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Archive for June, 2013

The Waffle Endeavor

June 22nd, 2013 by

Mindy and I have heated discussions about what we can have in the kitchen. We’ve argued about the beefy KitchenAid Mixers (not yet), panini grills (living on borrowed time), toasters (finally found a good one), microwaves (never again), blenders (replaced with an immersion blender), ice cream makers (inconclusive), sous vides (for science!), dish ware (heath and stackable restaurant supply glassware), mortars (granite, soon to be replaced with basalt molcajete), cookware (all-clad and seasoned cast-iron), and lots of other things too.

Waffle-makers would be one of these. For as long as we’ve had these arguments, I’ve been exceedingly against getting a waffle-maker. They are big and unreliably electric, and our kitchen is small and I hate shit that breaks (cuz they don’t make anything like they used to). The idea was floated that there existed cast-iron waffle irons that would not have the same drawbacks as electric waffle makers. I was able to find only one waffle iron (#1100 Old Fashioned) on the entire internet! However, no one that I could find had ever tried one on an electric stove-top like we have, nor could I find any record of someone trying to season such a beast. Whatever! We got one and did both.

The first step was seasoning, and fortunately the internet has an opinion on seasoning cast-iron. It involves flaxseed oil and about six treatments. Normally, this wouldn’t be so bad, but these instructions require drying almost all of the oil off before polymerizing in the oven. It was not so fun on the craggy surface of the waffle iron. Still, I’ll be damned if it didn’t work! It was so non-stick, that the waffles still came off even when I forgot to oil it first!Tyler Grinning and Making Waffles

The next step was choosing a waffle recipe (I’ve never made waffles before, or pancakes, or most anything else you can eat). I just so happen to be tremendously obsessed with bacteria and fungus and sprouting beans and in general using life to prepare my food for me. So naturally (pun-intended), I went for a fermented waffle recipe. Turns out, waffles made without yeast are the brown ales of breakfast pastries—they’ve got a hole where flavor should be. Fermented waffles, on the other hand, have an aftertaste that’s right up there with the finest yeasty lagers.

I’ve always been weak on execution, and last weekend was no exception. It was tricky to get the heat-output of the electric stove right, the timing right, and being unable to get both sides properly cooked made me feel like a busted toaster. Fortunately, the seasoning performed admirably, and the recipe itself tasted great.Tyler Displaying a Fresh Waffle

But this weekend, though! My technique improved and the waffles were much better—the best I’ve ever tasted! At last, I have a way to burn through the gallon of maple syrup I unreasonably purchased! I’m thinking I might re-season one of our cast-iron skillets and try a similar recipe with pancakes. It feels weird to be this excited about breakfast…