Sunday, November 1, 2009

Waffle Sunday

Last night, instead of going out on Halloween, I read my Harold McGee On Food and Cooking and decided I, Meghan Bernhardt, was going to recreate the original waffle. Mr. McGee's book told me waffles originally came to the US from Holland in the 18th century. That's a long time ago, I know. And a long time ago, food often didn't taste so good. You know, in the evolution of food tasting good, I'm just saying, a lot of basics we eat today are improved-upon versions of their tasteless pasts. So I did a little research, because McGee doesn't say much about waffles being yeasted doughs, only that they came from wafers (see the WAF- in both words?). Anyway, I wanted to know the truth about them yeasted waffles. While America's first waffles may have been from Holland, way back when, Belgian waffles apparently came from Belgium in time for the 1964 Worlds Fair! And it's the Belgian waffles that are yeasted.

So here's my yeasted waffle. It was really exciting to make, as I thought it would be. Using yeast and other more natural leavners is really fun (keep an eye out in the next month or so for my sour dough experiment). You get to see the expansion, the rising process taking place, and that's pretty darn cool. This waffle dough rests in the fridge overnight and, in the morning, when you rise, all you have to do is heat the waffle iron and go from there.

Truly satisfying. In my opinion, best served with fresh blueberries, maple syrup, and a fork.

Waffle Batter

1/2 c warm water + 1 c warm milk
1 package yeast
2 t agave syrup
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 c milk (yes another one)
2 t vanilla
pinch salt
2 c whole wheat flour

In a large nonreactive bowl, sprinkle yeast on top of water+milk. Let stand for 5 min while you make sure you have your other ingredients ready. Add agave, eggs, milk, vanilla. Mix. Add salt and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Cover in plastic wrap, place in fridge, 8 hrs-overnight. After fridge rise, head waffle iron.
Scoop batter with a ladel, ice cream scoop, or a 1/2 c measurer onto the hot plates. Cook until brown and crispy. And enjoy!

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