Waffles Recipes

4 Levels of Waffles: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious

We challenged chefs of three different levels – an amateur, a home cook and a professional chef – to make their versions of waffles. And then we brought in a food scientist to review their work. Which waffles were the best?

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4 Levels of Waffles: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious

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Video Transcription

I’m Bianca and I’m a level one chef I’m
Lorenzo and I’m a level two chef I’m
Tracy and I’m a level three chef I would
watch my grandmother cook and that’s how
this recipe came to be I’m no Julia
Child but it is edible it’s a recipe
that I kind of messed up for years I
stuck with it
I’ve been making this beast raised dough
recipe or a very long time it’s gonna be
super fluffy and light on the inside and
caramelized and crunchy on the outside
so first we’ll make our batter and we’ll
start with the dry ingredients my family
they generally cook with feeling which
means they tend to stay away from
recipes this is my Belgian waffle batter
mix I’m actually gonna start with
all-purpose flour sugar baking powder
and just a dash of salt to give it a bit
of a kick we are making a Belgian style
Liege waffle that’s gonna be risen with
active dry yeast instead of baking
powder and then we’re gonna add our dark
brown sugar I’d love to make donuts and
this is basically a doughnut but in
waffle form I’m gonna get the wet
ingredients egg helps the batter get oh
salts breaks down the proteins in your
eggs and it’s gonna make for a fluffier
waffle all right you’re whisked we’re
gonna add our two eggs vanilla whole No
and I’m gonna use a fresh vanilla bean I
like using these whenever I have the
chance you’re gonna get way more vanilla
flavor and I also like that the vanilla
beans kind of speckled throughout the
waffles just to kind of brighten up your
dough I’m gonna use yogurt and this is
vanilla but you could be strawberry
raspberry blueberry put it in one of the
biggest things that I was just messing
up it was always sticking to the waffle
maker it’s because I wasn’t putting
enough butter the butter has solidified
half a cup of melted butter we’re gonna
add our room-temperature butter that’s
been chopped into small pieces
this is muy importante
back in action blend all the ingredients
so it can be creamy and thick and that
kind of do a little Bob makes me feel
more like an adult I don’t think you can
do too much whisking to make it just
right you know I don’t want to really
over work the batter if you over mix
your dough it’s actually become too
difficult to work with and it’s gonna
have to firm of our gluten strands so
now that our dough has come together
we’re gonna take it and put it in a new
bowl and never I let it rest in the
fridge overnight now we’re ready to cook
our waffles with a classic waffle maker
yet two-thirds cup put it directly in
the center what’s already sizzling I
love a good sexy waffle so this is their
dough that I sat overnight we want to
start by kneading our full sugar in I’m
gonna portion this into reales that way
every waffle is about the same size
maybe just give it a little press down
you actually should not have to add any
Pam or spray to it because there’s so
much butter in the dough
voila I usually cook the waffles maybe
three to five minutes
oh it’s spilling it’s definitely
supposed to spill out of the size like
that I can actually smell the vanilla in
it right now it’s fantastic we want to
make sure the waffle maker is hot enough
that our pearl sugar actually caramelize
it okay is I’m actually sweating this is
like because these are a dough not a
batter you can actually check these
before they get too dark wasn’t ready
yet so don’t be afraid of opening it
before it’s ready my grandmother would
be so embarrassed I’m sorry you want to
make sure that it has deep enough
pockets this one’s about one and a
quarter inch which is what you’re
looking for
it goes up that’s it oh thank you for
doing your job I need a little bit more
batter I just like complete little
crevices hey wait wait wait a minute now
that’s not bad
this is looking great we have nice
crispy edges a soft pillowy inside and
we have our pull sugar all the way
around our waffle and there you go
nice and golden hooray I’m so proud of
myself okay it reminds me of funnel
cakes at the fair and now we’re ready to
move on to our toppings my favorite part
I’m actually gonna make a sauce to
complement our delicious waffle it’s
easy-peasy actually cuz it’s a 1 2 3 4
kind of combo 1 cup of
group two tablespoons of water three
teaspoons of sugar then four hefty
squeezes of lemon juice
so for toppings I like to have my syrup
and strawberries it’s one of my favorite
fruits a couple of them have burst open
already we’re just gonna let this go for
a little bit so I’ve decided to here my
Belgian waffles with a homemade toffee
sauce which is basically like a darker
richer caramel so we’re gonna start with
these dark brown sugar then we’re gonna
add some heavy cream some butter and
some salts hello
blueberry compote so after about 10
minutes your sauce should have Akins
turn the heat off and you want to
actually add your vanilla extract here’s
our fresh copy sauce so have our waffles
and then well I guess we can just pick
these strawberries up huh so I just
happen to have them milk chocolate
that’s like chocolate snow it’s
beautiful so we have our toffee sauce
and then our homemade speculoos spread
or as we know in the United States
cookie butter so we’re taking our
homemade speculoos cookies and we made
some cookie crumbs a little rinse tear
water and then we’re gonna add some
cinnamon make sure this is nice and
dissolved let this cool down to room
temperature and then we’re gonna add
some refined coconut oil and then I’m
gonna use an immersion blender to make
sure it becomes a nice smooth spread
you’re gonna just put it in the fridge
and let it sit overnight this is as
pretty as it’s gonna get I guess we’re
gonna have some freshly whipped cream
add some nice confectioner sugar I want
to be able to put my whipped cream
directly on top of the waffle and for it
to actually hold a shape this is what we
call firm peaks you don’t want to keep
