Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tender Buttermilk Waffles
During the workweek, I arise at 4 a.m. I stumble about, first feeding the cats, then becoming their doorman for the first 30 minutes or so, while I rummage and clang about making coffee and uncovering something palatable for a quick breakfast. Usually it's just toast, fruit, yogurt, and coffee; sometimes it's leftovers from the previous night's dinner (grins), depending on what we had.
I don't mind what some would seem as an ungodly hour. The evening stars still shine, but then I see the first light of day peeking over the hills before me. The occasional car speeds by (who else must get up so early, I wonder), tires ripping along the pavement, breaking into dawn's misty silence. Ole Sweetie-Pi slumbers through it all. By the time he arises my workday is half over; I am ready for lunch and now it is his turn to forage bleary-eyed in the fridge and pantry.
But the weekends are ours. Sharing breakfast has become an occasion. We can relax, share our morning thoughts, perhaps dreams we had, make plans for the few unbroken hours ahead that we can our own.
I am up early anyway, even on the weekends, as is my wont, reveling in the solitude of my thoughts, growing hungry, waiting in anticipation for the crack of the first egg.
When asked one morning what he wanted for breakfast, Ole Sweetie-Pi answered without hesitation, "Waffles." I didn't have time to make Coleen's sourdough waffles so I was sent scurrying to my cookbooks and I found this keeper recipe from the good folks at King Arthur's Flour in their 200th Anniversary Cookbook. I cut the recipe in half as there's only the two of us, and it still made 5 huge Belgium waffle sized waffles. The addition of buttermilk makes these tender and light. A good addition to the waffle repertoire!
(from King Arthur Flour's 200th Anniversary Cookbook)
(this is their full recipe version; I reduced by half for the two of us)
4 cups flour
2-4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 quart (4 cups) buttermilk
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted, or vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
In a second bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk together until light and fluffy. Add the melted butter or oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together for about 20 seconds. Take care not to overstir or the waffles will become tough.
Preheat your waffle iron, lightly greasing with a pastry brush. Using a scoop or a measuring cup (1/4 measuring cup seemed to be perfect for mine), pour batter into middle of the bottom plate and close the top. The batter should squeeze out to the edges, but sometimes I take the back of a spoon and "help" it. Wait 2 to 4 minutes and once the batter has stopped steaming, lift the lid to see if its brown enough to your liking. If the top doesn't raise easily, the waffle probably needs more cooking as the waffle should release when it's done. Try letting it go for another minute or two before checking it again. If it still doesn't release, gently pry apart, exercising caution not to become burned or damage your waffle iron.
Eat while hot with your favorite topping.