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Making Waffles at Home

Last time I bought waffles from the store, they were $1.99 for a package of 8. Since I got a waffle iron for Christmas last year, I’ve been making my own waffles at home and saving a lot of money. I haven’t gone through the unit costs of baking ingredients recently, but I estimate that my home waffle mix costs less than half of the store-bought price. This is no surprise since someone had to be paid to make the waffles, package them, and ship them to the store, and the store still has to make a profit, so we as the consumer pay more.

Waffle making is a bit tedious, since most waffle irons don’t make many at a time. If you have a hungry family, the waffles get eaten moments after they hit a plate, so it can seem very frustrating. What I do, is make up a huge batch of batter when I have something else in the kitchen that needs to be done. I let the waffles cook, two at a time, and cool them on wire racks. Once they’re cool, they go into freezer bags to be ready for quick breakfasts, and sometimes snacks.

Don't Worry About Over-Mixing

I have tried a number of recipes. The best ones in my mind, are ones that give good tasting waffles, but don’t make a huge mess. The first recipe I tried included a lot of butter and cornmeal. It tasted great, but bubbled everywhere and made the waffle iron a massive cleaning project.

The second I made, only bubbled slightly, and gave almost as good of a taste result.

Both those recipes required that the dry ingredients be mixed and set aside while the wet ingredients were combined. Then they were to be mixed together ‘with a few quick strokes’ to avoid over mixing and making the waffles tough.

To be honest, I haven’t found a way to over mix waffles of pancakes. When I was young, we would vigorously mix our pancake batter with a wooden spoon, and never have any problems with it being tough. Usually, I mix the waffles with a whisk, though I try not to be too aggressive. I wouldn’t recommend you ever use an electric mixer with waffles or pancakes, but I don’t think you can harm them with elbow grease alone. Besides, would you prefer a slightly tough waffle, or a random chunk of baking soda? Even with sifting ingredients, I find that I have to whisk the batter to get it smooth.

Cooking

The batter I use the most now, is a ‘quick’ batter. I mix all the ingredients together at once, rather than splitting up wet and dry ingredients.

When you pour batter onto the waffle iron, pour just enough to cover it. Remember that it will rise a bit as it cooks. Putting too much batter on the iron is the easiest way to make a bit mess.

If you’ve added chocolate chips, blueberries, or something else that is dense and heavy to the batter, give it a quick stir before you scoop up the batter to pour on the iron. If you don’t do this, the first few waffles will have no extra ingredients, because they will sink to the bottom.

The instructions that came with the waffle iron probably say to let them cook until steam stops escaping. This is a good indicator, but not perfect. Don’t open the iron for the first minute of cooking or you will mess up the shape of the waffles. The easiest way to see if they are finished cooking or not is to peek through the side of the waffle iron, where it usually lifts up slightly as the waffles rise. After the minute is up, you can just lift up the top of the iron. Once the waffles are golden, they are finished and you can gently lift them up with a fork.

Be careful not to scratch the non-stick surface of the grill with whatever utensil you use.

Eating Waffles

Waffles can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Serving them with Maple Syrup is obviously the most common way, but jam and peanut butter are also nice options for breakfast waffles. For dessert, top a waffle (a chocolate chip one is great!) with strawberries, ice cream, and chocolate syrup for a waffle sundae.

If you do choose to make a large batch of batter and cook many waffles at a time, you’ll get the convenience of frozen waffles, and you’ll save money, since homemade batter is cheaper than store bought. You will also get to make waffles however you like them.

 

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