Making waffles is a pretty straightforward business, assuming that you have a waffle iron and follow the recipe below. However, you should observe two common-sense rules when you make them.
RULE #1: Don’t put your hand into a hot waffle iron. Pam, my youngest sister, learned this the hard way when she was a little girl. “I also remember getting a bad burn when the top closed on my hand. Little fingers in the wrong spot. Mom told me it was hot but did I listen? NO.”
RULE #2: When beating the egg whites with an electric mixer, make sure that it is turned off before lifting the beater out of the bowl. The splotches on the pages of waffle recipes in our copy of the Mennonite Community Cookbook are mute but eloquent testimony to my once ignoring this rule.
A couple of years after we moved out to the country, we got a waffle iron. It was a round chrome machine with a thick cord and I think there was a thermometer in the middle of the lid that told you when it was hot enough to make waffles. Mom was probably the person who bought it, as she loved kitchen equipment from apple corers to lemon zesters. Dad was happy with Mom’s pancakes.
My sisters Barb and Patsy agree that we didn’t have waffles very often, but I think that my enjoyment of waffles and sausage for Sunday supper may stem from good memories of waffle suppers when I was a kid. I do remember that the waffles sometime stuck if you didn’t grease the iron properly and especially if you tried to take them out before they were done.
Today, of course, most waffle irons have non-stick coatings which virtually eliminate the sticking problem, and improvements in waffle iron design by 1969 when Jerri’s mother bought us our waffle iron made even the the metal grid machines like ours pretty trouble free. I miss the thermometer, but the “idiot light” that goes out when the waffle is done does mean fewer overcooked waffles.
Here is the recipe we use for waffles.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 T sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
6 T butter
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
The eggs and milk should be at room temperature. You can warm the eggs in a small bowl of warm water for a few minutes and heat the milk for a few seconds in a microwave. Melt the butter.
Turn on your waffle iron and follow any instructions for use that came with it. Start warming the maple syrup.
Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the yolks until lemon colored and then beat them into the milk. Stir the milk and egg mixture into the flour until you have a smooth batter. Stir the butter into the batter.
Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. When you turn off the mixer and lift the beaters from the egg whites, you should see peaks with just a tiny curl on the top. Fold the egg whites into the batter with a spatula. Use the spatula to lift the batter over the egg whites, using a figure-eight motion until you have a light fluffy batter.
Bake the waffles and serve each one as it comes off the iron with butter, warm maple syrup. Bacon and breakfast sausage are delicious with waffles.
NOTES: You need butter to make waffles that taste like real waffles. If you merely want waffles that look like the real thing, you can buy them in the freezer section of your neighborhood market.