Everyone knows that waffles are for breakfast, right? Actually, legend has it that pilgrims brought waffles to America from Holland and topped them with kidney stew. Consider serving your family waffles for dinner as well as breakfast, and choose from the savory or sweet flavor twists below. The ideal waffle is golden on the outside with a slight crunch to it and airy on the inside. While the batter requires no mixer or special equipment, you will need a waffle maker to brand the waffles with the expected honeycomb pattern. These grooves are more than just visual; they actually hold the butter, syrup, and other toppers that make waffles so wonderful.
Choosing a Waffle Iron
Waffle irons, also called waffle makers or bakers, come in a several styles. Here are the most basic versions.
- Electric waffle makers: Handy options such as built-in thermostats to keep waffles from burning, waffle-ready indicators, removable plates for washing, and nonstick surfaces make electric makers a favorite. Some models offer patterned plates to make waffles in kid-friendly shapes such as characters, hearts, and flowers.
- Stovetop cast-aluminum or iron models: These irons store easily, usually cost less, and tend to be heavy-duty. Some models require seasoning to keep waffles from sticking, and some work on campfires and grills.
- Belgian waffle makers: The plates on a Belgian waffle maker have deeper grooves, creating a more defined honeycomb pattern. These come in both electric and stovetop models.
How to Make Waffles
This recipe makes twelve to sixteen 4-inch waffles or six 7-inch waffles.
- In a medium bowl stir together 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture and set the bowl aside.
- In another medium bowl beat 2 eggs slightly with a fork or whisk. Stir in 1-3/4 cups milk, 1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy).
- Preheat the waffle maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Pour 1 to 1-1/4 cups batter onto the grids of the preheated, lightly greased waffle maker (use a regular or Belgian waffle maker). Close the lid quickly and do not open until the waffle is done. Bake according to manufacturer's directions.
- When done, use a fork to lift the waffle off the grid. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.
- Buttermilk waffles: Prepare as in the recipe above, except reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Substitute 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk for the milk.
- Cornmeal waffles: Prepare as in the recipe above, except decrease the flour to 1 cup and add 1 cup cornmeal to the flour mixture.
- Gingerbread waffles: Prepare as in the recipe above, except increase the flour to 2 cups, omit the sugar, and add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the flour mixture. Add 2 tablespoons molasses to the egg mixture.
Fold 1/2 cup of one of the following into the basic waffle batter.
- Raisins or finely snipped dried fruit
- Fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
- Finely chopped toasted nuts
- Chopped banana
- Crumbled cooked bacon or crumbled cooked bulk sausage
- Shredded cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack
Top cooked waffles with one of these tasty combos.
- Waffle Melt: Spread each waffle with cranberry sauce or honey mustard, layer on thinly sliced deli turkey or ham, and top with sliced Swiss or cheddar cheese. Broil or bake in a 450 degree F oven until the cheese is melted.
- Waffle Pizzas: Spread each waffle with your favorite pizza sauce. Top with pepperoni or assorted toppers and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until the cheese is bubbly.
- Waffle and Fudge Fondue: Cut waffles into bite-size pieces. Warm purchased fudge sauce (thin with milk if needed). Using fondue forks, dip waffles and strawberries into the sauce.