Friday, April 16, 2010

Whole Wheat Waffles

Every Saturday morning, my dad makes whole-wheat waffles for breakfast--accompanied by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major (also known in our family as "the waffle song").  They are the best waffles I have ever had in my life.  This was such a fixture of my childhood and adolescence that it's probably one of the things my friends remember most about Friday night sleepovers at our house--you could always count on a breakfast table heaped with delicious hot waffles.  (In fact, much of the enthusiasm our friends had for going to our house was based on my parents' cooking.)

My dad's recipe (like many of his recipes!) is without cut-and-dried measurements.  I've never tried to measure quantities; every time I make the waffles I find myself silently reciting his measurements because that's just the way you make it. The great thing about this is that the recipe is based on per-person amounts, so it's super-easy to adjust for one person or for a crowd. 

Whole-Wheat Waffles
1 egg per person, yolks and whites separated
3/4 c. to 1 c. whole-wheat flour per person
A nickel-sized pile of salt, measured in your hand
A dollop or two of oil
Enough milk

After separating eggs, add yolks to the main batter bowl, but whip whites to meringue quality in a KitchenAid or other stand mixer (or with a whisk, or with a fork, depending on where you are--I've seen Dad beating them with a fork, but I'm not that tough).  Mix yolks, flour, salt, and oil, then add enough milk until the batter runs smoothly off a spoon (see picture).  It should be neither runny nor chunky--just smoothly running.  If I had to guess how much milk to use, I would say in fairly even proportion to the amount of flour used--maybe about a 1:1 ratio?

When the batter is fully mixed, gently fold in the beaten egg whites.  This creates a super-light, fluffy, beautiful batter with all the goodness of whole wheat and none of the dense heaviness.  Bake according to your waffle iron's specifications.

We like to top this with homemade maple or orange syrup (for a regular morning), or if we're feeling fancy (or eating this as dinner rather than breakfast), fresh fruit--blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc.  And whipped cream.  YUM!  This is, in fact, my standard have-the-missionaries over dinner--their eyes always light up when they see the table.  (Ditto for the kids, who can easily pack away three or four waffles each.)

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