Baking gets me exxxxxtra excited when the science behind the process plays a crucial role. Like, E X X X X X T R A excited.
Dad and I have loved a version of this waffle recipe and stuck to it like loyal waffle-loving puppies (or something?) for five years. Five whole years! We bought a waffle recipe book just before Hungry Haley's time, so I was only a little bit interested in and barely knowledgeable about baking science. I was, however, very much still a nerd back then, so it was only a matter of time before the nerdy baked-good-creator (the girl behind this blog, typing right now) also known as me/Hungry Haley was born.
In the five years we've been with this book, we've tried versions with coconut oil instead of butter (Dad was not a fan), whole-wheat flour or oat flour instead of white flour, without the sugar, and with and without the buttermilk. The only switch that didn't yield a noticeably different product was with the flour - just a nuttier taste with whole-wheat, which we prefer in this household, but you can use the white flour if you like that better.
So, let's talk buttermilk. Contrary to popular belief - and this recipe will testify to this - homemade "buttermilk" (whole milk with vinegar mixed in) does not react with other ingredients, mainly baking soda, like pre-made buttermilk from the store. I've tried more times than I can count on my fingers, and each time, Dad has been disappointed. Since he's the main waffle-consumer here, I take his opinion rather seriously.
But, this realization of buttermilk's necessity didn't hit me until, well, like a week ago. Sometimes I don't "catch on" too quickly. Whenever I'd come home for the weekend or breaks from school in SLO, Dad's number one request - aside from irreplaceable quality time with me, of course - was waffles. Not just any waffles, though. Fluffy, crisp, buttery waffles. THESE waffles.
After a few unfortunately consecutive failed attempts, he sort of stopped asking.
Fast forward through my less-than-loving relationship with food and two years of veganism, here we are - me, loving science and baking and sugar and such more than ever, and Dad, thanking me for all the fluffy, buttery, "best ever" waffles.
Here's to real-deal ingredients and pure science that, together, give Dad and me said perfect waffles. WOOOOOO! *pushes glasses up*
Makes about 9 square waffles
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 eggs, separated and room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled completely, plus extra for greasing the iron
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Toppings (optional): maple syrup, butter, nuts, Greek yogurt, fruit
- Preheat waffle iron and grease with butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into the dry and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-mixer or in a stand-mixer on high until peaks form (about 1-2 minutes). Gently fold these into the batter, careful not to over-mix or deflate the fluffy air pockets.
- Scoop spoonfuls of the batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove and cool slightly before serving.
- Serve immediately with toppings and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.