Recipes: Then and Now

Recipes from the past updated for today


Post #7 Waffles

June 1, 2014

I am not big on a having a fancy breakfast in the morning, but is there anyone among us who doesn’t enjoy a ‘breakfast’ for dinner now and again? So, let’s do a morning meal that would be good for the occasional evening meal. Waffles are what I like. Add a strip or two of bacon or a couple of sausage links and you’ve got a grand meal. Waffles were not something my mom made when I was young. My guess is because she didn’t have a waffle iron. So, as an adult I have found them to be delightful.

One piece of trivia I read in an old Betty Crocker cook book states the pattern of indentations originated in the middle ages. A knight in chain mail sat on some oat cakes and it left the impressions. His wife liked the way butter stayed in place in the oat cakes and the tradition began. I guess it could be possible. What do you think? Send me an email!

Of the several old cookbooks I have consulted concerning waffles, the recipes all seem to be very similar. The one ingredient that was noticeably variable was the amount of shortening, butter or oil; anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 7 tablespoons per recipe. Sugar was listed as an ingredient in only one of them. The ratio of flour to liquid varied only somewhat. It seems the secret to a light waffle is the amount of stiffly beaten egg whites folded into the batter not the amount of liquid in the recipe.

I have left out the number of waffles each recipe makes because today’s waffle irons must be very small in comparison to the ones Grandma used. In my trials I always ended up with a lot more than the original recipe lists. I also wonder how Grandma got along without nonstick electric waffle irons. So after many batches, the following recipes came out the best. I had planned on including three recipes for waffles. The last recipe trial was not the best. It did not make waffles as good as the two recipes listed here. Try them both and you will see a distinct difference in the two recipes.

I have simplified and clarified the directions and they apply to either recipe. And both freeze well, too.

Waffles recipe #1

This one is very good. It comes from ‘All About Home Baking’ a 1933 General Foods Corporation cookbook. I liked the light and airy texture. If you brown them well they are very crisp. This is the recipe I will turn to again.

2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour

2 teaspoons Calumet Baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks, well beaten

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons melted butter

3 egg whites stiffly beaten

Lightly whisk the the flour with a balloon whisk. (You can sift it if you want to. That is the way things were done in times past and how the original recipes were prepared.) Measure the flour and add the baking powder and salt, and whisk again. Combine egg yolks and milk; add to flour, beating until smooth then stir in butter. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in hot waffle iron till the steam subsides and check to see how brown they are. If browned to your liking they should be ready. Serve with hot syrup.

Waffles recipe #2

This next one makes a much more dense waffle that holds the syrup well. It is a nicely satisfying waffle. It comes from ‘The American Woman’s Cookbook’ of the 40’s.

1 ½ cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

4 tablespoons melted shortening

2 eggs, separated

Lightly whisk the the flour with a balloon whisk. (You can sift it if you want to. That is the way things were done in times past and how the original recipes were prepared.) Measure the flour and add the baking powder and salt, and whisk again. Combine egg yolks and milk; add to flour, beating until smooth then stir in butter. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in hot waffle iron till the steam subsides and check to see how brown they are. If browned to your liking they should be ready. Serve with hot syrup.