The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Waffles

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proth5's picture
proth5

Waffles

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

Additional ingredients

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!

Comments

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Pat,

Summer solstice here, (reflecting some warmth and light from a bright, sunny day back to you!) but waffles have become a tradition on Christmas morning for us. When I stay with them, my family indulge me as I foist sourdough discard goods (pancakes, waffles, crackers etc etc ) upon them and they make some room in the fridge to store it in anticipation. I'll give your double preferment formula a run this time. Thank you.

Thanks for the heads up about the OXO handbeater, haven't seen one here yet but the quick online search I did just now means I can answer my sister's question of this morning about what I'd like for my pending birthday! Sadly my mother's one which I was sure I would inherit, didn't outlast her, and that type are no longer on sale, new. I keep my eye open on ocassional visits to charity stores but have never come across one. I really look forward to using it with my brother's wee children, learning to bake alongside my mother and using (and licking!) her beater is a fond childhood memory, I think they'll enjoy using it too. (I did get the much loved non-electric jiffy iron, use over the coals or stove to make toastie pies - old fashioned pie shaped toasted sandwiches - and we have fun making them when the children come to visit.)   

Season's Greetings, Robyn

proth5's picture
proth5

for checking in.  What's cool about the OXO beater is that the beaters separate from the body, so you can hand them out for individual licking. 

I could use the summer's rays about this time of year.

See below for a link to a good old fashioned egg beater.  I'll have to admit the pull apart capability and the "diswasher safe" portion of the program is something I really like about my current eggbeater, but if you want to go old school...

Best wishes for a fabulous New Year!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Maybe.  But so is beef wellington.  It's the end result that counts and your formula makes me wish I owned a waffle iron.  On the other hand, I do have a small Foreman grill that I could jury rig so the heating plates would be level...  Will have to think about that.

Oxo.  They make such great products!  Their pepper mill is fabulous and that egg beater just may wind up in my Amazon cart, to replace my mother's beat up beater.

Thanks, Pat.  Best wishes to you and yours.

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
   Oliver Herford

 

proth5's picture
proth5

so much for a cheering poem. 

Best wishes to you and yours!

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I still have myhand beater and my Mom's handbeater. My husband makes buttermilk waffles nearly every Sunday morning. We even have breakfast for supper just so we can have them again ! I love my old waffle iron and hope that it escapes the fate that befell yours. 

I will have R try the formula that you posted...will have to get our act together the night before but sounds like it is worth it. BTW...I never have discard anymore. As David posted a while back he just feeds and goes on...it works great and no need to discard. Food for thought....

Have a wonderful holiday proth and robyn...thinking of your sun and warmth...and lindy...that was a very nice poem. c

proth5's picture
proth5

I don't know what happened to my grandmother's egg beater.  I can picture it just as clear as a bell and since I never throw anything away (I have the cupboard of the retired appliances to prove it) I know I didn't let it get to my hands and then away.

I must have missed the "no discard" method, although I will have to admit to being old school and keeping a large quantity of starter just to assure best taste and consistency.  I've finally got my house sitter trained on one process - not sure he could learn another :>)

All the best at this festive season!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Evening Pat,

My kids grew up having waffles for dinner on Saturday nights....in fact, they were stunned when they learned that most people in our culture consider waffles a breakfast meal.....tis too late for them to change their ways and it is hereditary....my mother taught it to all of us kids when we were growing up :-)

Her waffle irons burned out sometime when my youngest sister was a teen; the 5th in a family of five of us.  I still remember the things and the thick cloth covered cords - heavy as all get out and boy, were the waffles good.  My mother wasn't someone who spent a lot of time in the kitchen so our waffles were care of Bisquick!  And they were good!

No, my kids didn't get the Bisquik variety but rather a more wholesome whole grain one thanks to an anonymous donor to a favorite cookbook of mine.

I have toyed with the idea of trying sourdough waffles but the recipes I have run across are a bit complicated and so I have resisted the urge but yours looks very do-able and I all the ingredients handy.

By the way, whoever was criticizing your use of 2 preferments obviously missed the Team America's 2005 entry that Breadsong blogged about.  It has 3 preferments !!! Yes, THREE....and I think it won them a prize too...but details such as that flee from my mind...what stayed fresh in my mind was the recipe and knowing that my family loves it every time I bake it.

