06-02-2017, 03:33 AM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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Two disparate events in the past two months have brought waffles (and the making thereof) back to my attention:  
  1. A week-long visit from our grandsons (6½ and 3½ years old) in April; we made waffles for them and they, who always had understood “waffle” to mean something in a brightly colored cardboard box in the freezer that one throws in a toaster oven, were surprised and delighted;
  2. A two-night stay in mid-May at the Farmington Inn in Connecticut, where we had gone for the wedding of a friend’s daughter.
In April, it had been a long time since I had brought out the waffle iron, and the delicious from-scratch recipe that I used was the one I had used the last time, a couple of years ago.  It is a yeasted “overnight” recipe, taken from the book CookWise by Shirley Corriher.  It was (and is) a recipe to make really excellent waffles, but I had forgotten what a PITA is is to assemble.  Aside from requiring one to make the recipe the night before for breakfast the next day, it starts with melting a cube of butter (requiring a microwave-safe bowl that should be put into the dishwasher after use, but the dishwasher had already been started after supper, so the bowl stays out for 24 hours).  Then one needs, respectively, one-half a cup of 115° — not 114° or 116°  Wink — water, and two cups of 115° whole milk (our refrigerator generally has only 2% milk in it), and, frankly, bringing those quantities of milk and water and their containers, to prevent temperature drift to 115° +/- (say) 5° is not something that I can do casually.  But we got it done, and a Good Time Was Had By All.  

The Farmington Inn’s breakfast room set-up included a pair of flip-type waffle makers and a dispenser of pre-mixed Carbon’s Golden Malted batter.  The waffle makers make what North Americans call Belgian waffles (the denizens of Belgium itself, for their part, distinguish between Liege waffles and Bruxelles waffles, both of which North Americans would call Belgian, without distinction); the Farmington Inn waffles were about an inch (2.54 cm) thick.  They were delicious, but different from the waffles that I have made at home over the decades — probably because of the strong corn meal taste — and, though not unwelcome in the location, overall I prefer the taste of my homemade wheat flour waffles.  

The past few days, I have been Net-surfing waffle recipes (and the ingredients lists of high-end prepared mixes such as the Belgian Waffle and Classic Original Pancake & Waffle mixes at the King Arthur Flour site), comparing and contrasting the recipes.  In the “end” (perhaps it is just the beginning), the first new waffle recipe that I chose to use at home in years was Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness, using the buttermilk option, and modifying minimally to substitute a half teaspoon of Bakewell Cream (sodium acid pyrophosphate) + a one-quarter teaspoon more baking soda in place of the called-for half teaspoon of baking powder.  

The result, in a word, was wonderful, the best waffles we ever have made at home.  The only hitch was minor:  the recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla, which was clearly too much.  (I use Cook’s Cookie Vanilla, perhaps Aretha Frankenstein — it is a restaurant in Chattanooga — uses some diluted vanilla flavoring that packs less punch.)  Next time, I probably will back off to 1/4 teaspoon.  

In my surfing, I also looked at the current offerings for home waffle makers, though we do not need a new one ourselves:  our made in America (Solon, Ohio) Vitantonio Model 1600 is soldiering on bravely and makes perfect waffles every time. (Vitantonio, the company, is long gone, replaced for a number of years by a semi-successor company called VillaWare, which got swallowed by another company which was swallowed by another company, which became part of Jarden, which was swallowed by Rubbermaid, which merged with Newell, and then reorganized, and VillaWare disappeared, with only a website remaining that shows models “currently unavailable.”)  With one signal exception — Croquade — it appears that every consumer-grade waffle maker currently sold in the United States is made in the People’s Republic of China.  

I should be interested in others’ recent encounters with waffle recipes and waffle hardware.

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 06-06-2017, 12:49 PM
#2
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I use both an electric waffle maker and it's OK. We've had it for decades. The last time I used it I brought it in to work for the crew and they had the same, "What? Not out of a box?", comments that you mentioned. They had no clue that waffles could actually be made from scratch.

