Buttermilk Waffles

I could not be more thrilled that the weekend has arrived – we’ve got a fun one planned!  Iron Man 2 came out yesterday and we’ve got tickets to see it at the IMAX theater in a few hours.  First, though, we’re going to pop in the first Iron Man since we haven’t watched it in forever, so it’s a double feature day for us.  Afterward, I’ll be spending the day cooking and baking in preparation for the brunch we’re hosting for our moms tomorrow.  I’m excited about the menu and hopefully they’ll enjoy it too!  Next week I plan to share some of the recipes I’ll be trying so be sure to check back. 
  
I won’t be serving these waffles at our brunch but if I did, I think they’d be a big hit!  I made the waffles last week after having seen the recipe in a recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated.  There are a few keys to the recipe.  First, the seltzer water – it gives the waffles a light, fluffy interior.  A lot of recipes will have you separate eggs, whip the whites and fold them into the batter to achieve this same lightness, but using the seltzer water is much faster and easier – both important factors when it comes to breakfast in my opinion.  The recipe also utilizes powdered buttermilk, which I always keep on hand anyway for baking.  I used to find myself throwing away too many half-empty quarts of buttermilk, so I began buying powdered buttermilk about a year ago (this is the brand available in stores by me).  The powdered buttermilk will keep in your fridge for quite a while (at least a year) so I think it’s a great thing to have on hand if you bake a lot.  You’ll notice that this recipe calls for transferring the cooked waffles to a rack in your oven for a few minutes before serving.  While you can skip this step, I found it really did make a difference in achieving a nice crisp exterior so I would recommend waiting those couple of minutes.  Another perk of waiting – you can keep the first waffles warm while you finish up the rest of the batter! 

Buttermilk Waffles

Our waffle iron is one of the most underutilized appliances in our kitchen; I think we’ve probably used it about 5 times since we received it for our wedding over 3 years ago.  Recipes like this one motivate me to pull it out more often for sure though.  I froze my leftover waffles then toasted them straight from the freezer and they were fantastic – dare I say I even liked them better than I liked the ones I ate immediately!  They were wonderfully crisp on the outside and so light on the inside.  Topped with a healthy drizzle of maple syrup, the waffles were a delicious breakfast that I could pull together in no time!

Buttermilk Waffles
from Cook’s Illustrated

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups unflavored seltzer water

Preheat your oven to 250 F with a rack in the middle position.  Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder and baking soda.  Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine.  Gently stir the seltzer into the wet ingredients.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet – the batter should be lumpy with streaks of flour so don’t overmix it.

Heat your waffle iron and bake the waffles according to your manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer cooked waffles to the rack in the warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving.