Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pink Waffles

This recipe is in the “tastes better than it looks” category. I’m not much of a photographer under the best of circumstances, and my kitchen lighting definitely provides less-than-ideal circumstances.
Some years ago, my husband decided to do the environmentally sound thing and got rid of all our incandescent lightbulbs in favor of those small fluorescent bulbs. This switch has long displeased me on aesthetic grounds, but I fear it would bring nasty environmental karma if I pitched a fit and demanded my incandescents back.

Not that I’m not tempted. Fluorescent lighting apparently flatters food about as much as it flatters people, which is to say not at all. The “before” picture of my pink batter, taken in natural daylight, isn’t actually bad, see:
But the “after” photo of pink batter with air bubbles, which was taken after dark in my fluorescent kitchen lighting, looks vaguely ill. I hadn’t known food could look ill, but judge for yourself:The "finished waffle" photo's lack of appeal is compounded by the fact that I was halving a standard waffle recipe and didn’t want to make full-size waffles. I wanted to make two smallish waffles, and since my waffle maker is large and square, the batter didn’t nearly reach the edges.

This recipe is very loosely modified from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe, but I have changed it a lot. And I mean a lot: really, like half the ingredients are different. I’m being emphatic because Christopher Kimball simultaneously fascinates and terrifies me, and those America’s Test Kitchen people are serious about charging money for access to their repertoire of culinary tricks.

So, in sum: Chris Kimball, do not hunt me down! This recipe has added value. LOTS of added value, I assure you.

Without further ado, I give you pink waffles. Two things make these waffles special:
1. Yeast is the leavener
2. They include raspberries, which makes the batter pink

I started making yeasted waffles and pancakes a few months ago on a lark, and I am not going back to my chemical leavener friends any time soon. I vastly prefer the taste and texture that yeast provides. Most of the recipes on the internet tell you to make the dough and let it rise in a fridge, covered, overnight. In the morning, your pancake or waffle batter will be ready to go.

Alas, even on weekends, this remains effort than I’m willing to put into breakfast. Instead, I make breakfast food for dinner once in a while. I prepare the batter a couple of hours before I want to eat and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk. My waffle cravings are satisfied, and I don’t have to operate any sort of griddle while I’m groggy and cranky and badly in need of coffee.

That was probably further ado.

Pink (Raspberry) Yeasted Waffles

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons malted milk powder (if you like a strong malt flavor, and I do; if not, you can reduce this or even eliminate it, but I think waffles taste sad and plain without it)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg
¾ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup raspberries (thawed frozen, rinsed and blotted dry between paper towels)

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, malted milk powder, and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Microwave the milk and butter together until butter is just melted and milk is between warm and hot. Crack the egg into the milk/butter mix and stir until lightly beaten (which will cool the milk to 110-120 Fahrenheit temp needed for the flour mix), and stir in vanilla.

Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir thoroughly – you don’t have to worry about over-mixing like you would with a regular waffle batter. Fold in the raspberries.

Let batter rise covered either a) overnight in the fridge; or b) for 1 ½ hours at warm room temperature until doubled in size. Cook as per your manufacturer’s directions in a waffle iron and serve with maple syrup. Serves 2.

I swear they are delicious. Don’t let the crummy pictures bias you against them.

Printable recipe here.

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