I won’t lie. Waffles are finicky beasts, and you need to be prepared to spend an hour in the kitchen if you’re planning on making these. On the other hand, I made eight, and the recipe is easily doubled, which means you can make a week’s worth of breakfast from one annoying morning. Plus, what can beat a waffle? Nothing else has that crisp exterior, the almost ethereally soft interior, and the syrup-holding squares on top. Waffles may be the most annoying breakfast I make, but I can’t deny that they’re worth it. This recipe is adapted only slightly from the Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfast and Brunch.
Ingredients (makes eight waffles)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 t salt
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 t baking powder
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups milk
8 T butter, melted
Combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and mix well. I had to reach in with my fingers and pinch a few recalcitrant clumps of brown sugar to get it fully mixed, so maybe it would have been better to sift it in, but I already had to use three whole bowls on this recipe, and I was leery of dirtying yet another dish.
Melt the butter and add the milk and egg yolks to it in a second, smaller bowl. Mix them well. If the milk is too cold and un-melts your butter, microwave it just a bit. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine.
Now the egg whites. I apologize for the pictures. I don’t have the knack of left-handed photography while using the hand mixer yet. But the fact that I can take pictures at all while doing this should tell you that it really isn’t all that hard. The egg whites go in bowl #3, and you’ll need a mixer.
Mix a bit . . .
And some more . . .
Until it looks like this:
This is soft peaks, when the egg whites pretty much hold their shape, but aren’t stiff or hard yet. Don’t let your local owls get the egg whites alone. They’re obviously plotting something.
Now you want to gently fold the whites into the batter. Use a silicone spatula and just be patient and keep folding until the batter is mostly uniform and nice and fluffy.
Your waffle iron may be more or less complicated than mine. Just do as it says and it’ll all be all right. Plop a scant 3/4 cup of batter into the waffle iron, give it a second to spread out, and slam that sucker shut.
My waffle iron beeps when it’s done, because it’s considerate like that. It only takes about 5 minutes a waffle. I don’t use butter or oil or nonstick spray on the iron anymore, either, because it’s completely unnecessary. Pile the waffles high, topping with a bit of butter and a pile of fresh berries, which fit neatly into the squares. Serve with syrup or honey and devour.