I resisted the urge to buy a waffle-maker for about two or three years. Each time I saw a waffle recipe I quickly turned away, I closed my eyes and I thought of something else. I tried to convince myself that a waffle is just a pancake cooked on a different surface. I talked to myself countless number of times and patiently argued with a little voice in my head explaining that I have no space in my tiny kitchen for another appliance. I tried in vain to remind myself that I don't make pancakes often and getting a special gadget is not a smart way to spend money. Finally, a few months ago I gave up. I cursed all the way to the store and desperately tried to persuade myself to turn around. And then on the way home I was childishly happy, giddy and excited, bringing a new shiny appliance home. At the end of my losing battle, in the store, staring at various shapes and sizes of waffle-irons, my mind was still trying to reason with me. "Buy a cute, round, small one," it said, "you don't need a big one, you don't have a huge family to feed." But after so many years of fighting with reason, my desires won over and I got the biggest waffle-maker that makes six square waffles at a time. How many times have I used it since then? Exactly once! Do I regret getting? Not for a second. It now occupies a what used to be an empty space on top of my fridge, next to an ice cream maker and a pop corn maker. Next on my list is a food-processor (a much more useful gadget than a waffle-iron I must say), I know I am fighting a losing battle, but I think i still have a few months or maybe even years before I succumb to that desire.
This is an adaptation of a "Belgian Waffle" recipe in Breakfast book by Williams-Sonoma. Since I changed a few things there and used Kefir as the main liquid ingredient, I don't think I can call them Belgian anymore, but regardless of what they are called, they turned out to be really good.
For about 8-10 small waffles (the book says that it serves four but it barely served two in my opinion)
- Flour - 1 cup
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Dry active yeast - 1/2 teaspoon
- Kefir (or Buttermilk) - 1 cup
- Butter, melted and still warm - 45 g (3 tablespoons)
- Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- Eggs, separated - 2 large
- Cream of tartar - a pinch (optional)
- Oil for the waffle-iron
- In the evening, in a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
- In a small pot warm the buttermilk (kefir) until it reaches 40C (a little bit warmer than body temperature if touched with a finger).
- Add the melted butter and vanilla extract to warm buttermilk and mix.
- Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well until a smooth batter forms.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave in a cool room for a night (not the fridge).
- In the morning, mix in the egg yolks into the batter.
- In a separate clean bowl whip the egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until soft shiny peaks form.
- Mix in the third of the whipped egg whites into the batter.
- Carefully fold in the rest of the whipped egg whites into the batter, trying not to deflate the egg whites too much.
- Generously oil the waffle-maker and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve with maple syrup.