Friday, July 8, 2011

100% Whole-Wheat Waffles

Does someone in your family make the best…something? Have you ever asked for the recipe? If your family is like mine, what you end up with is a recipe that reads something like this.

You add a little bit of this to the mixture until you get it to the right consistency.
Then you sprinkle some of this and that in until it tastes just the way you want it to.

These recipes frustrate me to no end because up until about 6 months ago I followed recipes religiously. It’s all I knew how to do. I followed them blindly always believing that what the creator had written would turn out as promised if I followed the directions. I lacked the understanding and knowledge to tweak the recipe at all. So when I came across recipes like the one above, I was parallelized and didn’t really know how to move on. Plus even if I did take a chance, I didn’t keep notes in the kitchen so if a miracle did happen and my tweaking worked, repeating my happy mistake was nearly impossible. So what was to be done with Dad’s whole-wheat waffles?

When I got married I wanted to continue some of the traditions I grew up with, like Saturday morning waffles. When I asked my Dad for the family recipe he said:

“The recipe?” while staring at me with a worried look. “Well I guess I could come up with a recipe, I just kinda throw it all together.”


Over the past 13 years (or is it 14) I’ve been doing my best to make these waffles just like Dad’s. Sometimes I hit; sometimes I miss.

When I started this blog I knew eventually I wanted to share this recipe with all of you but before I could I knew I had to get it right AND it needed to be duplicable so with my handy kitchen notebook in tow, I set out to get it right.

There were two issues with the original recipe that I wanted to change. 1)- I wanted it to be 100% whole wheat and 2)-I wanted to eliminate the sugar.

The biggest problem I had in trying to reach my goal was that the 100% whole-wheat batter was too heavy, even with the egg whites. While the first batch of waffles was cooking on the waffle iron the eggs would separate from the batter leaving a less than ideal runny mess in the bowl for the next batches. The second issue I had was that the waffle, although super tasty with syrup and fixings, wasn’t good enough to stand on its own. After several attempts to add flavor with other sweeteners & flavors I began to think a bland waffle was just the way it was meant to be, after all It would be loaded with fruit, syrup (may I suggest strawberry or white), whipped cream and what have you.

While watching Food Network Star this week, Bobby Flay made a comment on how it was essential for each component of a dish to be able to stand on it’s own while still being able to meld with everything else in the dish and on the side. I knew what had to be done - my goal to keep sugar out of the recipe had to be nixed – a little bit of sugar was necessary to keep the acidity of the baking powder and buttermilk at bay. It worked!

Well, that day has come. I’ve finally done it! I’ve tweaked the recipe just enough so that it can be shared and duplicated. And wouldn’t you know it, the day after I figured it all out, someone emailed me a waffle recipe that was almost exactly the same as what I had come up with. Why didn’t I just google in the first place? You think you have an original idea or an “old family recipe” only to find out that about a million other people had the same idea and the same recipe. How does that happen?

100% Whole Wheat Waffles
Yield:  20 4x4” waffles (easily halved)
Serving Size 2, 4" waffles
6 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
~2 cups milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 – 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Separate the eggs placing the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Set aside and bring to room temperature (or just long enough to take some of the chill off)
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a 2-cup measuring cup and then fill the measuring cup to the 2-cup capacity with milk (this is essentially a 2 cup buttermilk substitute but I prefer this to buttermilk in this recipe). Stir the lemon juice and milk together then set aside to sour and thicken.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and waffle iron to desired setting.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  5. With a stand mixer on low, whisk the egg whites until frothy (about 1 minute). Add in the cream of tartar and whisk eggs on high until soft peaks form. With mixer still on high, slowly add ¼ cup sugar (if using) to egg whites until stiff peaks form. With mixer on low add in vanilla until just incorporated. Set aside.
  6. Whisk egg yolks, soured milk and oil into the dry mixture. If batter is too runny, whisk in another ½ cup of flour until lump are gone.
  7. To temper the batter, stir in a quarter of the egg whites into the batter until well combined then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. Once folded together, the batter should be airy and silky.
  8. Spray your waffle iron with cooking pray then pour a portion of the batter (about 1cup or so) onto the center of your iron, close the top and cook to desired doneness. Place waffle onto a wire rack in the oven until all the waffles are cooked or serve immediately with syrup, fresh fruit or whipped cream.
Source: family file, Apron Appeal original

Nutrition Facts/Info:
Without sugar: Serving Size: 2, 4" waffles. Calories - 231, Fat Calories - 75, Total Fat - 10, Saturated fat - 1.7, polyunsaturated fat - 1.9, Monosaturated - 5, Cholesterol - 113, Sodium - 122mg, Total Carbs - 29, Dietary Fiber - 3.6, Sugars - 2.5, Protein - 10, Vitamin A - 5.6%, Vitamin C - 1.6, Calcium - 9.6%, Iron - 2.4%.