going from here because you’ll end up
with butter and then we add our maple
syrup products yeah nice and even
piping throughout all those little holes
this is the toffee sauce we made earlier
drizzle all around our waffle this is
good old Cool Whip pop that right there
plop plop plop and apply we’ve got a
handful of this delicious shaved
chocolate all the way around finish our
waffle loop sound effects at all so
excited to taste this
this is my Belgium waffle
dee-licious oh and here we have our
Belgian leash waffle
time to dig in hmm doesn’t have bad
that’s really good I didn’t do anything
special just follow the recipe didn’t I
I’m super happy without this waffle came
out the toffee sauce gives it a little
bit of a maple leaf flavor you get
crunch from the pearl sugar and the
whipped cream just bounces all together
wouldn’t serve it to my grandmother but
not have bad I’ll give myself a little
pat on the back we saw three different
chefs make three different waffles
Bianca and Lorenzo made quick bread
style waffles and Tracy made a yeast
leaven waffle Bianca and Lorenzo’s quick
bread style waffles used baking powder
which is a chemical leavener that leaven
the batter instantly baking powder
produces carbon dioxide gas as soon as
it’s combined with liquid the carbon
dioxide will aerate the batter and make
the waffles fluffy this is gonna make
you have a beautiful fluffy waffle Tracy
made a yeasted waffle dough by leavening
the waffle mixture with yeast instead of
baking powder as the yeast metabolizes
the sugar in the dough carbon dioxide
gas is produced and the dough Rises
slowly Tracy a Labrador rise overnight
developing a rich and multi flavor when
making their waffle batters Bianca and
Lorenzo both used the muffin method so
what and dry ingredients are mixed
separately the wet ingredients are then
added to the dry ingredients and stir it
until just combined how does that make a
mess Tracy made a dough rather than a
batter she combined the wet ingredients
and sugar and then added the dry
ingredients to the wet ingredients to
form a dough she enriched the dough by
slowly adding cubes of butter Bianca and
Lorenzo chose all-purpose flour
all-purpose flour has a moderate amount
of gluten which is the protein found in
wheat flour lower protein flours will
yield a tender crumb tracy used a
combination of all-purpose and high
gluten flour more gluten creates tunnels
throughout the matrix of the waffle
mixture similar to the structure of
bread I recommend doing this on a low
speed so you don’t get a big flower
shower when you turn your machine on the
gluten produces a strong dough in a
chewy year
from the addition of fat like the butter
Traci used will shorten the crumb giving
it a softer texture waffles contain more
fat and eggs than pancakes which
contributes to their tenderness and
improves the integrity of their shape
when subjected to the heat of a waffle
iron all of our chefs preheated their
waffle irons a moderate heat will ensure
an even rate of cooking on the inside as
well as the outside of the waffles
yielding a soft interior and crisp
exterior like Lorenzo and Tracy’s
Bianca used an american-style square
waffle maker in Lorenzo and Tracy used a
Belgian waffle maker the square waffle
maker has shallow pockets and produces a
thinner waffle than the Belgian waffle
maker the Belgian waffle maker has deep
pockets and produces a thicker and
fluffier waffle this is my least
favorite stuff Bianca overfilled her
waffle iron
Lorenzo under-filled his and Tracy added
just enough dough I told you it was
level one tried to told you the waffle
molds should be partially filled before
they are closed to avoid spillage the
pressure from the top waffle plate will
spread the batter throughout the mold
creating an even shape though I don’t
want it to come out a weird shape when
it comes to cooking waffles the more
moisture in the batter the shorter the
cook time
Bianca’s waffle batter has the highest
amount of moisture and will require the
least amount of cook time Lorenzo’s
waffle batter is moderately thick from
the addition of yogurt and has less
moisture and Tracy’s waffle dough has
the least amount of moisture and will
take the longest to cook through
completely at home waffle makers take a
lot of guessing out of waffle cooking
but the suggested cook time is just an
approximation depending on the viscosity
of your batter your waffles might not be
crisp when the appliance indicates it’s
done another way to determine if your
waffle is done is to use steam as an
indicator during the cooking water in
the batter will heat and turn to steam
when the steam stops escaping from the
side of the waffle iron most of the
water has been evaporated and the waffle
is cooked through after all of the steam
escapes leave the waffle inside for a
few seconds longer to allow the outside
ridges of the waffle to crisp the sugar
present in the waffle mix will
caramelize and
helped produce the brown color on the
outside of the waffles Bianca and
Lorenza used a moderate amount of sugar
and will have a small amount of
caramelization on the outside of their
waffles they’re gonna ask from what I’m
telling you right now tracy added pearl
sugar into her waffle batter before
cooking this will increase the amount of
caramelization and produce a
golden-brown final product
our chefs each used unique sauces to top
their waffles
Bianca used maple syrup Lorenzo crafted
a blueberry compote and paired it with
whipped topping maple syrup and
chocolate shavings and Tracy made
speculoos spread whipped cream and
toffee sauce for her waffles Bianca and
Lorenzo’s lightly sweetened waffles pair
well with the sweet sauces they chose Oh
one time for Bianca as my friend says
it’s still gonna get it the strong dough
that Tracy used produced a sturdy waffle
which compared the weight of sauces and
Tracy’s waffle is considerably sweeter
so pairing the waffles with a very sweet
topping can make the final dish very
decadent the balance of textures and
warm spices and Tracy’s toppings will
help to balance the sweetness of the
dish when is it not a good time to have
waffles waffles are a fun dish to make
at home you can use some of these tips
to make a quick breakfast or an
indulgent dessert

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