The one I prefer to use is the manually operated Nordic Ware stove top "on the burner" model because I have direct control. It's a Belgian waffle maker. The recipe I last used used fluffed egg whites for additional rise from what I remember. They were very good, but it takes a lot to get me to go through the steps required. The wife does the dishes and she likes the waffles but hates the dishes.

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 06-06-2017, 01:00 PM
#3
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If you ever see a "Liege Waffle" offered on a menu or find a eatery dedicated to Liege waffles (or even a food truck offering them) jump on one!
They're a yeast waffle made with pearl sugar and the irons used are a bit hotter than your typical waffle iron.

 You will find them served plain, savory, or sweet. 

They are without a doubt one of my favorite foods.  Pure eatable bliss!!!

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 06-06-2017, 01:41 PM
#4
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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Mel I printed Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness and I'll make them sometime this week.  I've been using a yeasted waffle recipe that also uses egg whites whipped to stiff peaks.  The recipe is wonderful but it's also labor intensive and not something you can easily do on the spur of the moment.  I'm using a Waring Pro waffle maker that I picked up in our local kitchen supply store a few years ago for a great price.  

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 06-06-2017, 02:25 PM
#5
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(06-06-2017, 01:41 PM)Sully Wrote: Mel I printed Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness and I'll make them sometime this week.  I've been using a yeasted waffle recipe that also uses egg whites whipped to stiff peaks.  The recipe is wonderful but it's also labor intensive and not something you can easily do on the spur of the moment.  I'm using a Waring Pro waffle maker that I picked up in our local kitchen supply store a few years ago for a great price.  
What time should I arrive, Shawn?  Tongue

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 06-06-2017, 04:04 PM
#6
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-06-2017, 01:41 PM)Sully Wrote: Mel I printed Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness and I'll make them sometime this week.  I've been using a yeasted waffle recipe that also uses egg whites whipped to stiff peaks.  The recipe is wonderful but it's also labor intensive and not something you can easily do on the spur of the moment.  I'm using a Waring Pro waffle maker that I picked up in our local kitchen supply store a few years ago for a great price.  

Sully, you reminded me of one more minor modification that I made to the Waffles of Insane Greatness recipe:  I separated the white from the yolk of the one egg (we have Jumbo eggs in our kitchen) that the recipe calls for, used the yolk as part of the liquid ingredients, but whipped up the white (soft, not stiff, peaks) to fold in as the last step before baking.  That is just a bit of habit, I suppose, and I do not know whether it made any real difference; but the resulting waffles, other than being a tad too strong in the vanilla note, were exceptionally good.

Tangential note:  the last time I got seriously into researching mainstream baking ingredients — some time around the turn of the millennium, I suppose — there were only two kinds of baking powder readily available in most supermarkets:  (1) Rumford, aluminum-free, and (2) everybody else, especially the ubiquitous Clabber Girl, which latter products all were based on aluminum salts.  At that time, research had turned up ambiguous linkages between ingestion of aluminum salts and the onset of Alzheimer’s, and there was a growing movement among conscious cooks toward Rumford, just to be on the safe side.  The only hitch was that, although Rumford says on the label that it is double-acting, in fact, it is essentially a single-acting baking powder.  It was then, back when years still began with the numeral 1, that I “converted” to Bakewell Cream, which was very hard to find at that time, as the acid component (+ baking soda as a base component in a 2:1 ratio), as a home-brew baking powder to by-pass both Clabber Girl and Rumford.  (I used the Bakewell Cream combination for the baking powder in the Waffles of Insane Greatness recipe.)  These days, however, baking powders based on aluminum salts appear to be in the minority, while the acidic ingredient formerly available only as Bakewell Cream (sodium acid pyrophosphate) is popping up everywhere; and now there are two nationally distributed brands of baking powder, Argo — best known for cornstarch — and Bob’s Red Mill, made right here in the Portland (Oregon) area, that list sodium acid pyrophosphate as the first ingredient in true double-acting baking powders.  Time marches on.

