A Hale and Hearty Waffle Recipe, Perfected
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A really good waffle recipe does double duty here in the American South as either syrup-n-waffles, or chicken-n-waffles!
Rolled oats and wheat germ provide both texture and stability to a pleasantly moist finished product in this waffle recipe, while the use of either buttermilk or 2% can be used interchangeably without affecting the batter consistency or the taste.
The secret to this recipe is to stir up your batter, then refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow it to firm up and to thicken up. This will allow for more even and managed ‘pour’ when you unfold onto the iron’s surface.
The absolute best part of this recipe? YOU CAN FREEZE THESE GUYS! Seriously, they reheat from freezer to toaster brilliantly and that makes creating multiple batches worth the effort.
The day before I prepare waffles, I gather a good amount of whatever fruits are in season and toss them into my slow cooker with some port or sweet red zinfandel. I allow the fruits to cook down for several hours, then I refrigerate over night. I re-heat gently in a non-stick pan before serving, adding vanilla or sugar or real maple syrup as needed for flavor.
Why did I do it? Why on earth spend so much time on an oatmeal waffle batter? Because it’s worth it. That, and I am missing many of those foods I grew up enjoying. Largely, they are not available here in the South or nobody’s heard of them. Unpretentious recipes go hand in hand with family traditions and today I am feeling nostalgic.
My aunt used to shake up a batter that she would use for her Norwegian waffles every Christmas. A Norwegian heart shaped waffle is a memorable and delicious familial food that I grew up with. Auntie’s Norwegian waffle recipe was a good bit different from what I enjoy devouring on my weekends nowadays. Hers was a fluffy waffle recipe but also a crispy waffle recipe.
She prepared them in a heart-shaped Norwegian waffle maker with just a hint of cardamom. They were served topped with Norwegian brown cheese or brunost. Brunost is regarded as one of Norway’s most iconic foodstuffs. It’s viewed as an important part of Norwegian cultural identity and heritage. My aunt never lost her love for the taste of brown cheese. Her waffles or vafler, were ALWAYS served with smooth curls of brunost or a scant amount of sour cream or lingonberry jam.
The recipe I am sharing today is not my aunt’s Norwegian waffle recipe, it is a seriously healthy and whole grain waffle made lite or elevated by the use of buttermilk. It develops a mildly crispy exterior while retaining that soft and fluffy interior. While these are not authentic Norwegian waffles, I was inspired to create an oat waffle that incorporated much of the flavor Norwegian waffle batter has by adding the cardamom.
A tale of two waffle irons…
A few years ago for Christmas, I became the proud owner of my first waffle iron. Well, two waffle irons to be more precise. Brilliant gifts from both my Grandmother and from my friend Patty. Gram asked what I wanted as my gift, and then balked when I suggested a waffle maker. I suspect she scowled because she was always of the opinion that I did not need or require one more kitchen-related tool.
Patty knew for years I’d been wanting one, so like the good friend that she is, afforded me this handy thingamajig knowing it’d instantly become my Saturday morning preoccupation. Proudly, I can attest that both little irons have received quite the workout, one at home and the other left at my parents for when I stay and cook there on weekends. Coming up with a batter that was as light as my aunt’s waffles, but that were also easy and be whole grain waffles to boot would prove tough.
What Are The Healthiest Kind Of Waffles?
HOMEMADE of course! You control what ingredients go in. And paramount to this waffle ingredient list is the addition of a robust quantity of rolled oats and wheat germ. They provide both texture and stability to a pleasantly moist finished product. Most recipes I find when I search call for buttermilk. Buttermilk delivers a great flavor profile, not to mention way less fat than whole milk. Here however, 2% milk (which I always have on hand) is easily exchanged. Use whichever your family likes best or that which you have on hand.
The secret to this recipe is to stir up your batter, then refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow it to firm up and to thicken up. This will allow for more even and managed ‘pour’ when you unfold onto the iron’s surface. The absolute best part of this recipe? YOU CAN FREEZE THESE GUYS! Seriously, they reheat from freezer to toaster brilliantly and that makes creating multiple batches worth the effort. These are fantastic Brunch waffles!
What Is The Best Waffle Recipe?
I have tried my absolute best to create the best waffle batter recipe in the world. Yes, a bit facetious but none the less, here it is, A Hale and Hearty Waffle, Perfected. And it’s pretty darn good if I must say so! It was hit or miss with finding good tasting and healthy versions of waffle recipes in the beginning. After testing and modifying and EATING copious batches of waffles (my Dad was the lucky sampler here in this punishing task), my go-to batter was born.
How Do You Make Waffles With Self-Rising Flour?
EASY – if you are looking for ways to use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder altogether and exchange the all purpose flour for an equal measure of self-rising. Continue with the method as instructed. Use the email address on my Contact page or below this recipe card to email me variations for toppings YOU ENJOY on waffles!
A Hale and Hearty Waffle Recipe, Perfected
- waffle iron
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour may use self-rising flour, *SEE NOTES
- ¾ cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 3 heaping tablespoons wheat germ
- 4 teaspoons baking powder *SEE NOTES if using self-rising flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk or 2% milk in equal measure
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- ¼ cup walnut or canola oil
optional waffle toppings
- real maple syrup
- salted honey
- stewed fruit
- fried chicken
- powdered sugar
- Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high.
- Whisk the flour with the oats, sugar, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. To the eggs, add the buttermilk, melted butter, and oil.
- Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, to make a batter. Take care not to overwork the batter, it's fine if there are a few lumps.
- Refrigerate the batter for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. The batter will thicken as it chills and you want this for even pouring. Do not skip this step.
- Remove chilled batter from the refrigerator. Using a 1/3 to 1/2 cup measure cup (it depends on the size of your waffle iron), pour the batter and cook until the outside of the waffle is crisp and inside is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. The time varies depending on the size and spread of YOUR waffle iron, so consult the appliance instruction booklet if necessary. Repeat with remaining batter.
- To serve, consider real maple syrup, salted honey, jam, stewed fruit, or fried chicken and powdered sugar.