My standard process with recipes looks something like this: see fun recipe online or in magazine/book/back of package. Look up other similar recipes and compare ingredients/technique. Make recipe with minor modifications. Continue to modify recipe(s) 1-5 times until perfection is established.
Another process involves taking two recipes, making them both exactly as written, and comparing the features of both. This usually creates an overflow of finished product that we cannot devour before a)we get sick of whatever it is we’re eating, or b)it goes bad. This leads us to the waffle situation: last time we tried using our wafflemaker we had waffles coming out our ears and after three days of eating waffles we put the thing away for a good long time.
Well, since I want to reduce carbs a bit next month, I figured this weekend would be a good time to get the waffle iron out and have a little last hurrah before I buckle down. I had collected a couple of awesome recipes over the past few weeks from my blog perusing, and thought we could try one out. But which to choose? And what would we do with all those waffles? This is where Jer came in with the stroke of genious: call the Pedersons.
The Pedersons are a couple of extreme genius and generosity who regularly host brunch at their home. We have been the partakers of many a plate of eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes thanks to their hopitality. Who better to come investigate the waffle recipes than the masters of the brunch invitation?
The call was made, the invite accepted, and this morning they arrived. I had started both batters the night before and was ready to whip up some deliciousness. And boy was it delicious. An hour later the batters were polished off, two couples and a baby in the womb (Pederson, not Anderson) were full of waffly goodness, and both recipes were declared tasty and worthy of future consumption. Success!
You can always count on those Pedersons.
A Tale of Two Waffles
The first waffle was a whole wheat sourdough version. Having a sourdough starter already active made this the simplest recipe ever: feed starter the night before so you will have 2 cups to work with in the morning. Add all the other ingredients except for the baking soda. Right before you are ready to start cooking, mix in the baking soda and watch the chemical reaction commence. The resulting waffle is hearty yet light, with a complex flavor that marries beautifully with either syrup or nutella (our waffle topping of choice).
The second came from Molly at Orangette: she hosted her own waffle-tasting a few weeks back and I chose the yeasted waffle recipe she made, originally written by Marion Cunningham. It involves beating together most of the ingredients and allowing the batter to proof overnight, before mixing eggs and baking soda in just before cooking. I briefly considered the second recipe from Molly, but it called for cornstarch and vegetable oil, two ingredients not common to my kitchen. This recipe was one of white flour and commercial yeast, unlike the whole wheat waffle with its unrefined sugar and naturally developed leavening. It had a crispy exterior with an as-promised custardy interior, and tasted amazing when topped with a little butter and some of my mother-in-law’s homemade blackberry jelly. A wildly different experience from the sourdough waffle, and yet just as excellent in its own right.
The verdict? Both were incredible. Each delivered the delicious result promised by the bloggers who posted them. They were so dissimilar that it was impossible to choose which we would prefer, although the first definitely would work better in a savory application, whereas if you are looking for something to put berries on, I would go for the second. But hey, if you want to decide for yourself, go fetch your wafflemaker and call up some friends and host a tasting. Your friends will not be upset, I am sure.