Link:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24140/oatmeal-and-sweet-date-bread-courtesy-bbgateam-usa-2005

On egg beaters.  My faithful one died a few years back.  It was at least 30 years old.  I wasn't into baking breads then and rarely bought anything kitchen related other than food.  When it broke I assumed it would be no problem to replace.  Boy was I shocked to learn that  good ones simply didn't exist anymore.  I had several come apart in my hands while I was still in the stores that carried them....A friend kindly brought me up to speed and explained that egg beaters were passe and whisks were in....so I bought a whisk.  Wasn't the same so I bought another one.  Still wasn't the same so I bought yet a third really weird one and still no luck....I gave up but now there is hope again....I will have to wait until after the Christmas madness in the stores has died down before I take up my search for an OXO....I have a pretty good idea where I can get one and have plenty of 20% off coupons burning holes in my glove box.....

And then I can give your recipe an authentic try :-)  My kids are swearing off sugary treats after the holidays so I will have to forgo the chocolate chips I usually toss in which means I will stick to your recipe - no tweaking :-)

Thanks for the egg beater tip and the recipe,

Janet

proth5's picture
proth5

ate waffles for dinner - with a smoked sausage from Kipp's (or Kippy's if you are PA Dutch) - of course, my mother used frozen waffles until I was old enough to make them.

You know who doesn't like the multiple pre ferments...

Lehman's still carries egg beaters like us >ahem< mature folks remember.  See here: http://www.lehmans.com/store/Kitchen___Helpers_and_Accessories___Utensils_and_Tools___Our_Best_Egg_Beater___02779#02779

but they are a bit pricey.  I've been looking at them for years, but couldn't turn down a free one...

I have wisks and can use them, but sometimes (not always) they aggravate the problems that I have with my right hand.  The eggbeater has its place.

One of the benefits of my current consulting gig is that I have easy access to the OXO outlet and a "badged worker" discount.  Everybody gets OXO for the holidays!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Pat,

Eeegads...that is pricey...I wonder why?  If my kids were younger and Saturday night waffles were a regular thing I might consider it but the youngest is 15, and since I have taken up bread baking, waffle consumption has gone down....but now my interest has been piqued again...but me thinks OXO will be a more affordable choice - after the holidays...and I do like their products....my whisk collection will be offended and I will have to find drawer space for another baking gadget  tool.  

My kitchen abounds in items I never knew existed until I discovered this site and several other bread sites.....

Thanks for the pointer,

Janet

proth5's picture
proth5

take a look at the hand cranked mixer on the Lehman's site.  And yet, I want that mixer soooo much (so far have resisted.)

Made in USA, lots of delicate mechanical parts and small production runs all add up to a costly tool.  Worth it? Well, I never judge that for other people...

Have fun!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Pat,

Gulp.....that is pricey.  Luckily I am not in the market for hand cranked tools or I, too, would be tempted.  As it is I love my compact Bosch for the occasions when I need a mixer.

Janet

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Pat...

A double response sorry but I have been mulling over this multiple leaven thing for awhile....I am relatively new to baking so I follow what others have written and tweak a bit here and there.  I have baked from numerous bread books and preferments are discussed as to what flavor each imparts on a certain bread but I have yet to find a discussion on the impact of multiple preferments used in one loaf.  My family does love the one Breadsong posted but I don't know if it is due to the 3 preferments or the dates and oatmeal....

Only discussion I have run across was on MC's site 'Farine' and a loaf she presented used a poolish and a leaven...the baker stating that he uses the poolish in naturally leavened loaves with a high sugar content to help with fermentation but beyond that - zip.

So my question to you, or anyone else, is can each preferment retain it's individual characteristics when mixed and then proofed? My logic tells me that the strongest flavor would win out over time but I simply don't know.   Or are they used similar to the one discussed on Farine?  (Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am unable to taste or eat the breads I bake so this problem has really got me stuck....)

Thanks,

Janet

proth5's picture
proth5

is that with the two pre ferments I get a slight sourdough tang, but much better extensibility than with pure sourdough.  I also get some of the advantage of extra oven spring with the commercial yeast.

Can I "taste" two components - no.  Are people raving about the taste - yes.  They didn't as much with just sourdough or just poolish.

And frankly, I did copy a bit from the guy who is headed to Paris this year to bake breads for Team USA...

What happens in the waffles is that you get a slight sourdough tang, but the advantage of a regularly yeasted waffle - simply not as sour - better spring in baking...

Hope this helps.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Thanks for explaining the differences that you find when using 2 pre-ferments.  I generally use sourdough alone in my 'regular' bakes so now I will have to do some experimenting.  

