Saturday, October 08, 2005

waffles, as promised

ok, so i made a biga last night with the full intent to create crazy larousse-style waffles. so i made the biga: 125 g. flour (about 4.5 oz by weight), a pinch of SAF yeast, and 70 g. (about 2.5 oz by weight) water, kneaded it up, and let it sit overnight to rise.

i awoke this morning all ready to take chekov on. . ."i work, you work, but we are all loafers on the grace of god," as the old nanny reassures poor waffles, whose family once owned the estate, but now is reduced to being a comic servant on what should have been his patrimony, as the wealthy who have purchased it destroy it through a neglect born of ennui and jealousy.

the larousse then suggests you take 375 g. flour (about 11.5 oz. by weight), add a pinch of salt (i would have used 1/2 teaspoon for that amount of flour), 125 g. sugar, 200g butter, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, more yeast, and 4 large eggs. mix this all up with the biga, knead the dough lightly, shape into egg-size balls or sausages, and let rise for 30-45 mins. on a floured sheet.

pre-heat your belgian waffle iron on the stove, brush with a little oil, and place an egg of dough to bake as usual. this was the part that threw me.

my nordicware iron is a regrettable american size -- jumbo! with four waffle "squares." clearly i would need four pieces of dough to fill it.

how to spread out 4 pieces of dough on a red-hot waffle iron quickly so they all would cook in a similar amount of time without sending myself to the hospital burn unit confused me.

a european waffle iron usually only has 1 or 2 "squares." suddenly i understood the need to have a pourable batter.

thus in mid-recipe i adapted. this is what cooking is all about, no?

also, i didn't really need to make so much batter/dough. i needed at most 3 or 4 full waffles.

so i reduced the total flour in the recipe to 12.5 oz. (including the flour in the biga, about 2-1/2 cups or 355 g., all told), used just 2 eggs, reduced the fat to 1/3 cup canola oil, and added 2 cups milk.

this got me a batter thicker than the usual pancake-type thing. notice that unlike many waffle recipes, i didn't separate the eggs and beat the whites stiff.

this is because mr. right dislikes blonde, light, crispy, dry, sweet waffles. he wanted a heavier, chewier, darker, more flavorful but less sweet thing.

all those whipped egg whites would make the waffles light, crisp, and dry. so no separating the eggs, which also makes the waffles less fussy to do.

in short i just plopped all the wet ingredients in the stand mixer, beat 'em up until the biga had dissolved into the milk, and then dumped in the dry ingredients, including the extra 1 teaspoon SAF yeast. easier 'en cake.

once everything was well-mixed (the batter did have some small lumps), i set it aside to rise and made my usual morning cappuccini.

after 45 mins or an hour enjoying our weekend paper and coffee, it was waffle time! the batter was nicely bubbly, but not really "risen."

i pre-heated the iron for 3 mins. on both sides over medium heat, sprayed the inside with a little baker's joy, and poured 1-1/4 cup batter evenly across the bottom of the iron.

immediately the batter began to pouf. i closed the iron, and noticed that by 45 seconds the waffle had risen so the iron had popped open a tiny bit.

great! i turned the iron over and cooked it for another 3 mins. on the second side, until the steam stopped rising from the edges of the iron.

the waffle easily came off the iron, and was charmingly rustic in color -- uneven, some parts being dark like bread crust, other parts blonde. nice coloring, appetizing!

it was also not really a stiff waffle, but more like a pancake or french toast thing. i popped it on the plate, mr. right poured real vermont maple syrup a over it and pronounced it very good.

the interior of the waffle recipe above is in fact quite like french toast -- not at all like the hard, ultra-crisp diner waffle you might be used to.

since i love french toast, i think it's an excellent thing. i served mine without powdered sugar for decoration, but i think in retrospect it would have been a nice touch.

the recipe i describe above made 4 american jumbo waffles, and i regret to say, we ate them all. . ."wolfed" may be an accurate term. . .

next week or two: the chocolate waffle, sliced horizontally, and served filled with chocolate syrup; possibly decorated with raspberry jam?

posted by fortune | 9:32 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 4 comments

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