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 06-07-2017, 01:04 PM
#7
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Bakewell Cream is incredibly easy to find... in the right part of the country, just as difficult to find in the right parts of the country. It's definitely a Maine thing. I can't remember it ever not being in our supermarkets.

The nice thing about it is that it can be kept in the camp (or home) for years, opened or unopened, and when it's used it's just as good as the day it was first bought. The first Bakewell Cream biscuits I ever ate (decades ago) told me that they were something special. A very subtle and unique taste. Just be sure to read the directions; it doesn't work by itself. It also has an interesting history... WW2 shortages and such.

Mel, I'm actually surprised that you know of it. That speaks volumes; kudus!

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 06-07-2017, 02:40 PM
#8
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-07-2017, 01:04 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Bakewell Cream is incredibly easy to find... in the right part of the country, just as difficult to find in the right parts of the country. It's definitely a Maine thing. I can't remember it ever not being in our supermarkets.

The nice thing about it is that it can be kept in the camp (or home) for years, opened or unopened, and when it's used it's just as good as the day it was first bought.

I cannot tell you the date — even the year — that I bought the can of Bakewell Cream on our shelf, but the appearance of the can (it would not pass for new on a grocery store shelf, that’s for sure) backs up your assessment.  Of course, I rarely need more than a half teaspoonful each time that I open the can, so 8 oz. of Bakewell Cream should last a long time.  

This morning, I tried a new twist.  As you know, to make a Bakewell Cream based single acting baking powder, the directions are to mix it 2:1 with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda); but most recipes that call for baking powder also call for a certain amount of baking soda, and often — as in the Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness  recipe — in addition call for a certain amount of salt, as well.  Among the salt (sodium chloride), the Bakewell Cream (sodium acid pyrophosphate), and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), that seemed like piling on a lot of sodium to me; so today, when I made up a new batch of the waffle batter, I substituted potassium bicarbonate for both the amount of baking soda I added to the Bakewell Cream to make the baking powder and the recipe’s baking soda item as well.  Potassium bicarbonate may be substituted, one for one by quantity, in any recipe that calls for baking soda, and while many among us are being advised by our doctors to cut down on sodium, the same doctors often recommend increasing our intake of potassium, so making the substitution packs a double health whammy.  The waffles made with potassium bicarbonate tasted every bit as good as those I made last week with baking soda (a bit better, in fact, because this week I halved the amount of vanilla from the amount the recipe calls for), and I think I am going to be making more substitutions of potassium bicarbonate going forward.

(If you cannot find potassium bicarbonate in your grocery store, you certainly will find it in any specialty shop that has home beer-brewing or wine-making supplies.)

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 06-07-2017, 03:07 PM
#9
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-06-2017, 12:49 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I use both an electric waffle maker and it's OK. We've had it for decades. The last time I used it I brought it in to work for the crew and they had the same, "What? Not out of a box?", comments that you mentioned. They had no clue that waffles could actually be made from scratch.

The one I prefer to use is the manually operated Nordic Ware stove top "on the burner" model because I have direct control. It's a Belgian waffle maker.

Brian, the Nordic Ware would not work for us, because it is fashioned from cast aluminum, and our cooktop/hob is induction only, requiring pots and pans made of magnetic material (cast iron or most kinds of steel).  I understand that back-in-the-day, Griswold of Erie, Pennsylvania, made some excellent cast iron stovetop waffle irons (of course, they made “classic” thickness, not Belgian, waffles); but they are long discontinued, and at this stage, I am disinclined to go through an eBay search for a good used one.  

The shi-shi kitchen goods retailer Williams-Sonoma has a sale on from now until Father’s Day on the Breville “No Mess” (BWM520XL or BWM520CRN, depending on color) waffle maker that arguably is the best electric waffle maker currently offered in the North American market, and “first time” on-line customers can get a coupon code to get 15 percent off, plus free shipping, on the first order, bringing the price down to ~$45 less than I have seen it anyplace else for that model.  The “No Mess” aspect (which reviewers seem to affirm is no bull) might even bring your wife around  Wink ; as noted above, our made-in-America ancient Vitantonio 1600 is performing so well we have no need or justification to get the Breville, but I must admit that I was tempted.