With some of my sd loaves that have high sugar content I add a tiny bit of IY and have noticed I get a better end loaf too...rises better and a lighter crumb and it doesn't take much at all....like .1% or even less - but that is with an overnight retarding and using fresh whole grains that tend to ferment like a wild fire...

The waffles are on file for after Sunday when life hits it's usual pace.....  :-)

Janet

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Pat,

I waited a week and made these tonight for our 1st dinner of the new year with a few alterations.....I build the exact amount of leaven I need when I bake so no left overs....built my leaven yesterday and put it in the refrig. until this A.M.

Added chocolate chips - teenagers :-)

No AP flour so I used a mix of hard spring white whole wheat and soft wheat that I grind myself.  (3/4 to 1/4.)

The comments I got from both  "These are great mom!"  Very moist compared to the ones I usually make and so much easier to mix. I love how there is so little to do when it is time to mix the 2 pre ferments together.

They are now our new weekend waffles.

Thanks for the recipe!

(I did buy an OXO eggbeater and used it to mix these.  Great little 'machine'.  I love how easy it is to clean!)

Take Care,

Janet

proth5's picture
proth5

made a version featuring (guess what) triticale bran.  Delicious.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Pat, 

I know you are in Paris but had to make a comment about these waffles anyway...

My daughter spent the night at her best friend's house last night and they had waffles this morning.  Her comments when she got home were that they had zero flavor compared to the ones I now make - thanks to you!  She said because they had no flavor in and of themselves she ended up putting more stuff on top to get some flavor.

Just thought you might like to know :-)

Take Care,

Janet

P.S.  A question again about the 2 pre-ferments.  I am trying to get a better grasp on this and I know you commented before on the fact that with a poolish included with a sd you get better spring and extensibility in your doughs.  My question is - what if IY just gets put into the dough straight and then bulk fermented with the rest of the dough?  I know this wouldn't work with this waffle recipe due to no proofing after the final dough is mixed.  I am asking about in bread doughs that do an overnight bulk fermenting in the refrigerator.  Would it be necessary to mix a poolish and a sd starter separately and then combine in the final dough?  

(Currently, on the doughs that I know need an extra boost, I simply add a small % of IY in the final mix with all of the other ingredients.)

I would love to see a recipe with this method used to I can give it a shot and do some experimenting.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

@ Pat, Seasons Greetings to you, and those waffles may be just the thing for Christmas morning breakfast in our house. I love the idea of malted waffle batter, and the two preferments. I've made SD waffles using Nancy Silverton's recipe and really, really enjoyed them and I bet your waffles will be really good too!

@Lindy, thanks so much for posting that poem - truly lovely.

Thanks so much for sharing...and happy holidays!
:^) from breadsong

 

proth5's picture
proth5

crunchy and delicious.  I wonder what diastatic malt would do in terms of making them lighter? Hmmm.

Best wishes in this festive season!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Happy New Year, Pat~
Made your waffles for breakfast this morning - light, crispy, delicious!
What a lovely recipe to start the New Year off with.

 

Wishing you the best for 2012, and thanks again for sharing your way of making these!
:^) from breadsong

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Had to smile when I read this as your thoughts were mine this morning too

but with a twist...

We do waffles as a dinner meal so as I type my pre-ferments are fermenting and our first dinner of the new year will be waffles  :-)

I even mixed the doughs with my new OXO egg beater!

Hope mine turn out as good as yours look.

Janet

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Janet,
Read your comment above and glad you and your family liked these waffles.
Even better flavor I bet, with your freshly-milled flour!
Happy baking, and waffling!
:^) from breadsong

proth5's picture
proth5

those look when someone else takes the picture?  Mine are usually delicious, but the photo, I assure you would be fuzzy.  I really think the fixed focus snapshot camera is to blame - but sincerely photography does not interest me at all and in a world where "if there isn't a photograph it never really happened" - I am destined to be ever more and more out of the mainstream...

Glad you enjoyed the waffles.  If you are allowed the butter and sugar, try the Crispy Cookie Coffeecakes - but try givening the dough two double folds, a chill, two double folds and a chill before dividing it in half and rolling it out.  Also give the rolled out dough an egg wash to better hold the cinnamon sugar.  Yum!

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

The first pre ferment has milk in it. You let it mature overnight at room temp?

proth5's picture
proth5

in my proofer at about 71F (which is warmer than room temperature).

I've been in intense discussions with bakers about pre ferments with ingredients like milk or eggs.  With milk, I find it quite clear.  So the milk sours slightly.  So?  You are fully cooking the end result.  Sour milk is a very popular baking ingredient (or was, back in the day).  It's perfectly fine. 

