Saturday Morning Waffles

For Christmas, Boyfriend got me a waffle iron. Waffles are one of my favorite foods, from fluffy, American-style waffles at diners, to toaster waffles, to sweet Liege waffles with their bursts of sugar. I had a waffle iron of my own once, which belonged to my father before, but it became too old and sticky and had to be discarded. So imagine my delight when I opened the mysteriously large box given to me on Christmas morning!

IMG_0166

Because we were out of town for the holidays, we did not get to experiment with the iron until this past week. First, I tried Alton Brown’s waffle recipe, as a kind of a baseline. They were perfectly delicious waffles, but I wanted something with a bit more structure and heartiness to it. So I tweaked it myself. I had already found that sprouted wheat flour offered a lighter texture to baked goods than plain whole wheat flour, and as long as I was making them whole wheat and sprouted, I decided I ought to replace refined sugar in the batter. Finally, I removed a bit of the milk called for in the recipe to make a thicker batter. I also used regular whole milk rather than buttermilk, as I hadn’t got any.

Sprouted Wheat Waffles

2 cups sprouted whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. fine-grain salt (use more if you use a coarse salt)

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

3 eggs, beaten

1 3/4 cups of whole milk

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and syrup, and then whisk in the melted butter slowly. Mix the whole thing gently into the dry ingredients, mixing just until it comes together. There may be lumps. Cook in a waffle iron, according to your particular iron’s idiosyncracies. I got 4 Belgian-sized waffles. Keep waffles warm in a 200 F oven until you are ready to eat. Serve warm with fruit and cream or butter and syrup. If you have leftovers, freeze them in a zip-top plastic bag with the air squeezed out, and layers of parchment between the waffles to prevent sticking together.

Everyday Scones

When I was little, my mother taught me about table manners by having tea parties. I never really understood the fake tea parties you see children characters on television having because when I had a tea party, I did not invite my stuffed animals and serve imaginary food. My mother set out real china and had finger sandwiches and scones.

Scones are one of my favorite baked goods, and something that I’ve perfected in my baking repetoire, although I generally bake rich, light cream scones.┬áThe other day, I woke up and I wanted scones with my breakfast tea, so I found a recipe for English scones, which tend to be less sweet and greasy than those things you find in American coffeeshops. And then I tweaked it just a little, using one cup of sprouted whole wheat flour and one cup of cake flour for the two cups of plain flour. They baked up tender, with enough structure to hold onto butter and jam at breakfast.

I folded in a handful of currants, leftover from Christmas cake baking, just before shaping and cutting them. It reminded me of the time I offered a friend a currant scone, to which he looked bewildered and answered, “Well, I wouldn’t want a past scone.” Some misunderstanding about “currant” versus “current,” it would seem. But these were both current scones and currant scones. I cut them into wedges, put two of them on a baking sheet, and tucked them into a hot oven.

IMG_0115

And then, I froze the rest of the batch. I laid them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment, put them in the freezer for about an hour, and then moved the now-solid wedges to a plastic zipper bag and froze them. So now, when I wake up in the morning, I can take a scone or two out of the freezer and put them on a baking sheet, preheat my oven, and have scones in about 15 minutes, just long enough to gather my wits, brew a cup of tea, and lay out the rest of my breakfast.

Half-Wheat Scones
(adapted from here)

1 cup cake flour
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into cubes
1 beaten egg
6-8 Tbsp. milk
handful of dried fruit, peel, or nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment. Stir together the flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Scatter the bits of butter over the dry mixture and work the butter in with your fingers until it resembles crumbly pebbles. Beat together the egg and 5 Tbsp. of milk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir together, adding more milk a dribble at a time if needed, until it comes together into a nice dough. Fold in the fruit or nuts or peel now it you like. Form into a circle and pat to 1/2″ thick. Cut into 8 wedges and bake for 8 or 9 minutes, until golden at the edges.