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Every now and again, my mom would open up her trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and make a batch of waffles for us. The sweet smell of the batter steaming away in the hot waffle iron would smell up the whole house. The recipe made enough for a crowd, so Mom froze whatever we didn’t eat, and we popped the frozen treats into the toaster on school-day mornings, thus enjoying homemade waffles whenever our hearts desired.

So this Sunday morning, I woke up and thought I’d revive the tradition and make a batch of waffles. This time, we tried a new recipe, one by Alton Brown. We made a few adjustments, but overall were very pleased with this recipe. I especially liked the addition of whole wheat flour, because it added a wonderful, nutty flavor to the batter. If pears were in season, I’d serve this with our favorite Warm Ginger-Pear Topping recipe and some homemade sweetened whipped cream. They would be really good with some finely chopped crystallized ginger mixed into the batter too!

If you’ve never worked with whole wheat flour before, measure it using a light hand. Whole wheat flour has a different protein level than all-purpose flour, so if you’re too heavy handed with it, you’ll end up with a heavy batter and heavy waffles. This is why some people have trouble making whole wheat breads—they measure using the scooping method you often see celebrity chefs using on tv. Most folks should avoid this method. Chefs on tv are going for quick, fast-paced entertainment. You’re going for something edible and hopefully tasty. Measure your flour the correct way, by lightly spooning–never scooping–the flour into the dry measuring cup using a spoon. Then, level the flour using the flat side of a butter knife. (This is why you shouldn’t measure your dry ingredients using liquid measuring cups; you can’t level them off, and can end up with twice as much  as you need by shaking the measuring cup back and forth until the dry ingredient settles, adding more, shaking, and doing this until it looks level.) I even go so far as to “fluff” my flour with a whisk before measuring it, just to ensure that all the lumps are removed and to “aerate” the flour before I measure it out. This can be avoided if you have a food scale, but it’s a great practice to follow if you don’t.

One last tip for whole wheat flour. Don’t despair over buying a whole bag for one recipe. Simply put the remaining flour in a Zip-lock bag, seal it, and freeze it. The flour will keep indefinitely in your freezer. Just pull it out whenever you need it! If you don’t, it could go rancid before you use it again. However, once you have it you’ll be more inclined to use it.

This recipe made nine (eight-inch) waffles for us. Of course, we followed my mom’s tradition and froze the ones we didn’t eat. Perfect for breakfast on the go!

Whole Wheat-Cinnamon Waffles
Makes: 9 (8-inch) waffles
Adapted from Alton Brown.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used Pillsbury)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups nonfat or low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Serve with: pure maple syrup, butter, sweetened whipped cream, fruit even!

Directions

1. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. I set my Cuisinart at setting 4.

2.Whisk together first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and melted butter; whisk in buttermilk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and whisk gently until blended. (Mixture will have some small lumps.) Let stand 5 minutes.

3. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray. Ladle a small amount of batter into the hot waffle iron. Cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron. I cooked mine for 4 minutes exactly on setting 4. Serve immediately.

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