Monday, September 15, 2008

Food Blathering

I finally got my paws on CookWise, by Shirley Corriher, which I bought more as a reference book than for the recipes. I actually forgot it had recipes. Anyway, it explains how and why things happen in cooking. A great book in a similar vein is Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking, but without recipes.

Lo and behold, she has my favorite waffle recipe in there. I've seen similar waffle recipes in other books, but the best is Marion Cunningham's (from The Breakfast Book). The waffles are the lightest I've ever had. The outside is crisp and the inside is soft. You can substitute whole grain flours in part for the all purpose flour (AP), but it loses some crispness. The flavor is still excellent.

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or instant)
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm whole milk
1/4 pound butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups AP flour
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp baking soda

Sprinkle the yeast on warm water in a very large mixing bowl (you'll need it to be large so the batter can rise) and let bubble. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed (you don't have to wait for it to bubble). Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and flour and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature. If it's really hot where you are, refrigerate the batter.

In the morning, beat in the eggs and baking soda. Cook in your waffle iron. It's essential to serve this immediately, because it starts to lose perfection as it cools down.

I am not one to put maple syrup on my waffles (I'm strictly a salted butter on my pancakes and waffles kind of person...I want to taste waffle/pancake, not syrup), but warm maple syrup is a nice accompaniment. Fiona staunchly swears by fruit compote on hers.

Waffles are one thing I simply will not buy mix for. I have weakened to a few convenience foods since having kids (jarred tomato sauce, Annie's macaroni and cheese shells, even !egads! frozen pizza ...I'm sure there are more examples, but I am drawing a blank), but not waffle and pancake mix and not granola. (Pizza dough is so easy to make, so feel free to mock me. I do make pizza dough, but sometimes it's so nice to just take something out of the freezer.)

Granola is so easy. Both the girls love it (sometimes they even want it for lunch) and I can put all sorts of treasures in there. I like mine rich in nuts--and this is where I put my maple syrup. I use either that or honey for the sweetener. I love adding dried fruit (after baking) like cranberries, raisins, or blueberries, but I love the dried fruit from here the best, especially the strawberries and the raspberries. They need to be kept very dry, though, or they get chewy. I also love my granola heavy on coconut, preferably unsweetened. It's so easy to vary the flavors and it's so easy to make. I cannot imagine buying it.


Triana said...

Oh man, I so didn't know you didn't have this book! I love it! I totally dig all the science bits, but that's the geek in me.


Veloute said...

Yeah, I should have had this book ages ago! I was so stubborn about trying to find it used...

Ellen Aim said...