Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Best Blog Tips

I like Cooks' Illustrated magazine. I know that it's not even vegetarian, and can be quite meat-centered, but they have good reporting on the food science of their recipes. In their latest issue, they had a recipe and article about waffles. Their challenge was to make buttermilk waffles that come out light and fluffy on the inside, and crisp on the outside every time, with no beating of egg whites.

Now, I love my bean waffles-- they are crispy every time and nutritious as well! But I like to try different recipes for common foods, and this one sounded easy and intriguing. Of course, I wasn't going to use eggs or buttermilk in my version, but the use of seltzer water (club soda) for lightness, as in some tempura batters, made sense. They also found out the following: "After some experimentation, we found that waffles made with oil stayed significantly crispier than those made with melted butter, which is partly water." Good for vegans to know!

Long story short, I made a vegan version of their recipe, with half unbleached and half whole wheat flour instead of all white. It turned out very well! My husband and granddaughter loved them! I'm not giving up my bean waffles, but these are great for a spur-of-the-moment meal!

***Update November 10, 2011: I have updated this recipe to use more accessible ingredients, less oil, and all whole grain flour, OR a gluten-free flour mix.  Here is the new recipe and, below that is my original one.

Servings: 4   (can be GF and/or SF)
Yield: eight 7-inch round waffles
See Notes in the original recipe below for info about waffle irons.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (OR use your favorite gluten-free flour mix, along with 1 tsp. xanthan gum and 1/4 tsp. more salt)
1/4 cup chickpea flour or soy flour
1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar, or other sweetener of choice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Flax Seed "Glop":
1/2 cup nondairy milk (So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage, Original is excellent in this recipe)
2 tablespoons golden flax seeds (if using ground flax, use 1/4 cup)Additional Wet Ingredients:
7/8 cup nondairy milk (So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage, Original is excellent in this recipe)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) club soda (unflavored seltzer water)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

If you are going to eat the waffles immediately after cooking, adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 250º F. Set a wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place the baking sheet in oven.  If they are to be eaten later, simply have some cake racks ready on your counter..

Whisk the Dry Mix ingredients together in large bowl to combine.

In a blender, whiz together the 1/2 cup nondairy milk and flax seeds until the mixture is fluffy, white and "gloppy" like lightly beaten egg whites. Add the Additional Wet Ingredients and blend briefly to mix well. Turn the blender OFF, remove the container from the machine and, with a slim spatula, gently stir in the club soda (or alternate).

Immediately make a well in center of Dry Mix ingredients and pour in the combined Wet Mix and club soda. Using a rubber, gently stir until just combined. The batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.

Heat your waffle iron, spray with oil from a pump sprayer (or rub with a little non-hydrogenated shortening), and bake each waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions (for a 7-inch round waffle I used 1/2 cup batter and cooked). In my Cuisinart Traditional waffle iron, I cooked them on the #4 setting until the steam stopped pouring from the iron, which took about 4 minutes.

Transfer waffles to to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving. Or, if they are to be reheated later in the day, place them on cake racks on the counter to cool. To reheat the waffles, place them on racks on top of baking sheets in a 350ºF oven for a few minutes, until hot and crisp. Any leftover waffles can be frozen in zipper-lock bags to use as toaster waffles.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 waffles): 358.9 calories; 30% calories from fat; 12.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 539.3mg sodium; 369.8mg potassium; 54.8g carbohydrates; 9.6g fiber; 6.2g sugar; 45.2g net carbs; 11.0g protein; 7.4 points.


Makes about eight 7-inch round waffles.

I used a regular waffle irons, not the Belgian type that makes thicker waffles. I cooked them until the steam stopped pouring from the iron. They recommend a nonstick iron. A good one is the round Cuisinart Traditional.  Other waffles irons recommended by Cooks Illustrated are:  Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express; Cloer Double Waffle Maker; Cuisinart 6-Slice Traditional Waffle Iron.

1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 ounces) wholewheat flour (regular, not pastry)
1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt (sea salt)
1/4 cup Better than Milk beverage mix powder or soymilk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons golden flaxseed
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder (or Orgran brand)
1/2 cup unflavored soy yogurt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit for savory waffle toppings)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unflavored seltzer water (also known as club soda)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees F. Set a wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven.

Whisk the flours, sugar, salt, Better than Milk powder, and baking soda in large bowl to combine.

In a blender, whiz together the water and flaxseeds until the mixture is fluffy and white. Add the egg replacer powder and whiz again until thick.

Whisk together the blender mixture, soy yogurt, vinegar, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine. Gently stir the seltzer water into the wet ingredients. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a silcone spatula, gently stir until just combined. The batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.

Heat your waffle irons, spray with oil from a pump sprayer, and bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (use about 1/2 cup batter for 7-inch round iron). Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving with warm maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 440.9 calories; 34% calories from fat; 17.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 579.8mg sodium; 326.9mg potassium; 61.3g carbohydrates; 6.3g fiber; 8.5g sugar; 55.0g net carbs; 12.3g protein; 9.4 points.



aimee said...

Bryanna--did you use the soy "better than milk" powder? Do you think rice could be subbed or does the recipe need the higher protein content of the soy? Thanks! Aimee

I Am Gluten Free said...

I wonder how these would come out with gluten free flour. Any thoughts?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I did use the soy-- it was to replace buttermilk powder in the original recipe (and I added vinegar). I think the rice version would do fine.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I am Gluten-Free: Maybe try it with my high-fiber gluten-free flour mix-- recipe here on my friend Brenda's website:
Let me know how it works for you!

Devadeva Mirel said...

what is the chemistry involved that makes seltzer crisp things up?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It's not the seltzer water that crisps them up, but it gives them a boost in rising. Here is the explanation from Cook's Illustrated, about both the rising and crisping:
"To get crisp, the exterior of a waffle must first become dry, and the moist steam racing past the crisping waffle as it cooked was slowing down the process. We needed a drier batter with much more leavening oomph.

To do this, we took a cue from a Japanese cooking technique. In tempura batters, seltzer or club soda is often used in place of still water. The tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide released from the water inflate the batter the same way as a chemical leavener—minus the metallic taste that baking soda and powder sometimes impart. We replaced the buttermilk in our recipe with a mixture of seltzer and powdered buttermilk. The resulting waffles were incredibly light—too light, in fact. Adding some baking soda back into the recipe produced waffles that were perfectly browned, but after only a few moments off the heat, they lost their crispness.

To preserve their crispness, we needed to find a way to prevent the interior moisture from migrating slowly outward, softening the dry crust. The key to this turns out to be fat. Fat and water naturally repel each other, so if we could get more fat into the mix, the surface portion of the batter would be better able to stop water from softening the exterior. After some experimentation, we found that waffles made with oil stayed significantly crispier than those made with melted butter, which is partly water."