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 06-07-2017, 03:10 PM
#10
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Thanks for the tip on both the KBicarb and the waffle maker. Yes, a worthy substitution.

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 06-10-2017, 12:57 PM
#11
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-07-2017, 03:10 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(06-07-2017, 03:07 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote: The shi-shi kitchen goods retailer Williams-Sonoma has a sale on from now until Father’s Day on the Breville “No Mess” (BWM520XL or BWM520CRN, depending on color) waffle maker that arguably is the best electric waffle maker currently offered in the North American market, and “first time” on-line customers can get a coupon code to get 15 percent off, plus free shipping, on the first order, bringing the price down to ~$45 less than I have seen it anyplace else for that model.  The “No Mess” aspect (which reviewers seem to affirm is no bull) might even bring your wife around  Wink ; as noted above, our made-in-America ancient Vitantonio 1600 is performing so well we have no need or justification to get the Breville, but I must admit that I was tempted.

Thanks for the tip on both the KBicarb and the waffle maker. Yes, a worthy substitution.

One supposes that it is a professional training artifact that I can be very persuasive, and so finally I managed to persuade myself that I “needed” the BWM520CRN, and visited the shi-shi site to order it, with my first-time on-line 15% off + free shipping promotional code at the ready for the check-out routine.  The model has a nominal $200.00 list price, and sells “everywhere” for $130.00, but is (still) on-sale at W-S for $100.00 (o.k., $99.99).  I figured I would be paying $85.00 for it (no sales tax in Oregon).  Well, guess what?  W-S rejected the coupon code as not-a-valid code.  After several retries and much frustration, I discovered, way, way, way down the Welcome Page, and in very fine print, that the code cannot be used to purchase Breville products.  

Well, that left me in a sour mood to deal with W-S today or in the near future, so I looked at the Brazilian river site and found that I could purchase from A* Warehouse Sales a new copy of the next model up the Breville waffle maker line (model BWM602BSSUSC) for $89.05, which is $11.00 (technically, $10.94) less than the BWM520CRN's sale price at W-S, provided that I could tolerate the higher-end model coming to me in a dinged-up box.  I bit.  It is a silly excess, an unneeded extra countertop appliance, but I look forward to its arrival Tuesday next.  I really need to strengthen my resistance-to-arguments side, because my persuasiveness side found this to be too easy a victory.

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 06-10-2017, 03:03 PM
#12
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Good luck with it! Let us know how it works out!

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 06-18-2017, 06:19 AM
#13
  • Sully
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  • Cedar Park, Texas
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I made these waffles this morning and they were great.  Very light, airy, and crisp.  I did use slightly less butter than the recipe called for and slightly more vanilla.  I also used buttermilk instead of whole milk.

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 06-20-2017, 02:59 AM
#14
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-10-2017, 03:03 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Good luck with it! Let us know how it works out!

Well, the Breville waffle iron has been in our household for a week now, and (as one may expect), we have eaten more waffles in the past week than we ever have eaten in any other week, enough that I felt impelled to write a full War&Peace-length review of the new waffle iron for the ’zon site yesterday. The stock number (“ASIN” on that site) for our waffle maker is B01JJH5C20, which you can use as a search term on the ’zon site to find the model and the review that I wrote. My review is very heavy on discussion of the recipes for the waffle batters that I used to evaluate the new waffle maker, to the point that I decided to extract a big chunk of my draft of the review that went deeply into the ingredients of waffle batters and made that discussion into a comment to my own review.

The Big Takeaway from my week of intensive use of a “Belgian” waffle iron was that I realized — as I had not realized merely from eating Belgian waffles in restaurants — that the differences between traditional (3/8" thick) and Belgian (>1" thick) waffles are fundamental, not just cosmetic, to the extent that it is easier to contrast than to compare them; so the Breville waffle iron will not, because it cannot, replace the “Five of Hearts” waffle iron we have had around the house for three decades. Now we have a new storage problem: two waffle irons to store between uses, not one. Facepalm

It is a situation not unlike what happens when one acquires a nice new silvertip badger shaving brush.

