10 Tips To Make Perfect WafflesBy Mr Breakfast
Please note: These tips apply to American-style non-yeast waffles (as opposed to Belgium waffles); A perfect waffle is defined here as being crisp and well-browned on the outside with a moist, light, airy and fluffy inside.
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- Respect Your Waffle Maker. Be sure to read the instruction manual for your unit thoroughly. Different waffle makers are designed to cook waffles differently. Some people may tell you to coat your waffle maker with cooking spray. There's a good chance your manual will have different advice. If you bought your waffle maker in the last 5 years, chances are you should not use cooking spray.
- "Non-Stick" Is In The Batter. The amount of oil or butter in your batter will determine whether or not your waffles will stick to your waffle maker. If you are consistently making waffles that stick, try increasing the oil or butter.
- Separate The Egg Whites From The Yolks. If a light and fluffy waffle interior is important to you, separate your eggs. Add the beaten yolks to the wet ingredients of your batter. Then, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the eggs whites gently into the final batter using a spatula.
- Avoid Violent-Mixing. Waffle batter is a tricky character. It should be smooth enough to flow freely through the dimples of the waffle plate, but it should never be over-mixed (over-mixing turns the flour into gluten which produces a chewier, less-fluffy texture). The solution is gentle patience. Using a rubber spatula (or a spoon if you don have one), mix the wet ingredients of your batter into the dry ingredients as if the batter had tiny, breakable items in it that you don't want to break. Using a gentle motion and a couple extra minutes, mix the batter until smooth.
- No Buttermilk / No Problem. A lot of the more interesting waffle recipes you'll find ask for buttermilk. The problem is most people don't keep buttermilk around. Regular milk can always be used in place of buttermilk. The difference in the texture of the completed waffle is negligible. If your dying for that extra bit of tanginess that buttermilk adds, you can make an easy buttermilk substitute by adding a Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk. The acidic ingredient will cause the milk to curdle. Let it stand 15 minutes and there you go. Some people will probably even prefer the kiss of freshness that lemon juice can add.
- Don't Lift The Lid Too Early. As a general rule you should always wait until your waffle maker says it's okay, by way of its indicator light or beeping mechanism. If you have a waffle that's sticking to the plates (see tip #2 to avoid), lifting the lid too soon could cause your waffle to rip, leaving one poor half of a waffle stuck to the top and the other half sadly adhered to the bottom.
- Steam: A Waffle's Natural Kitchen Timer. If your waffle maker doesn't have a doneness indicator, watch the steam coming out of the unit as you cook. When the steam stops, lift the lid. The waffle should be done. Chances are that it will be well-done. On our test waffle maker, complete steamlessness matched a setting of 8 out of 10 on the doneness dial.
- Everybody Dig In (At The Same Time). If you're cooking for more than one person, you'll probably want everyone to eat at the same time. But your waffle maker only makes one waffle at a time. Is all lost? Is all hope gone? No way. Set your oven to 250 degrees at the same time that you pre-heat your waffle maker. As you pull completed waffles from the maker, transfer them to the oven. A short time in the oven can actually improve the crispness of a waffle. Think of it as giving your waffles a light toasting right after you make them.
- Don't Waste Waffles. Only wild, wacky women with weird ways and wide wallets waste wonderful waffles. If you make too many waffles, just place them in a freezer bag after they've cooled. Place wax paper between multiple waffles and squeeze as much air from the bag as possible. When you're ready to eat them, set out the preferred number of waffles and let them defrost for about 10 minutes. Then, heat the waffles in your oven at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes. If the waffles fit comfortably in your toaster, go for it. Just defrost them and toast at a medium-low setting. Note: If you're purposely making waffles for later use, cook them at a setting slightly lower than you'd ordinarily use. Then, they'll be just the way you like them when they're hit with more heat.
- No Mess / No Regrets. If you clean your waffle maker shortly after it's cooled, you'll guarantee your machine's future waffle success and it will be much easier to clean than if you waited. For a list of tips on cleaning waffle makers, click here.
- Always have softened butter or margarine and warmed (at least room temperature) syrup ready for your waffles. There's nothing worse than sitting in front of a perfect waffle and trying to spread cold butter on it. Your picture perfect waffle will rip and tear like nobody's business.
- Use a plastic or rubber utensil to remove your waffles from the waffle maker. A fork or knife may be more handy, but over the long haul those seemingly harmless stabs at the waffle plates will cause havoc on your waffle maker.
This article was written by Mr Breakfast (aka Eddy Chavey).
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