I grew up on high-quality waffles. My mother is an expert. She can make sourdough waffles for a crowd that just kill it. I don’t long for many things from wheat-eating days, really. Okay, except for sourdough bread, donuts, croissants and waffles.
Here is a picture of mom’s waffle iron. Because I have a fetish. It is the best. She’s had it since 1971. It makes four classic, crispy, small-square waffles. I hate Belgian waffle makers. Why are they everywhere?
Anyway, I have been working for a year or so on a gluten-free waffle batter that hits some familiar notes. It will never be my mom’s. I accept that. One rule I had was that it had to be easy to pull together early in the morning with loud kids running around, working on little sleep. No fancy flour combinations. And people who eat wheat had to like it. Here is my secret ingredient:
Plain sparkling water (any brand) gives the batter just the right amount of extra lift. The other key is having something acid, like apple cider vinegar, to react with the baking powder. It also gives nice flavor. Mom has been my toughest judge. She approves of this recipe.
This makes enough for brunch guests. About 20 individual waffles. It’s easy to cut it in half if you want fewer.
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sparkling water
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
A dash of nutmeg and/or cinnamon (optional)
Preheat your waffle iron.
Pour the milk into a measuring cup. Add the lemon or vinegar and stir. Set aside. It should begin to curdle.
Combine eggs, sparkling water, oil, and milk in a large bowl. Mix the spices, salt, sugar, baking powder and flour in a separate bowl and whisk in. Stir with a whisk until well combined. It will grow as the acid reacts with the baking powder. You might have to add a little more flour or milk to get it to the desired consistency for your waffle maker.
Public service announcement: DO NOT FORGET TO GREASE YOUR WAFFLE MAKER.
Pour the batter in (not too much) and cook until it stops steaming. The little light is supposed to go on again, but don’t trust it. Serve immediately with butter and syrup. Or, if you like them crispy, put directly onto the rack in a 175-degree oven for a few minutes until you’ve got enough made for everybody to have a plate.