My old waffle iron was handed down to me from my grandmother. As the one or two of you who read my posts know, I am no spring chicken. Neither is the waffle iron – which is roughly my mother’s age.
Just as with human beings, appliances seem to have a lifespan. When sometime last year half of one of the two waffles produced by this venerable piece of equipment never got beyond a pale yellow and parts that should not have gotten warm became ominously hot, I decided that honorable retirement was the best thing for the trusty old waffle iron and began to cast about for one more fit for active duty.
I found one – I did all the standard “interweb” searching and this one was highly rated – except it was advertised as a “Belgian Waffle Iron” but reviewers said that the waffles were really a bit on the thin side for “Belgian” waffles. I thought that would be perfect. It was – sort of. The recipe (found on these pages, thanks SylviaH) that I had for sourdough waffles wasn’t quite up to the increased thickness.
And it was bit sour for my tastes, I thought.
And not quite light enough.
With a head slap to my forehead, I reminded myself that 2011 was all about formula development and that perhaps I had it in my grasp to revise the (already delicious) formula to my specific tastes.
Also, if truth be told, I’ve been doing some Supply Chain consulting for the company that distributes OXO products. You know “Good Grips” – the angled measuring cups, etc. In the vast confluence of unlikely events that makes up my life, I was chatting with one of the folks about my desire to own a hand cranked egg beater, their new egg beater and how cool it looked and somehow, one happened to come into my possession. I promised that I would give it a workout and report back. A new waffle formula seemed to be just the thing.
I get all misty about waffles around the Solstice because my father really loves them. My mother can’t make them (that talent skipped a generation) and the only time he gets them is when I make the journey halfway across the continent to make them for him – usually at this time of year. Unfortunately, the little hobby that supports my household and what seems to be an ever growing assortment of hangers on sometimes has its extraordinary demands and I will not be making waffles on the East Coast until sometime in 2012.
So for your enjoyment, I give you my jazzed up waffle formula. I always have plenty of sourdough discard hanging about the house, but it’s worth saving up some.
As with so many of my breads as of late I use two “pre ferments.” I’m told by someone I respect (and admire!) that this is over elaborate, but since I’ve made this switch people (some of whom don’t even know me) are going seriously crazy over my breads, so, well, too bad, I say, too bad.
First pre ferment
4.5 oz 100% hydration sourdough discard
6 oz 11.5% protein flour (this is King Arthur All Purpose flour, but ringing in my ears is “All purpose? What does that mean? You are beyond that. You speak in protein percentages now!” Must – obey –voice!)
4 oz unsalted butter melted and cooled
8 oz milk
1 tsp sea salt
2 TBS non diastatic malt (or brown sugar)
Mix (with an eggbeater if you have one) and allow to mature overnight.
Second pre ferment
2.25 oz 11.5% protein flour
2.25 oz water
Pinch of instant yeast
Mix and allow to mature overnight
2 eggs, separated
¼ tsp baking soda
When pre ferments are matured (the next morning…)
Pre-heat the waffle iron at the appropriate time...
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (I’ll mention that an egg beater comes in handy here…)
Mix together the two pre ferments, the egg yolks, and the baking soda (can also be done with an eggbeater.)
Fold in the egg whites. Don’t use the eggbeater for this.
Bake per your waffle iron’s directions and your tastes.
Just a few more minutes than the earlier version – delish!
So, realizing what a privilege it is to get to make waffles for your family – be sure to make a special breakfast (or dinner) over the next couple of weeks.
My best wishes for whatever brings light into this dark time of the year go out to you all!