Light and Crisp French Waffles Recipe

Every Sunday morning throughout my childhood, my father took my sister and me to the Jardin d’Acclimatation, a charming amusement park for children with structures to climb, goats to feed, carousels and bumper cars. It was quite the SuperDad thing to do: my sister and I had a blast of course, and I imagine my mother treasured those hours of weekend tranquillity.

Between an Enchanted River boat ride (I will forever remember the unique smell of stagnant water and weeping willows) and a game of Whac-a-Mole (we called it boum-tap), we were allowed a treat at one of the park’s snack outlets.

Whatever the age, everyone loves the idea of a freshly made waffle, and gets wide-eyed like a child when the golden squares materialize from the iron.

And this is where I developed my taste for the kind of light waffles one finds at fun fairs in France: crisp on the outside, creamy soft on the inside, steaming hot in the cold winter morning air. All kinds of toppings were proffered — whipped cream, chocolate sauce, chestnut cream — but we favored the generous sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar that left the tips of our noses white.

I haven’t bought a waffle like this in years, though I have sometimes been tempted by the smell wafting from the stands on Paris’ Grands Boulevards, or the one propped up against the carousel where I take my own son now. But as I researched recipe ideas to use my spiffy waffle maker, I found this good-sounding formula on a blog written by food stylist and writer Isabelle Guerre.

Mini Cookbook of French Tarts

Said recipe, along with the author’s helpful tips, has largely lived up to its promise. I’ve made it so many times since that I know it by heart, and it takes me barely ten minutes to whip up the batter. I enjoy making it when we have friends coming over in the afternoon: whatever the age, everyone loves a freshly made waffle, and gets wide-eyed like a child when the golden squares materialize from the iron.

(I’ll note that this kind of waffle batter is simply a thicker crêpe batter with leavening added, which means it can be cooked in the skillet to make pancake-ish crêpes if you have a child who, because he’s two and a half and opposition is his job, insists he wants a crêpe, not a waffle.)

Light and Crisp Waffles

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Light and Crisp Waffles Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Serves 6.

Light and Crisp Waffles Recipe

Ingredients

  • 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces, about 2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour (I use a French organic T65)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) unrefined blond cane sugar
  • 100 grams (7 tablespoons) melted butter, cooled (you can also use coconut oil, or a mix of the two)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. Make a well in center and add in the butter and eggs. Whisk to combine with part of the flour.
  3. Pour in the milk slowly and whisk continually to get a smooth batter (but a few lumps won't kill anyone). The batter will resemble pancake batter.
  4. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. (The batter will then keep for a day or two, but it gives best results after 1 hour.) Whisk again before using.
  5. Preheat the waffle iron (on mine, the ideal temp is 190°C or 375°F). Grease if necessary (mine is non-stick) and pour the batter in with a small ladle. Each waffle mold should be filled enough that the waffle will rise to the top, but not so much that the dough will overflow. It may take a couple of tries to get the amount just right for your waffle iron; make sure you remember what that is for subsequent batches.
  6. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the waffles are golden brown. To get a sense of how the cooking is going, watch the steam that escapes from the iron; it will lessen significantly when the waffles are almost ready. At that point, you can open the waffle iron carefully to check on the color of the waffles (if you open the waffle iron too early, you risk having your waffles split from the middle).
  7. Let stand for 2 minutes on a wire rack before serving with confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream, chestnut cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, etc.

Notes

  • Recipe adapted from Isabelle Guerre's.
  • If you have leftover batter and don't feel like lugging out the waffle iron, you can cook the batter in a skillet to make pancakes.

https://cnz.to/recipes/cookies-small-cakes/light-and-crisp-waffles-recipe/

Light and Crisp Waffles

  • One of my favorite meals!! Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  • Annabel Smyth

    Giggling at the thought of your 2 ½ year old… still, at least he can choose between a crepe and a gaufre! But I bet whichever you make is the wrong one!

  • Azar Attura

    Ah! reminds me of when Mom, Nonna Lucia or Dad would take us to the Bronx Zoo — Dad was the most fun person to go with, because Sis and I could get away with M*rder — almost. Afterwards we would repair to Chez Howard Johnson and usually have ice cream.
    Great recipe — Philly Firehouse waffles are excellent too — the “chef” uses corn meal.
    http://livewellnetwork.com/My-Family-Recipe-Rocks/episodes/Joey-Fatone-Visits-Philly-Firehouse-for-Tasty-Eats/9380875

    • Thanks for sharing that memory, and thanks for the cornbread waffle link, too, they sound so good!

  • NotJoking

    Now let’s get the British to love waffles. The only waffles they know are frozen potato waffles and pre-cooked packaged “Belgian” waffles. And trying to find a waffle iron here is an exercise in futility.

    • I had no idea the UK was a waffle-deprived zone. Something must be done! Should we write to the Queen maybe?

      • NotJoking

        Perhaps some clever French person knowledgeable about food could promote waffles in Britain. Hint! Hint!

  • Bakeawaywithme.com

    I have always loved waffles! Whenever my grandchildren come to visit, we spend the morning making and indulging in waffles!

    • Lucky grandkids! I imagine they count down the days to their visits. :)

  • Justement, avec fiston, nous avons savouré de super gauffres ce week-end, au choco, avec caramel fleur de sel fondu sur le tout. J’ai simplement peur d’acheter un gauffrier, Seigneur un autre bidule, et ne jamais en faire. Tu as “rentabilisé” avec le temps, et je parle plus espace de comptoir que sous, lol?

