Cooktop Cove: Make fluffy and tasty waffles every time when you follow these 7 tips
Who doesn't love waking up to the perfect waffle? One that's gloriously crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside? The problem is, waffles can be a little finicky when they're sitting inside a waffle maker, and that can be frustrating enough to squelch anyone's waffle hankering.
So how do you do it? How do you make sure you get the ideal waffle every time so you can sit down to a nice breakfast instead of having it spoil your day? You can by following these helpful tips. They include everything from getting fluffier waffles to making sure yours don't stick to the waffle iron. And if you've been feeding people one at a time as those waffles come out of the iron, discover an awesome tip on how everyone can enjoy a hot breakfast together!
1. Waffle batter should be nonstick
It's rare that a pie recipe would call for the pie plate to be greased, because there's already so much fat in the crust it shouldn't stick. And the same is true for waffles. All waffle recipes call for some type of fat, whether it's oil or butter, and that should be enough to keep the waffle from sticking to the waffle iron as it cooks. This means there's no reason to oil your waffle iron or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. In fact, doing so could damage the iron and give an unpleasant taste to the waffles.
If you find your waffles always stick, even when you're using nonstick spray or oil, increase the fat in the waffle batter. Chances are, next time they'll come out nice and clean for you.
2. Use the egg whites and the egg yolks separately
Every waffle recipe calls for eggs to be added into the batter. But those eggs are often just beaten and thrown in whole before being stirred around. To get super-fluffy waffles, separate the yolks from the whites and add the yolks to the other wet ingredients at the beginning. Then, get the rest of the batter together and whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold these gently into the almost-finished batter, and you'll end up with the fluffiest waffles ever, thanks to all the air the egg whites brought to the party.
3. Don't overwork the batter
Whether or not you get light and airy waffles, or tough and chewy ones all depends on the batter. And if it's the former you're looking for, be careful not to overwork the batter while you're mixing it. It should be smooth enough to run throughout the dimples in a waffle iron, but not so smooth that the flour has turned to gluten, making the waffles tough.
To get the perfect batter, start by mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently add the wet ingredients to the dry, making sure you stir everything together very gently. It may take a few more minutes, but you'll have better batter for your efforts.
4. Make a buttermilk substitute
Many waffle recipes call for buttermilk, an ingredient many cooks don't often have on hand. If you don't, but your craving for that buttermilk tang strikes, you can use plain milk, and your waffles likely won't be any worse for the wear. But, if you really want to get that slight kick buttermilk brings and don't have any in the fridge, there's an easy substitution you can use.
Pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Add milk, filling it until it reaches the 1 cup mark. Give the mixture a quick stir, and then let it sit at room temperature for five to ten minutes. The milk will start to curdle, but don't panic, it's supposed to. Then just add it to any recipe that calls for buttermilk. You'll be thankful you did.
5. Leave the lid closed
It takes a great deal of patience to make waffles. Not only are you staring at delicious batter the entire time, but with most homes having only one waffle iron, the waffles have to be made one at a time. For this reason, many people try and rush the process, lifting the lid of the waffle iron before the food is fully cooked. But that's a mistake that could cost you perfection.
This is because when you raises lid before the waffle's ready, there's a good chance it will rip in two, with one half being on the top part of the waffle maker and one on the bottom. Always remember that patience is a virtue, and that you must wait until the indicator light tells you the waffle is ready to be removed.
6. Check for doneness with no indicator light
If you have an older waffle iron without an indicator light telling you when your waffles are good to go, there's another way you can tell. As the waffle cooks, the heat of the waffle iron will quickly cook the batter inside, and, because that batter has a lot of liquid in it, steam will likely start shooting out the sides of the appliance. That's a good sign, and when the steam stops, you know to take your waffle out. Without any more liquid meeting that heat, there's no steam to be made.
7. Serve everyone at once
Waffles are better when they're enjoyed together. But how do you do that when you can only cook them one at a time? As soon as you start preheating your waffle iron, preheat your oven too, to a low heat of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. As the waffles come out of the iron, place them directly on the oven rack. Not only will this allow them to stay warm until you're ready to serve everyone at once, but it will lightly toast them too, making that outside crispier and yummier.
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