I got a lot of great kitchen toys for Christmas. One of my new gadgets is a Belgian waffle iron. Score! With their crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior, Belgian waffles rule over all other waffles. I have been madly in love with Belgian waffles since my freshman year of college. Cue television time travel music...Ah, freshman year. You're on your own for the first time. You're meeting new people. And the dorm dining center has Belgian waffle makers you can use to whip up your very own fresh waffles every morning. What a magical time!
I tested out my new appliance the first weekend I had at home. And for her maiden batch of waffles, I wanted to make sure I had the perfect waffle recipe. And for the best recipes, I always turn to Cook's Illustrated. Sure enough, in the May/June 2010 issue, I found a great recipe for buttermilk waffles.
Cook's Illustrated is always good for some interesting twists on typical recipes. The secret to their perfectly crispy-yet-fluffy waffles was using dried buttermilk powder and seltzer water instead of regular buttermilk. Why seltzer water? The usual technique to get fluffy waffles is to whip egg whites in order to create volume via millions of tiny air bubbles. The carbon dioxide in the seltzer water provides the same lift, without any of the effort. Brilliant!
I had never heard of dried buttermilk powder before, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to find it in my small town's grocery store. But lo and behold, I found it with the other powdered milks in the baking aisle. Dried buttermilk powder can also be used for recipes that call for buttermilk. Just add water! Perfect for when you don't want to buy a whole container of the real stuff.
So go to the store, buy some buttermilk powder and seltzer water, and make yourself some amazing waffles! Start out by whisking together flour, sugar, salt, dried buttermilk powder, and baking soda.
Then whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil. I usually use applesauce instead of oil when I make waffles, but I used the real stuff this time just to give the recipe a fair shot. I'm making waffles again this weekend and I will use applesauce this time to see if I can tell the difference. Stay posted! I did use low fat sour cream. You won't find the full fat stuff at my house!
Now stir your seltzer water into the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
You want the batter to be a little lumpy.
I wanted to spice up my waffles a little bit, and I had some blueberries in my freezer that weren't getting any younger, so I folded about of cup of them into my batter. Why have regular waffles when you can have blueberry waffles?
Bake according to your waffle maker's instructions. The recipe I used recommended letting the waffles rest a few minutes in an oven heated to 250 degrees. I couldn't wait to eat my waffle, so I didn't make it to that step. Give it a try if you have more patience than I do!
Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup unflavored seltzer water
1 cup blueberries
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven.
Whisk flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder, and baking soda in large bowl to combine.
Whisk sour cream, eggs, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine. Gently stir seltzer in into wet ingredients. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
Heat waffle iron and bake waffles according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven and hold for up to 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated