Have you ever thought how easy it is to make homemade waffles? And how versatile they are? Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Add some grated potato and onion for instant hash browns; or mix in mashed bananas for a sweet treat. If you want to find out how to make waffles, follow my ultimate guide to the perfect waffles and make some today.
What is a waffle?
Waffles are made from a batter, consisting of eggs, milk, sugar and melted butter. They are traditionally cooked in a waffle-maker, between two specially shaped iron plates, which give the waffle its characteristic honey-combed appearance.
A perfect waffle has a crispy, golden brown exterior with a light and airy interior. This is due to the waffle being cooked on both sides at once, ie on the top and the bottom. As the outside of the waffle browns and crisps, the air in the batter is trapped inside the waffle, leading to the airy inner texture.
Sweet vs Savoury Wffles
Whenever you think of waffles, probably the first thought that springs to mind is ‘top them with ice cream‘. But there is so much more that you can do with them.
You can make waffles either sweet or savoury. The choice is yours. If you decide to go with savoury waffles, the basic recipe remains the same, but for savoury waffles, you just omit the sugar.
I’ve come up with some ideas for both sweet and savoury waffles that will have you dusting off your waffle maker to try them out. Whether you go with sweet or savoury they are equally deicious. The choice is yours. You are limited only by your imagination.
Here are some of my suggestions to get you started.
How to make Sweet Waffles
If you are adding ingredients to the waffle mixture, try to keep the consistency to be that of the original batter. For example, if you add a cup of apple puree this may make the batter too runny, so you should compensate by using less milk.
If the waffle batter is too runny, it will overflow your waffle maker and make a terrible mess!
- Mix 1 cut of well-mashed ripe banana into the basic mix. Top with ice cream and maple syrup.
- Add 1 cup of apple puree or mashed tinned apples to the basic mixture and sprinkle the warm waffles with a little cinnamon sugar. Make cinnamon sugar by mixing 200g white sugar with 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon spice. Store in an air-tight jar and it will keep indefinitely.
- Boil fresh seasonal berries in a little sugar to make a jam and spread on the cooked waffles
- Drizzle with honey or chocolate fudge sauce
- And of course, let’s not forget the obligatory ice cream and maple syrup.
How to make Savoury Waffles
If you are making savoury waffles don’t forget to omit the sugar from the basic recipe.
Serve alongside a helping of peri peri chicken livers to help mop up the juices.
Top with a fried egg and a rasher of bacon and plenty of black pepper.
Mix 100g grated cheese into the basic mixture and serve with a slice of ham or chicken and bacon skewers
Add 1 cup of grated potato and 1/2 cup grated onion to the basic mixture for quick and easy hash-browns.
For instant Chinese spring onion pancakes, add 1 cup finely chopped green spring onions (scallions) to the basic batter. Serve with a soy dipping sauce.
Add 1/2 cup chopped ham and 1/2 cup whole kernel sweetcorn to the basic mixture to make quick ham and corn fritters
How to make the perfect waffles
Here is my ultimate guide on how to make the perfect waffles.
Whenever I read a recipe I like to have a look at the ingredients to see whether I have everything I need. To make it easy for you – I’ve listed the ingredients below. You can get the full list of ingredients and quantities in the printable recipe card further down in the post.
- Plain (all purpose) flour – you can use self-raising flour but then you should omit the baking powder
- Baking powder – provides the rise
- Salt – optional
- Sugar (for sweet waffles only)
- Milk – full fat or semi-skimmed is fine
- Melted butter – this helps the waffles to become crispy
- Additional ingredients of your choice (if using)
Steps to make the perfect Waffle
Combine the dry ingredients
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Whisk briefly to combine.
Whisk in the wet ingredients
- Add the milk and eggs to the flour.
- Whisk lightly to remove any lumps – don’t overmix or you will cause too much gluten to develop which will make the waffles tough.
Tip – For a lighter waffle you can separate the eggs and mix the yolks and the milk into the flour. Then beat the whites to stiff peaks and fold into the batter.
Add melted butter
- Heat the butter in the microwave (or a small saucepan) until just melted.
- Allow to cool slightly then pour into the mixture.
- Mix lightly to combine.
Add any additional ingredients (if required)
This is the step that you would add the additional ingredients, ie bananas, for sweet waffles, or potato and onion for hash browns.
Cook the waffles
Pour a small amount of batter onto a waffle maker.
- The waffle maker should be hot and you should hear a sizzle when you add the batter. Take care not to add too much batter. The batter expands on heating and it will overflow down the side of the waffle maker if you add too much batter.
- My waffle maker does not stick so I do not use any oil. You may want to spray yours with a little cooking spray to prevent the waffles from sticking.
Allow the waffles to cook
- Close the waffle maker and allow the waffle to cook through.
- Try to resist the temptation to open the waffle maker too soon. The batter will stick to the top and bottom plates if you open it too quickly, and tear the waffle in half. Leave it for at least 90 seconds and then open very slowly. The waffle will be done when the waffle maker opens without sticking.
- It the waffle is not crispy enough, leave it in the waffle maker for a few seconds longer.
Cool on a wire rack
- Remove the cooked waffle and place it on a cake rack to cool.
- Don’t stack hot waffles one on top of the other or the steam will cause them to soften.
- If you are making for a crowd, keep them warm, in a single layer, on an oven rack at a low temperature in the oven.
Tips for the perfect waffle
Here are couple of things to bear in mind when making waffles:
- Don’t let the batter become too thin or it will just overflow out of the waffle maker and make a huge mess.
- Don’t over-fill the waffle maker. The batter expands as it cooks and if you over-fill, the batter will just run out of the sides.
- Try to use a waffle maker with a temperature control. If you don’t have a temperature control the waffle maker will get too hot and the waffles may burn
- Don’t overmix the batter. A few small lumps are fine. Overmixing will cause excessive gluten formation, which will result in tough chewy waffles, as opposed to light crispy ones.
- Don’t stack hot waffles one on top of the other – this will result in them losing their crispness.
Waffles are best eaten fresh, but you can freeze them in a Ziploc bag in your freezer.
To use, let them defrost in the fridge. Then place in a single layer on a tray in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.
This will crisp them up, although they won’t be quite as crispy as freshly-made waffles.
Yes, if you want to make a double batch just double up all the ingredients
Pancakes and waffles both contain eggs, milk and flour, but waffles also contain sugar and fat (melted butter) which helps in forming the crisp exterior.
Pancakes are cooked on one side and then flipped to cook the other side, whereas waffles are cooked on both sides at once.
The texture of a pancake is different to a waffle in that a pancake is soft and floppy, whereas a waffle is crispy.
A pancake batter is normally thinner than a waffle batter.
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Watch how to make Waffles
Recipe – Homemade Waffles
- 250 g (2 cups) Plain Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder (level)
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 75 g (3 Tablespoons) Sugar
- 2 cups (1 pint) Milk
- 2 large Eggs
- 125 g Butter (melted)
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar) together in a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave and allow to cool.
- Pour 2 cups of milk into the flour mixture, add the eggs and whisk until there are no lumps.
- Add the melted butter to the milk and flour and whisk together to combine.
- Put a small amount of mixture into a pre-heated waffle maker and allow to cook until golden brown.
- Remove from waffle maker and place on a cake rack to cool.
- Makes 10 waffles
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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