October 11, 2013

They look a little weird, but so what

Not quite rectangular, but delicious.

I've been wanting a waffle iron for a long time but I'm such a guilt-ridden person that I just couldn't justify adding another specialty appliance to our small kitchen. "Just eat pancakes," I'd tell myself. Same thing, really.

About a month ago I was at an estate sale (you know, just to see the house) and I came upon a small waffle iron which I was able to purchase for $4. The small amount of cash, and the small size of my find, added up to a guilty pleasure that seemed acceptable, even to me. The house, by the way, was a wonderful craftsman that the new owners had purchased furnished. They were selling the furnishings so they could move their stuff in, and I just hope their things were at least half as nice as the furniture they were getting rid of — so many beautiful, classic craftsman style pieces.

My first attempt at gluten-free waffles resulted in a sad, crunchy mess that had to be scraped and picked out of the waffle iron, which was disheartening as I'd just spent a long time thoroughly cleaning it and making it look like new before using it the first time. The little crumb chunks I managed to save tasted great, but I was thinking maybe I'd have to get a new waffle iron after all if I wanted actual, whole waffles. Or, maybe I should have used a recipe.

My second batch had a more normal shape.

So, today I tried again. This time I used my silicone brush instead of a wadded up paper towel to lightly but thoroughly coat the waffle grids with oil. I still used Bob's Red Mill GF flour mix but I made the batter thicker. I made flax eggs that I whipped into gluey blobiness with a wooden spoon before adding it to the batter. I carefully measured out 1/3 cup of batter onto each waffle grid, closed the top and waited.

At the end of the cook time the waffles popped right out! They were a weird shape but they were crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and great tasting. For the next batch I spread the batter more carefully, and got more of a rectangular waffle. I think I've got the basic waffle down, and am considering what delicious variations I can try next time. But I have a question. I just realized I forgot to add baking powder to the batter. The waffles were light and perfect and I'm wondering why. Should I leave the baking powder out?


Update 10-12-13: The answer to my question is, "add the baking powder." Just made my third batch, and they were the best yet, using a combination of Bob's Red Mill GF baking mix and quinoa flour. My husband proclaimed he couldn't tell they were gluten-free.

28 comments:

  1. I'm glad that story had a happy ending and a happy ending with waffles to boot! I'm happy they came out so easily - you get to save on washing up too, how more perfect could those waffles get?

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    1. The ending was even happier today — new and better waffles! I think this is really just a beginning. :)

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  2. I have never made waffles so I can't comment on the baking powder, but your waffles look delicious! Great find on the waffle iron--I totally would have gotten one for $4 too!

    Courtney

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    1. Today I used baking powder, and yes, I should use it. I hope you come across a waffle iron at a garage sale, soon!

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  3. Awesome find! What a steal! The first batch of waffles that I made on my Black and Decker waffle maker stuck like glue to the stupid thing too. These days I also use a silicone brush to make sure there's oil covering every single millimeter of the griddles.

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    1. Mine's a Black and Decker, too. It doesn't take much oil, but from what I've read, most of the non-stick ones do need some help.

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  4. You finally got a waffle iron!! Hooray! I'm glad. For me, pancakes and waffles are entirely different. It's the crisp, crunchy edges and wells of flavor-holders that make waffles far superior to pancakes. That must have been disheartening when your first batch was a burnt mess, but I'm glad you got it figured out. My waffle iron was purchased at a garage sale too, but luckily the non-stick coating was still doing its job. It doesn't require much, if any, oil at all to do its magic.

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    1. It wasn't exactly burnt, just hopelessly stuck. Lots of crispy, crunchy edges, though — just nothing in between. A little dab of oil and it works great!

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  5. I kinda like the irregular shape of the waffle. :-) I'm no waffle expert but if it was fine without the baking powder, I would just leave it out. Or the next time you make a batch, try it with the baking powder and see if there's a noticeable difference.

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    1. Suggestion number two leads me to believe there is a difference, and baking powder is a good addition. Today's waffles were better than yesterday's.

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  6. Think of it this way, either way you made up for the cost of the waffle iron, a $ 4 buck breakfast. (I won't add in the cost for Bob's Red Mill)
    and you can always play tic tac to with your waffles too.

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    1. Good point. Even if I never use it again, I've got my money's worth. But, I love it now, and plan to use it a lot, so even Bob will benefit. (He's retired, but you know what I mean.)

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  7. I'm glad you got them to turn out after the first try! Waffles are such a great thing to have every once in a while.

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    1. I may have to make up for a waffle deprivation by having them often. :)

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  8. That GF waffle looks fabulous and delicious! I love unique shapes, and I get frustrated when it comes to perfect shapes! I used vegan yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, dairy-free milk and oil to make waffles.

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    1. Yogurt is a great addition to waffle batter. It can sub for oil. My waffle iron is pretty small so I wanted to have each waffle be full-sized.

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  9. I'm totally on the waffle wavelength! I'm not kidding, I woke up this morning with the strongest syrup-drenched-waffle craving I've ever had. Your post makes me sad and happy at the same time...sad cuz I don't have a waffle iron...happy that now you've inspired me to get my butt out there and find one. :)
    I love Craftsman furniture...mortises and tenons and gorgeous chunks of heartfully carved wood. A whole home full of it for sale would have made me get all weak-kneed with delight!

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    1. I've been casually looking for a long time—I've even passed one by on a day I was being very strict with my acquisitions. I was close to just ordering one from Amazon when this one popped up.

      The furniture was very beautiful and I was tempted by a couple of things but I don't know where I would have put them. I did buy a large bamboo bowl, though. I went to an open house at my dream (gorgeous craftsman) home two weeks ago just a couple blocks away from my house. It was perfect in every way but one. The price was $1,048,000. It got snapped right up.

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  10. great find! love the progress report, they look great!

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    1. I think I would make waffles three times a day if other people in the house didn't complain. :)

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  11. So what indeed! I bought G a waffle iron for Christmas one year and we've only used it a few times, but it was fun. much nicer to find used, though.

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    1. I'm getting better, though, as you can see! I like finding stuff used as long as it's in good condition and not too dirty. I'm not fond of cleaning strangers' crud out of appliances.

      You should make more waffles — they're so good!

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  12. I actually think the weird ones look really cool! I love estate sales. That is where I found my vintage sewing machine. That is so cool that you found a waffle maker there. I totally want a waffle maker. These look really delicious!

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    1. They may look cool but they're too small! The waffle iron is very petite, and I need the waffles to be as big as they can be. Too bad I didn't end up with a round waffle maker. :) Waffles and pancakes may share the same batter, but Cadry's right — no comparison.

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  13. These tiny waffles are adorable! Can you tell me more about this waffle iron? I'm on the hunt for one that's not coated with teflon, and your sticking problems make me think that maybe yours isn't!

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    1. It's a Black and Decker Belgian waffle maker, and yes, it's coated in non-stick. It's the only piece of non-stick cookware I have, and I figured it would be OK for occasional use. Waffles are one of those foods where a non-stick coating seems to make sense, unless you can find a cast iron one.

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  14. I've wanted one forever, but have refrained for the same reason. Same thing for a dehydrator. Congrats on your sweet find! Looks like you got the hang of it fairly quickly! :)

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    1. One other reason I had trouble justifying getting one is that I know that once I get over the initial infatuation, it probably won't get used that often. Still, when the waffle urge hits, it's nice to know I can just pull out the iron.

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