Sweet Over Savory
April 21, 2008
The age-old breakfast debate—sweet or savory—has been something of a lifelong battle for me. At one point, I required an entire cup of coffee before I could finally make my menu selection. Lately, though, savory seems to have won out. Almost without fail, I’ll opt for an omelet (egg whites, loaded with vegetables and a melty pungent cheese) over anything that requires syrup. For the most part, restaurant pancakes, waffles and french toast are disappointing: limp, bland, lukewarm and all together lifeless. And, don’t even get me started on the state of your average restaurant maple syrup (if you can even call it that).
But Saturday or Sunday morning at home? Now, that’s another story. I’ve always had a thing for waffles. When I was growing up, I was definitely an Eggo girl (and you better believe I made it my personal goal to have at least one speck of butter in ever single divot in that golden, toaster-warmed waffle … OCD from the beginning). As an adult, I’m a strictly waffle iron, girl. And, for a while there, Kevin and I had a serious waffle addiction. The waffle iron has seen a lot less action lately, but we haven’t kicked the habit the entirely.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
In the dark days of the addiction, I used a recipe that was a bit of a monstrosity. It involved an unspeakable amount of melted butter (and that doesn’t count the pats we’d allow to melt across the tops of the waffles, in a warm stream of real maple syrup). Now that we’ve conquered most of our waffle demons, we’ve landed on a great whole wheat recipe that—get this—doesn’t involve any butter at all.
When you open the jaws of the waffles iron, this waffle will be piping hot, with a crisp exterior and a pillowy interior. It will also be incredibly hearty, thanks to the whole wheat flour, and flavorful—nutty and cinnamony. Dusted with confectioner’s sugar or topped with fresh fruit or drizzled (okay, fine, drenched) with maple syrup, these waffles will have you happy you opted for sweet over savory. At least for today.
Whole Wheat Waffles
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
real maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar and/or fresh fruit (for serving)
Preheat a waffle iron.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Using a clean bowl and whisk attachment, stiffly beat the egg whites in a stand mixer (the egg whites should hold soft peaks). Gently fold the egg whites into the flour mixture.
Lightly oil the waffle iron. Ladle a thin layer of waffle batter into the pre-heated, oiled iron and cook until the waffle is golden brown and releases easily from the iron. Repeat with the remaining batter, allowing the waffle iron to re-heat between batches.
Yield: 6 individual waffles.