Sunday Brunch: Buttermilk Waffles

This morning I made brunch for my parents using the waffle iron my mother got for Christmas. I believe their old waffle iron was at least ten years old. It worked, but had a variety of problems including the lack of an indicator light of any sort. It was difficult to tell how long it needed to heat up and when the waffle was finished cooking. I have vivid memories of waffle-making attempts when I was in school: opening the iron too soon, resulting in half the waffle stuck to the top or the iron and half to the bottom.

I used an approximation of the America’s Test Kitchen recipe for Buttermilk Waffles. I was originially going to make the waffles from my Fannie Farmer cookbook, but decided to make the switch after finding some buttermilk in the fridge. I say approximation because the ATK recipe called for 1 tablespoon of cornmeal to give the waffles a bit of extra crunch, but I cut it to 1 teaspoon because my mother isn’t a fan of cornmeal and I was worried about the waffles taking on its flavor. I also cut the butter slightly. The waffles turned out very well. ATK states that the best waffles will result from a thick batter (the Fannie Farmer recipe is thick as well), but I think I might try a thinner batter next time just to see how the waffles turn out as a point of comparison.

Here’s the recipe I used this morning. Remember to up the cornmeal and double the butter to 2 tablespoons if you’re interested in getting the original recipe.

Buttermilk Waffles

1 egg, separated

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

7/8 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat your waffle iron.

Combine egg yolk, buttermilk and butter in a bowl.

Combine flour, cornmeal, soda and salt in another.

Beat egg white to stiff peaks.

Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and whisk together. Fold in egg whites.

Spread batter on your waffle maker and cook according to its instructions.

Serve on a warm plate, freshly made.

4 comments

  1. Our family loves waffles, and Number 1 Son will not even look at pancakes since he spent a morning making them at church for a fundraiser.

    The recipe you shared reminds me of an old Sunset Magazine recipe called, I think, Cornmeal Mountain waffles – maybe pancakes?

    Your idea of a thinnner batter has merit. I loved the waffles that were available at fairs in Germany. Nearly all the recipes had eggs separated and beaten whites folded in last, as yours does, but the main difference was the use of cream, AND melted butter, but no leavening agent. The resulting waffles were crisp on the outside, incredibly tender on the inside, and a perfect foil for the heated fruit toppings that were available in winter, and the fresh fruit toppings in the summer. The consistency is somewhat like the plain fresh cream itself. I seem to remember about 1/3 each by weight of eggs, flour and cream, about 1/6 weight of melted butter, a speck of salt and a small amount of sugar. Also, the batter “rested” for about 1/2 hour, usually covered at these outdoor fairs by a towel. I remember watching the jolly, red-cheeked women of a certain age, dedicated members of the SPD, making these waffles at every fair in our locality, and I finally asked for the recipe. The above is the recipe I was told.

  2. Fantastic story! I have such a vivid picture in my mind of the waffle vendors. I’ve never tried a waffle recipe with cream, but I can see that it would make it richer then just using milk. I wonder if resting the batter adds something vital to the texture – I’ll be adding that step in next time!

  3. Interesting website, i have bookmarked your site for future referrence :)

  4. interesting post, will come back here, bookmarked your site

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