If you are someone who enjoys golden waffles on a Saturday morning, you would definitely know the importance of crispiness of the waffle. Sometimes it would be very hard to achieve the exact amount of crispiness but with these tips, you will never go wrong.
Here are some tips that are to be followed to achieve golden and crispy waffles:
As far as the classic buttermilk waffles are concerned, they may look perfect on the outside and taste exactly right but lose their crispness within a few minutes of taking them off the waffle iron, this is because of the moisture content in the batter. Moisture is needed a little for the tenderness of the waffle but the extra moisture will quickly soften the outer crust of the waffle. Buttermilk should be added carefully as it will thicken the batter and thus makes the waffle less crispy.
First things first, the batter of waffle is slightly different from pancake batter, both have similar ingredients but pancake batter is prepared to be cooked flat. Pancake and waffle are cousins but there are differences.
MAKE SURE THE WALLE IRON IS HOT ENOUGH:
A hot iron can is very important when it comes to the crispness of the waffle, sometimes more important than the butter. Using a hot iron ensures that the batter starts cooking the instant they hit the griddle.
You must hear the batter sizzle when it comes in contact with the griddle. The moisture in the waffle batter turns to steam and quickly escapes through the sides of the griddle. And the outer crust begins to set and crisp immediately. If you do not ensure the iron is hot enough, there will be no crispiness and the waffles will become soggy and squishy.
To ensure that the waffle iron is hot, preheat the waffle iron for five minutes before you start making the waffles. Some irons may also take more than 5 minutes. To check the iron is hot enough, sprinkle a drop of water on to the iron if it sizzles and evaporates readily, you are good to go. For a perfect waffle, you can invest in a good Belgian Waffle maker, which will help in making authentic Belgian waffles. Gary Barnier posted a list of the best belgian waffles makers a while back.
REPLACING HALF THE BUTTERMILK WITH MILK:
Adding milk would make the waffle batter more thinner which in turn makes lighter and crispy waffles. Swapping half the buttermilk for milk would give a lighter texture without sacrificing the rich taste of buttermilk. You can also completely replace buttermilk by just milk according to your wish.
It is better to use whole milk or 2%milk which gives a nice flavour. You can also use skim milk or almond milk as per your preferences.
BAKING THE WAFFLES:
This may seem an unnecessary step to bake the waffles again in an oven just as they come out of the iron, but this is the best method that gives a long-lasting crispness to your waffle.
Even the best of the best waffle irons may not steam off all the moisture out as the cooking time is brief. Baking the waffles again in an oven will help keep the process of evaporation going without the risk of burning the waffles. And yeah, it keeps them warm until you serve them.
Just before you start making waffles in the waffle iron, preheat the oven to 250F, out a wire cooling rack like inside a baking sheet and place it in the oven. The cooling rack will help the air circulate in all directions as it lifts the waffle off the baking sheets.
Just after taking each batch of waffles from the waffle maker, transfer them to the oven. Arrange the waffles in a single layer so they get crisp evenly and the steam is not trapped between layers. Once one batch of waffles is backed, stack them up to bake the next batch. Bake the waffles for 5 minutes to 10 minutes maximum as any time longer than that would dry out the waffle.
ADDING A DASH OF SUGAR:
Pancake batter and waffle batter are cousins, while there is sugar in both the batters, the extra dash of it added to waffle batter does more than giving it a sweet flavour. Sugar helps to create a caramelized exterior, is a boost for crispiness and aids in browning.
ADDING WHIPPED EGG WHITES:
Adding whipped egg whites have two good reasons, one, they give the waffles a crispy exterior, two, the air is beaten in from whipping the egg whites makes the coveted fluffy inside with beautiful teeny weeny air pockets.
Whip the egg whites until soft-peak stage, and gently fold into the batter while holding on to as much air as possible.
Adding egg whites would not make a huge difference in the taste and flavour unlike adding whole eggs.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN WAY:
You can always customise your waffle the way you like so that it will taste the best way you like it. You can add chopped nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, crumbled candy or even cooked bacon.
Once you pour the batter on to the waffle maker, sprinkle some of your favourite add on, press and cook. It is better not to use real fruits or vegetables as it will add on moisture which will make the waffle squishy. You can go for a whole berry or fruits with skin yet you will end with little squishiness but it is okay.
Now that you know how to make the perfect waffle with a crispy crust, enjoy it with your loved ones with that Saturday morning like waffle breakfast, any day you want.