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That went better than expected

We recently inherited a griddle! A wee cast-iron paddle with ridges and a handle. You heat it up over the gas flame and it leaves pleasing smokey ridges on anything you cook on it. Noteworthy successes have thus far included: zucchini, haloumi, marinaded tofu, and bread. Today, in an unexpected mood of adventurousness (must be the frostbite), I decided it was High Time I Learned How To Make Waffles.

Growing up, the only waffles I knew of were (a) the frozen kind and (b) there is no (b). So I looked at pictures, read food histories, and researched the many types of actual waffles available on God’s green earth. I learned two things: one is that waffles range along a spectrum from crispy and thin to lush and spongey; the other is that a higher fat and sugar content sets waffles apart from their fluffy cousin, the pancake. I think what we’ve succeeded in creating here is some sort of glorious pancake-waffle hybrid: they’re softer than waffle-iron waffles, but nonetheless have attractive crispy grooves for channelling syrup. They’re not as poofy as pancakes, but are soft and sweet all the same. I think the absence of a double-sided heat source makes true wafflage a little hard to obtain, but who cares? Not me, with my tummy full of waffles! (I’m calling them waffles.)

Burbley beginnings

Burbley beginnings

I read a lot of recipes, averaged them in my head, then read Alton Brown’s recipe and confirmed what I had already decided. My adaptation is listed below: mix it up and don’t freak out about it being too lumpy. Don’t let it sit too long between mixing and cooking with. The initial reaction you get between the acidified milk and the baking powder helps the rising. Pour the batter on the hot, waiting griddle! The bubbles begin to show through the raw batter after just a few moments, which is a sign the other side is getting close to being ready for flipping.

AND ON THE FLIPSIDE!

AND ON THE FLIPSIDE!

One of the key take-home messages from many food blogs on the subject of griddled waffles: they’re a bitch to flip. Well, not round these parts, but I hear they are. These were a doddle. I let them stay on the first side until I was sure, and then: easy peasy. Doing them in two narrow waffles like this was probably a big contributor to that easiness.

I admit to overcooking them slightly, as I’m still fine-tuning my griddling. Hard to keep it from getting too hot. Anyway, I didn’t burn them, and that’s the main thing!

secretly glorious

secretly glorious

Wrap your cooked waffles in a teatowel while you cook the next ones, to keep them warm and to provide a sense of mystery as you ferry them to table. I like to chant while I do so.

The dawn comes creeping for syrup

The dawn comes creeping for syrup

This photo doesn’t really teach you much about waffling or griddling, but it was a pretty moment and I want to reflect on how great my breakfast was. Ah.

This is how living should look always.

This is how living should look always.

VIOLA! Sliced banana, warmed honey, toasted walnuts, and fresh yoghurt — HELLZYES. This is how to eat, people. ANy fruit would be wonderful: next time I might try warmed marmalade and almonds. The yoghurt brings much-needed protein and clean, sharp flavours to balance the sweetness.

The waffles came out beautifully: I had imagined something quite crunchy, like a fat waffle cone or something. But these were way better! They were pleasantly puffy, with a chewy crust and crispy edges. They were heaven.

THIS IS AS GREAT AS IT LOOKS.

THIS IS AS GREAT AS IT LOOKS.

Yep. These are awesome: will make again. I will probably continue to call them waffles, too, and you’re just going to have to deal with it. There, there. Have some syrup.

Wingin’ it waffles recipe

  • ⅔ cup of wholemeal flour
  • ⅔ cup of plain white flour
  • a teaspoon of baking powder
  • a teaspoon of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • a tablespoon of white sugar
  • freshly grated nutmeg OH YES I DID
  • vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 200mL of milk, curdled with a little lemon juice
  1. Mix the wet, mix the dry, mix them together! Batter will be quite runny.
  2. Pour onto the hot griddle: don’t try and cover the griddle in one waffle, you’ll never be able to flip that.
  3. When bubbles show through the raw side and you think you can flip it without it simply dribbling everywhere, flip it!
  4. Griddle the raw side just long enough to cook it through. The second side doesn’t take as long to cook as the first.
  5. Eat the waffles!

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