    • Ouhlala, les gaufres choco-caramel-fleur-de-sel, c’est de la décadence pure ! ;) Moi j’ai une tendance plutôt minimaliste pour les garnitures parce que j’aime vraiment le goût de la gaufre elle-même et j’ai trop peur de le recouvrir avec les “toppings”. D’ailleurs, je les mange volontiers nature, sans rien.

      En ce qui concerne mon gaufrier, j’en suis super contente parce que ce n’est pas QUE un gaufrier, c’est aussi un grill, une presse à sandwich et une plancha avec des plaques interchangeables. Tu peux trouver les infos ici.

      Du coup, je m’en sers plusieurs fois par semaine — pour faire des croque-monsieurs par exemple, ou cuire des filets de poisson délicats sans que ça finisse en charpie (la surface de grande taille quand l’appareil est complètement ouvert s’y prête vraiment bien).

      Je précise ici par transparence (voir aussi ce billet) que j’ai reçu l’appareil gratuitement de la marque, mais c’était le modèle que je m’apprêtais à me faire offrir pour mon anniversaire et sincèrement j’aurais été tout aussi ravie de mon investissement si je l’avais effectivement payé de ma poche (ou de celle de mes parents en l’occurrence ;).

      • Merci ! Effectivement, ça semble être tout un appareil… Ça va sembler dingue comme truc, mais je pense même que je l’ai dans les profondeurs du sous-sol quelque part (j’ai une relation amour-haine avec les accessoires), reçu de Cuisinart aussi pour en faire l’essai, mais pas l’option Gaufres incluse par contre. Je devrais le sortir de sa boîte, lol.

  • Clinton

    Waffles are my hands down favourite breakfast food. However, I have never had a waffle with a better texture than my home made sourdough waffles. Adding egg and baking soda to your sourdough will make a divinely light and airy waffle which may spoil you for any other kind! Love the blog.

    • Thanks so much for the suggestion, Clinton! Do you have more precise measurements that you could share with us? I imagine it’s a great way to make use of excess sourdough, a bit like those sourdough crumpets.

      • Clinton

        Actually, I prefer to mix my starter up the night before to use it nice and active for the waffles. The older it is the more ‘sour’ the flavour of the waffles and some people (my wife) don’t enjoy the sour flavour.

        I prepare my starter the night before if I haven’t used it for a day or two by adding fresh flour and water in equal proportions. You can adjust the texture of the waffles by adjusting the hydration of your starter but maintaining the equal proportions of flour and water works very well and gives a light airy waffle.

        My family recipe is as follows:

        2 and 1/2 c of sourdough starter
        2 eggs
        1/4c of neutral oil (we use canola oil)
        1-2 tablespoons of sugar
        1/2 tsp salt

        Mix the above ingredients together very well in a bowl while the waffle iron is heating.

        Then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and fold it gently into the batter until mixed. Allow the batter to rise for a few minutes and then cook as per your waffle iron.

        I love these waffles with many different toppings – being Canadian however, my favorite is butter and maple syrup. Another delightful combination is with bananas, whipped cream, coconut syrup, sprinkled with macadamia nuts. The options truly are endless.

        I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

        • Thanks so much for sharing, Clinton!

          • Sylvia Z.

            Hi all,
            I thought I’d add my 5 cents’ worth, because I also swear by my sourdough waffles. Like Clinton’s recipe it also features an overnight sponge, but also has buttermilk (which I typically don’t have at hand and just make up by adding lemon juice or vinegar to milk) plus some baking soda.
            It never fails to produce the lightest and most divine waffles … and rave reviews which I graciously accept :)

            Here’s the recipe
            OVERNIGHT SPONGE:

            2 cups flour

            2 tablespoons sugar

            2 cups buttermilk

            1 cup sourdough starter unfed

            NEXT DAY – COMBINE:

            all of the overnight sponge

            2 large eggs

            1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter

            3/4 teaspoon salt

            1 teaspoon baking soda

          • Looks great, thank you Sylvia!

  • Sharon Mc Namara

    Hi Clotilde, I have been receiving your newsletter for a while and often say I must make that or save to bookmarks. I have not been moved enough to respond before now. Not a reflection on you, more my repertoire. You are amazing.

    As mentioned by someone else here, re waffles in England, they are also not popular in Ireland either. I bought a non stick waffle iron (seemed like a good idea) and have searched for nigh on four years for the perfect waffle recipe. I have found it. Sincerely, thank you.

  • Kristi

    Because we are only three, I halved the recipe: except for the sugar, oops! Never mind, we had them plain and they were delicious! :)

    • Great to hear! For another time, you could also make the whole batch and refrigerate the leftover batter, or cook the whole thing and freeze the extra waffles.

      • Kristi

        Good idea! I’ll definitely be making this again (I don’t often repeat recipes, even ones I like!) so I’ll be sure to make enough to freeze for another (lazier) day.

  • Haniya Ahmad

    Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. famous quotes

  • janinchina

    Dear Clotilde, THANK YOU for explaining why my waffles split in half- I open the iron too soon!

    It’s a non-electric iron which I put over a flame, and it always seems to take too long when I am hungrily waiting for a waffle. I’ll be trying your recipe next…hopefully with more patience than usual.

    By the way there are other things to do with a waffle iron, for example: a small grated potato or zucchini (water removed) mixed with a well-whipped egg white makes a very nice snack after being cooked in a waffle iron. For weight watchers the Zucchini is point-free and the potato is only 2ww.

    • Thank you for your feedback! I am a fairly impatient person and this is true in the kitchen also, but some things just take a bit of time. :) I love waffled hashbrowns also! Will try the zucchini and egg version.

  • Jai Want

    Hey , this is wonderful website with the information and great contents….Thanking you for this nice article.
    https://goo.gl/MB38qw

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