By Becky Krystal
There's a lot to be said for no-fuss, back-pocket recipes you can whip up any time. They can be especially helpful come morning when we're rubbing the sleep out of our eyes.
These Buttermilk Waffles are exactly that kind of dish. The recipe is one I've been making for well over a decade, adapted from one of the first cookbooks I owned, "The Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook," by Gayle Pirie and John Clark (a wedding present, of course).
The waffles are pantry-friendly and require only a few ingredients. The recipe is simple enough that after a few batches, you, like me, will have it memorised. In no time, you'll be churning out beautiful waffles before your caffeine has even kicked in. They're the ideal breakfast to bust out for special occasions or lazy weekends at home.
Feel free to double the recipe to feed a large family or ensure you have extras for subsequent days. Perhaps even better than your first waffle warm out of the iron is being able to pop another in the toaster to enjoy that same feeling again and again.
Buttermilk Waffles (Serves 5)
Buttermilk waffles are a morning treat, and these can be whipped up at a moment's notice on a special or ordinary day.
Your waffle yield may vary depending on your appliance. We tested the recipe in both round and square waffle irons.
Storage Notes: The finished waffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month and reheated in a toaster or toaster oven.
2¼ cups (280g) flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine salt
2 large eggs
2 cups (480ml) buttermilk
4 tbs (57g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (may substitute some or all neutral oil), plus more for optional topping
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Neutral oil, for brushing the waffle iron
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 93ºC. Have a large, rimmed baking sheet ready.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until combined. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and vanilla, if using, until combined. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until it forms a smooth, thick batter.
Brush a waffle iron with oil or spray with non-stick spray, and preheat it according to the manufacturer's directions. Ladle enough of the batter to cover three-fourths of the surface of the waffle iron – this will vary by model, but expect ½ to 3⁄4 cup of batter per waffle – close it, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the iron alerts you the waffle is done. If your iron does not have an alert, look for the waffle to be crisp and golden brown.
Repeat with the remaining batter, placing finished waffles on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm, if desired.
Serve with maple syrup, pats of butter or other toppings passed at the table.
VARIATION: To add extra lift and crispness to your waffles, separate the eggs and use only the yolks when you whisk in the buttermilk and butter.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on low, then medium-high speed to form soft peaks. After the flour and egg yolk mixtures have been combined, fold half of the beaten egg whites into the batter until barely blended, then fold in the remaining egg whites; use a gentle hand to keep the batter light.
Adapted from "The Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook," by Gayle Pirie and John Clark (Free Press, 2006).