution on the web in Dutch and the poster was asking for a translation from Danish. It has morphed somewhat with translation and adaptation. The following recipe is sized for 1 stick of butter, substitutes instant yeast for fresh yeast, substitutes vanilla extract for vanilla sugar, adds some sugar to substitute for the vanilla sugar as a yeast accelerator, and increases the liquid by a little to account for the moisture that would be in the fresh yeast and fractional eggs. I have increased the flour by 10% (from 426 g to 468 g) to produce a chewier product that more closely replicates what I remember of the Brussels street Waffles. You may have to adjust the liquid/flour ratio to adapt to your specific flour. The original recipe called for butter or margarine and also a pinch of salt so the butter is intended to be salted butter (since margarine always comes salted) but it still needs just a little more salt. If you use unsalted butter increase the salt to 1 t.
You can substitute for the Pearl Sugar with equal weights of Billington's All Natural Sugar Crystals or C&H Washed Raw Sugar which is adequate but not totally satisfactory. I use 50% Pearl Sugar and 50% Billingtons when I have both.

  • 468 g high gluten flour
  • 164 g warm milk or water (110°F)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar (to feed the yeast)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 114 g (1 stick) room temperature salted butter or margarine cut into 8 to 10 pieces (for a higher fat version: use a whole stick of salted butter and delete the 1/4t salt)
  • 284 g pearl sugar (now available at some IKEA locations) or a substitute (Billington's All Natural Sugar Crystals - available at Whole Foods), or (C&H Washed Raw Sugar - available more widely)

Take eggs out of the refrigerator and bring to room temp in a small bowl of warm water.
Slice butter into 12 pieces and lay flat on a piece of waxed paper to soften.
Weigh sugar and set aside (284g of Pearl Sugar is a whole box). Dissolve yeast in the warm milk to which you have added 1t sugar. Let this sit for 10 minutes to get the yeast started. Put the flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, and yeast mixture into the KA600 bowl and mix with the dough hook at speed 2 until fully combined. It will be very stiff dough at this point.

Cover with plastic and let rest in a warm place (100°F) for 30 min (it will at least double).

Beat the butter in piece by piece (with dough hook and KA600) at speed 2; you do not have to wait for the prior piece to be fully incorporated before adding the next. If using high gluten flour, the dough will behave just like brioche (that is it will break and then come back together), just mix at medium speed until it cleans the bowl (about one minute).

Mix in half of the pearl sugar, or sugar crystals, or raw sugar just enough to get it evenly distributed.
It takes less than a minute with the KA600 at speed 2 using the dough hook (hand kneading is as good or better)

Using a little flour, divide into four 290g pieces and form into balls (for a full 4-square Waffle use ~475g of dough but I have found that it is hard to get a square Waffle to be uniformly brown).

Proof dough balls on a cookie sheet in a warm oven (100°F) for 15 min while you heat the Waffle iron for about 9-12 min., flipping it over every 30 sec.
Wait for the IR thermometer to indicate that the exterior surface temp of the iron is 420°F when you flip it over.
Spray the cooking surfaces lightly with a non-stick spray about 30 sec before starting each waffle.  Just before putting the dough ball into the iron, coat the outside with the remaining pearl sugar or Billingtons Crystals (put the sugar in a shallow dish to do this; and you may need to rebalance what you mix in on what you put on the outside to adapt to your style)
For 290g Waffles, cook one proofed dough ball in a preheated Waffle iron for ~5 minutes centered on the burner, turning every 30 sec.
A 290g waffle is done when the IR thermometer reads 350°F at the top center of the iron just after flipping the iron over.
For 475g waffles, increase the heat a little and cook until the IR thermometer reads 370°F.
Reheat the iron to 420°F (about 1 min) and re-spray between waffles.
A finished waffle should fall out of the iron. If it doesn’t, cook it a little longer.

If you try to remove a waffle from the iron before it is done, you will spend at least an hour cleaning the iron, so beware and relax.

sam's picture

Thanks for the detailed instructions.  I have never made waffles before, but I think I will try your procedure.   First thing is to get a waffle-iron...  (Probably not one of those electrical waffle-machines but a simple one).   I checked around for the Nordic Ware cast-iron model.    All I found so far is the newer cast-aluminum model, but it is inexpensive so I'm thinking of trying it.   One of the descriptions for the cast-aluminum model indicates it is "deep pocketed", so that sounds good to me.   (Not being any expert of waffle irons, I figure I want something deep pocketed, as opposed to thin-pocketed).   I have an IR/laser thermometer thingy, KA high-gluten flour, so I just need the iron and the sugar..  :-))

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

age the wet flour mixture, and eat without all the unhealthy toppings.  (sugar, syrup, jam, etc.)

EvaB's picture

But I have an aversion to canola oil that is beyond the "health" benifits touted by the producers of said oil. I don't think its particularly healthy, they use something like benozoine (I think that's mispelled, but its a fuel product from oil (the crude kind) and carcinogenic) to remove the oil from the rotted seeds, then they run it through a process to remove the remover, then its whatever elsed to come to you as a healthy substitute to butter???

I lived about 60-80 miles from a canola plant when they first started growing the stuff on large scale here in the western part of Canada, the stuff lays out in the fields stinking to high heaven until its combined, which spreads the stink around along with moldy dust (both of which set off my asthma, as do the flowers) I quit using Crisco oil when they blended canola into it, it stank of burning cabbage when used in my deep fryer. I get an asthmatic reaction when its in food, and don't think the so called lower cholesteral benifits balance out the taste and the smell not to mention the chest reaction so don't buy anything with it in, don't use it, and would be happy to see it fall out of favour since its a pain for me in the field, in the bottle, and in the food.