Waffles

The waffle is not – as many people think – an American invention, to be served automatically with maple syrup, but French and very ancient, dating back to the middle ages. This batter is easy to make and produces lovely light waffles.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/ 8 oz plain flour
  • 4 g/ oz easy-blend yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 30 g/ 1 oz caster sugar, plus more to serve
  • 3-5 drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • about 350 ml/ 12 fl oz milk at room temperature
  • 60 g/ 2 oz melted unsalted butter
  • sunflower oil, for brushing
  • whipped cream, to serve

Method

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Gently whisk in 200 ml/ 7 fl oz of the milk, then pour in the melted butter. You should have a thick smooth batter, but it is important not to over-whisk or you will have tough, chewy waffles. Cover the bowl and leave to prove for 2 hours.

Preheat the waffle iron. While it is heating, stir a further 150 ml/¼ pint of milk into the risen batter to achieve a thick but pourable consistency. If it is too thick to pour, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, stirring, until it will. Pour and scrape the batter into a jug.

Open the waffle iron and brush the surfaces lightly with sunflower oil. Pour in just enough batter to fill the holes, close the lid and cook for 4 minutes or for the length of time specified by the manufacturer. Lift the lid. The first one usually sticks and, as with making pancakes, practice makes perfect. If it sticks, leave it in for another minute and try again.

In Northern France these would be eaten with sugar and whipped cream, but they are also great with jam or maple syrup or ice-cream.

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