For a while now, Saucy has been seriously wanting a Belgian waffle iron. She has a nice, regular waffle iron she uses often but the waffles that it makes are on the thin side. To be blunt, they're weak. They aren't Belgian waffles. Saucy was regularly jonesing for luscious, round waffles with deep wells to hold syrup and fruit. Classic Belgian waffles are crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside.
Recently, it was time to cash in some points on the credit card. There wasn't much to choose from for "rewards" on the website... until... there it was... hold the phone... a combo waffle iron/omelette maker. To be honest, the omelette maker doesn't look like a good idea at all. Who can't just make an omelette in a little skillet? And who would serve omelettes and waffles at the same meal? Making proper waffles is already a fair bit of work. It's likely the omelette side of this contraption won't ever get a workout. But the waffles... they were heavenly.
Classic Belgian Waffles
2 14 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated plus 1 egg white
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
non-stick cooking spray
Heat 3/4 cup of the water to lukewarm, and dissolve the yeast along with a pinch of the sugar from the recipe; let stand 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture begins to foam.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, set aside.
Add the egg yolks and one egg white along with the remaining sugar to the yeast mixture; stir to blend. Add the remaining water, milk, melted butter, oil and vanilla. Stir until the liquid is smooth.
Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat all together until smooth.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites gently into the the batter. Let the batter stand one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.
Follow the cooking directions for your waffle maker. For this contraption, Saucy found that setting #4 was just right. Spray the surface area with a short blast of non-stick cooking spray before cooking any waffles.
Resist the temptation to open your waffle maker before the indicator light tells you they are ready. This sounds easier than it is. They smell pretty delicious while they're cooking away in there. It won't take long, just be patient. About three minutes... then they're ready. Eat them right away. They get a little soggy if they sit out a while so they're best enjoyed immediately.
Preferably with lots of butter, warmed syrup, whipped cream and fruit. Saucy ate hers with mounds of fresh berries and a good sprinkling of confectioner's sugar.
Here's the best part: if you have extras (this recipe makes about ten waffles) they store nicely in the fridge in a large Ziploc bag. On Monday for lunch, you can throw a cold waffle right back into the iron and warm it for a couple of minutes to crisp it up. Then make a serious sandwich out of it. Like here, a smoked turkey, swiss cheese and spinach sandwich with a mayo/cranberry sauce mix.
That, friends, was the best part of the whole adventure.