March 25th is National Waffle Day and I for one am very excited. At home, I make waffles more than I make pancakes. I mix different ingredients into a basic waffle batter including sweet potatoes, bananas, blueberries, chocolate chips, and pecans. Occasionally I'll even throw in some cheddar and green onions, top with some crispy chicken thighs and drizzle the whole thing with maple syrup!
What's the big deal? I mean waffles are just pancake batter put in a waffle iron, right? Yes...but also a definite no. Waffle batter includes different leavening agents at different ratios. Waffle batter typically has a little extra sugar to help crisp the exterior. The real uniqueness of waffles is the exterior. There is more exterior surface area than interior. Think about that. Have you ever had a really great flapjack at a small diner or breakfast spot? Those delightful crispy edges holding in all that fluffy cake really set them apart. A waffle is mostly crispy edge! Plus, as a comedian once quipped, waffles have built in syrup traps.
So celebrate with a waffle this weekend. Think about the science that makes them so special and different from pancakes. Here is a basic recipe to begin the celebration.
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt tablespoons sugar 3 whole eggs, beaten 2 oz unsalted butter, melted & cooled 2 cups buttermilk Non-stick spray for waffle iron.
Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to be sure ingredients are well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and butter until very smooth. Add buttermilk and stir well.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Let batter rest 5-8 minutes while waffle iron heats. Ladle appropriate amount of batter for your waffle iron and close. Place cooked waffles in warm oven and cover with aluminum foil until ready to serve.
*Note: Waffles freeze really well. Cook waffles on lightest setting and let cool to room temperature before packing in freezer zip-top bags. To reheat, just pop in the toaster on medium!
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