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 06-20-2017, 09:58 AM
#15
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Glad that you like the new waffle iron (press? maker?). Have you tried the type that uses the sugar grains in it? Are they from Liege? The memory fails me.

That's my problem Mel, no place to store things anymore. I've been kicking around the idea of commissioning another cabinet made. I'd make it myself, but my shop is hopeless.

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 06-20-2017, 02:33 PM
#16
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-20-2017, 09:58 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Glad that you like the new waffle iron (press? maker?). Have you tried the type that uses the sugar grains in it? Are they from Liege? The memory fails me.

I definitely have plans to make Liège waffles now that I have a deep pockets (funny, when I was more active in my profession, “deep pockets” referred to someone who had the means to pay judgements) waffle maker/iron.  (I grew up with “waffle iron,” probably a linguistic carry-over that my parents used from the days that all waffles were made by stovetop appliances, not countertop appliances; but 2017’s Internet product listings now call them waffle makers.)  On the failing memory side, not that long ago — possibly as recently as ten days ago, definitely after I had got serious about getting ahold of a deep pockets waffle iron — I actually in-person saw on the shelf in a store that I frequent a box of Belgian Pearl sugar.  In the past week, now that I have the Breville in-house, when I have visited a store that we go to for regular grocery shopping, I have gone to the appropriate section of the store to look for pearl sugar, but now I have not been able to find it.  They say the first thing to go is short-term memory.   Confused

Saturday evening, we had over to our home our across-the-street neighbors who, regrettably, will be moving to Seattle this autumn; he is a French national, and she is (Asian) Indian.  He knows (and demonstrates with occasional no-special-occasion goody-gifts) more about chocolate than anyone I ever have known.  So, not without trepidation, we made our neighbors a beta-test of the Gaufres au Chocolat recipe conrained in the Breville Owners Manual.  Never before, ever, had I made a chocolate waffle.  I made up the batter on Friday night and baked one batch (two waffles) Friday (alpha test) to make sure that we would not be poisoning them on Saturday.  We served our neighbors les gaufres au chocolat with real whipped cream and the local Hood cultivar strawberries that are the very best strawberries in the world, but have an annual season of ripeness that typically lasts about 72 hours:  fortunately, Saturday fell on the middle day of this year’s season.  The waffles were a huge hit, and I shall be making chocolate waffles for guests’ desserts again in the future, I am sure.

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 06-20-2017, 06:40 PM
#17
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Waffles are on my list now. Great read.  We inherited a Belgian waffle maker from some neighbors who moved so I have no excuse!

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 06-20-2017, 06:47 PM
#18
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-18-2017, 06:19 AM)Sully Wrote: I made these waffles this morning and they were great.  Very light, airy, and crisp.  I did use slightly less butter than the recipe called for and slightly more vanilla.  I also used buttermilk instead of whole milk.

More vanilla?  We went in exactly the other direction.  We, like you, went the full-on buttermilk route.  Suggestion:  try peanut oil (or, if you are $$flush$$, walnut oil) in place of butter in the Aretha Frankenstein’s Waffles of Insane Greatness recipe.

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 06-20-2017, 06:56 PM
#19
  • racebmx
  • Sapone Di Paolo
  • Charleston, South Carolina
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Unfortunately, I live in the heart of Dixie.  If you so much as mention waffles from anywhere but "the house", it warrants a good whuppin'!  I'm envious of you all!  Tongue

[Image: rKURiLp.jpg]

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 06-21-2017, 05:56 AM
#20
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Mel, I live in an area of the country where some things can be impossible to find. It's getting better but pretty much if it's not in the supermarket it won't be found. Where I'm going with this is I have found Amazon Prime to be a great friend. I got Prime to ditch Netflix, but since I also get free 2 day shipping it bring things of the world to me.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_sc...82JJJVGEEU

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