We happen to love waffles, and, when we got our waffle iron, we grabbed our copy of The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker to find a recipe. In general, The Joy of Cooking is our go-to cookbook. It has recipes for almost everything you can imagine, and, in most cases the end results are quite good. Well, in the case of their Buttermilk Waffle recipe, they are the best, at least with a slight modification (a little less butter). We know these are the best, because we tried several other recipes: a cornmeal one, one that was supposed to be “real-man” waffles, another from a popular cookbook, and we found these to be inferior; apparently a “real man” likes waffles that have the taste and texture of cardboard. We went back to TJOC recipe; here we give our slightly modified version.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, separated and brought to room temperature
- 4-5 Tbs melted butter
- 1 3/4 cups scratched buttermilk
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
The original recipe called for six tablespoons of butter, but we found that our waffles turned out just a little greasy, so we’ve backed off just a bit. We, like you, of course, use home-scratched buttermilk. It’s always in the fridge, so why not? Eggs: free range, baby; separate when cold, and allow to come to room temp, so the whites whip better.
Separate the eggs. We put the egg whites into our mixer bowl. You can put yours into a bowl that you can use with a mixer (hand or stand); in the worst case, you can use a whisk to whip up the egg whites. Yes, you do need to whip up the egg whites, at least if you want light, crispy waffles. Those “real-man” waffles skipped this step. Put the egg yolks in about a 3-quart bowl, which will hold your batter when you’re done.
Sift flour. Into yet another bowl, sift about 3 cups of flour; you’ll use only 2 cups, but you want to sift before measuring.
Whisk egg yolks. Whisk the egg yolks for a minute, or so, until they are golden-yellow and are a bit light. Then add the buttermilk and melted butter, and whisk together until well blended.
Measure dry ingredients. Measure the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar into a 1-cup measuring cup. This will make it a bit easier to re-sift in the next step. Add flour to fill and strike level.
Re-sift. Pour the flour mixture into a sifter and sift it right on top of the liquid ingredients. Do this with the second cup of flour. And since the sugar, etc., took up space, add 2 more tablespoons of flour so you’ll have a full two cups.
Mix. Quickly mix the dry ingredients into the liquid. You don’t want a smooth batter; lumpy is fine.
Whip the egg whites. Using a mixer (or a clean whisk and a lot of arm power), whip the egg whites until they hold firm but still glossy peaks. If they look dry, you’ve whipped too long. If they didn’t whip, either you got a bit of yolk in the whites, or there was a bit of oil in the bowl. Either will prevent your whites from whipping.
Fold in the egg whites. Carefully fold in the egg whites. It helps to fold in 1/4 of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the rest. You should now have a nice light batter.
Cook the waffles. If you have a waffle maker / iron, follow those instructions. We didn’t have instructions with ours, so we found out through trial and error just how much batter and how long to cook. Once we had that, we’re set.
Serve with maple syrup. Enjoy some of the lightest crispiest waffles you’ve ever had. These really are the best, although they might be even better with a teaspoon of vanilla.
After fooling around with those other recipes, this is the only one we use, so five stars.