Hope this helps.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The instant you mentioned a hand egg beater, I knew I had to have one. OXO makes good stuff, they are such a smart well engineered company. Most of the things in the kitchen that work well are made by OXO. Did you really mix your final batter with the egg beater? I swear I'm loving the idea of NOT having to whisk up a storm with a hand whisk. All these years I've been slopping eggs around the counter are about to be over, thank you for mentioning the OXO Beater.

 

Cheers for the season to all,

Eric

proth5's picture
proth5

mixed the final batter (before folding in the egg whites) with the egg beater.  Frankly, I figured that would finally stop the thing.  It didn't.  Depending on your bowl shape the batter may be a bit deep for the beaters, but they don't clog or jam.

I've been happily tricking out my kitchen with discount products from my current consulting gig - it looks like the set of "Good Eats"

Happy beating!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Eric,

My penchant for buying kitchen gadgetry increases exponentially when I see a picture of the produce being mentioned with a price tag that is as reasonable as the OXO is....

You have just pushed me off the fence and one of these cute little guys has been added to my 'wish' list....after the Holidays...

Something to enter the New Year with :-)

Thanks,

Janet

proth5's picture
proth5

Umm - I hope that the folks on this site know me well enough to know that I'm just a raggedy home baker and a Supply Chain consultant.  I am not a shill for any business concern.  I only wish that I got some kind of compensation for that, but I don't.  It's just that I am generally so unenthusiastic that when I find something that works well and that I get excited about - I'll share.

However, if we're going to have a big run on eggbeaters - I should tell the planners at OXO - they might want to gear up! :>) -

No-no- just kidding...

Pat

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I like those thoughts :-)

 and know you are not a shill

Plus, I already know OXO makes good stuff; I just didn't know they had an egg beater on the market....a home baker here that doesn't get out much in the 'wider' world  these days    :-) or when I do I overlook a lot that is out there...over stimulation :-0  

I appreciate pointers!

Janet

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Raggedy home baker, eh?  Those baguettes, breads, and triticale treasures that flow from your oven don't look to "raggedy" to me.

BTW, you never mentioned what waffle iron you finally settled on.  I've been looking at different models, but taking a page from Alton Brown, it's gotta be a multitasker.  

Especially as my only experience with a waffle iron is the remembrance of my mother muttering harsh words when the waffles stuck.  

proth5's picture
proth5

want to be seen as flogging another product.  My waffle iron is distinctly a uni tasker - it is the Calphalon No Peak Belgian Waffle maker.  Not one waffle has stuck.  It performs OK.

I already have a very large griddle and can't see me needing a pannini press - so a waffle maker was all I needed...

Hope this helps.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and wish I had a hand egg beater, I do someplace but so far its not come to light! It was the one my mother had and it generally got retired when she got a small stand mixer in the 60's, so its in fair condition.

I too love waffles, and we ate them any time mom decided it was time! Breakfast, dinner, supper and sometimes all three in the same day. Just depended on if she had lots of eggs, and felt like it. Her waffle iron was one her father's mother had, it has a bail for hanging in a fire place, or whatever you might be cooking over, and is definitely not electric! It suffered handle loss during a housefire but still works fine with the willow sticks my brother's dad replaced the factory handles with. Its a bit tricky to bake good waffles with and takes techinque to know just when to turn the plates for baking the other side, but it makes the best, crispy waffles and brings back very wonderful memories of watching her make the waffles and eating the nicely crisp browned waffle with butter and homemade chokecherry syrup or fake maple syrup made with brown sugar water and mapleline flavouring.

I actually have two other waffle irons, one from early in my mariage which is supposed to be a sandwich grill as well (reversable plates) which I never did like because it didn't bake well, and a Cusinart round one which makes almost as good a waffle as the over the flame one! Not quite as cricpy,but it does allow you to adjust the heat easier! LOL

kmrice's picture
kmrice

You say to let the first pre ferment mature overnight, and to let the second pre ferment mature overnight. What do you do with the first pre ferment from the morning after it has matured, to the evening when you mix up the second pre ferment? Let it mature some more at room temp? Refrigerate it? Or could you do the first pre ferment one morning, let it mature and do the second pre ferment that evening, let it mature and have waffles for breakfast?

Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated. The recipe looks great.

Karl

proth5's picture
proth5

getting back to you.  Both pre ferments are mixed at the same time and both are mature in the morning.  They are completely separate and only combine in the final mix.

Hope this helps...