WITH sugar: Serving Size: 2, 4" waffles. Calories - 250, Fat Calories - 75, Total Fat - 10, Saturated fat - 1.7, polyunsaturated fat - 1.9, Monosaturated - 5, Cholesterol - 113, Sodium - 122mg, Total Carbs - 34, Dietary Fiber - 3.6, Sugars - 7.3, Protein - 10, Vitamin A - 5.6%, Vitamin C - 1.6, Calcium - 9.6%, Iron - 2.4%.


Mary said...

I LOVE waffles. I also love french toast and pancakes and crepes and german pancakes and... just about every other carb loaded sugar packed divine breakfast creation around. I've tweaked most of them in the past year to make them 100% whole wheat. They all should count as heath foods now, right?

Also, if you ever have the chance to use freshly ground wheat, do it! I adore my Nutrimill so much now that I have it. There is no comparison to store bought whole wheat. I can now sub 100% fresh wheat into almost all of my recipes with very little noticeable change in taste or texture. Truly awesome!

Apron Appeal said...

Ditto and ditto. I love breakfast, we eat it all day long here. and as far as whole wheat flour goes. I've never bought it from the store, it's always fresh milled. (K-tec mill - sounds like an airplane taking off but I love it anyway.)

Have you ever used a soft wheat? I'm thinking of trying it out.

briarrose said...

Such a great recipe. Nice use of all wheat flour. I had to laugh about the lack of specifics in a family recipe...I am sooo guilty of that. ;)

Charissa said...

I bet this batter would be a great pancake batter too! :)Looks great!
Thanks for the friend add on Food Buzz, I love meeting new bloggers who love food just as much as me! ;)

In Katrina's Kitchen said...

Yay you for figuring this one out!! Thanks for sharing! My waffle maker died but I may just have to try this as a pancake batter?


They look perfect. I usually use half ww flour and half ap flour, but yours don't look dense at all. Gotta try!

Kim Bee said...

Oh my, these look delish. I wish I could eat whole wheat. I love this post. I just ate and now I'm hungry again.

The Harried Cook said...

Great job cracking this! :) I think it sounds and looks great! I think it's about time I bought a waffle maker... thanks for sharing your family recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

Great job the picture looks great but I'll bet the taste is awesome . You are incredible

BestOodles said...

Thank for sharing I love waffles. Your look delicious.

Sandra said...

Wow those look amazing..healthy and delicious!!! Wonderful post and recipe..I love your photos too!

Roxana GreenGirl said...

Way to go Gwen, Glad you didn't give up after a couple of failures (like I would have done)
They look great. Love the photos!!!
I have never made waffles since I don't have a waffle machine, but I make pancakes for Tiffany at least 2-3 times a week, and just like you, I'm trying to come up with a healthier recipe.

Joanne said...

Wow these look perfect. Thanks for the recipe!!! I agree, trying to make things 100% whole wheat is tough! I'm glad you figured it out.

Kathleen said...

Your waffles look wonderful! I used to make these when my kids were young. I'd make them with ww pastry flour. I loved how they came out.

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Your waffles look lovely. Btw I know exactly what you mean about a bit of this and a bit of that, my mother used to say that a lot. Hope you are having a wonderful summer.

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

I love waffles, they're one of my favorite foods! Yours look absolutely perfect. I don't think I've ever made whole wheat waffles but I can't wait to try these out! YUM! :)

Hester Casey - Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

"Errrgh!" is a great expression for that feeling that a recipe might escape you! My mother is exactly the same. She makes incredible soup (among other things) but never to a recipe. I have tried and tried to replicate. It is close... but not quite there. Sounds like you succeeded tho! I am getting me a waffle-maker!

The Undercover Cook said...

Your whole wheat waffles sound delish! I am thinking of topping them with a generous handful of berries and a touch of maple syrup. Way to stick with it until you ended up with a good recipe!

Chef Dennis Littley said...

I'm going to have to go out and get a new waffle iron so I can try these out! Its been so long since I had homemade waffles this will be the perfect recipe to get started making them again!

I understand how your dad feels, before blogging I never really measured anything...

Charishma said...

love waffles with syrup for breakfast,these look good

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

These look so delicious!! :)

Mikaela Cowles said...

Thank you for all the hard work. I can't wait to try them.

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