The Waffle Adventures (Allergen-Free), Part 1

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First attempt:  not enough batter, but excellent flavor and crunch.

First attempt: not enough batter, but excellent flavor and crunch.

Our whole family loves waffles. My personal love affair with the waffle started with the cheese-filled waffle-on-a-stick at our school cafeteria in high school. When Aisa was little I bought us one of those waffle iron – grilled sandwich combo makers, the kind that pressed the edges of bread together, creating a seal so the sandwich filling stays in. That got old after a while, as cleaning that machine proved to be too tedious, and eventually you couldn’t get every bit of batter off, so it developed an icky sort of sticky coating that tended to attract dust and… we got rid of it. Back to Eggo waffles we went, until in 2004 several family members were diagnosed with wheat, dairy and egg allergies. We missed waffles terribly so every now and then we’d just throw caution to the wind and eat them anyway, especially on the occasional trip to the Original Pancake House. More recently Van’s waffles became available in area supermarkets, so we’d give in to the waffle craving every now and then. Van’s waffles are okay but they are about as satisfying as eating filling-less wafers. :/ Since part of my Lenten resolution is to recommit to recipe development for my allergy-sufferers, we’ve started on a new series of experiments, and hopefully this time we’ll “get it”. Here’s part 1.

Attempt 2:  too much batter (3/4 cup as recommended) but spilled through the sides as iron was turned and while waffle was baking.

Attempt 2: too much batter (3/4 cup as recommended) but spilled through the sides as iron was turned and while waffle was baking.

The Waffle Adventures

3/4 cup brown rice flour (I used freshly-milled organic short-grain brown rice)
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy protein shake mix (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk everything until smooth. Pour into preheated waffle iron and bake according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Excellent crunch, all spaces filled, but batter still too lacy and light, and burned too quickly.

Excellent crunch, all spaces filled, but batter still too lacy and light, and burned too quickly.

Note: I used soy protein shake mix because

a) I wanted to increase the protein content of the recipe, for better nutrition. I had my culinologist/chef daughter look over the ingredients. She didn’t find any questionable ones and told me they were mostly vitamins. I understand that many people are allergic to soy, so I’d recommend either whey protein powder if you’re not avoiding dairy, or rice protein powder (which I haven’t used but have been told that it’s interchangeable with other protein powders), or a tablespoon of some bean flour or starch such as garfava flour or quinoa or some other protein-rich source.
b) we had it and I wanted to use it up.

I also used a Belgian waffle maker because that’s our goal — not the square kinds — if you’re making a thinner waffle, this recipe may work for you as is.
I used the recommended setting of “4″ on the Belgian waffle maker, baking the first side until the machine beeped, and then let it bake another 2 minutes after turning. This produced varied results depending on the amount of batter. When we used the recommended 3/4 cup, the batter spilled out the sides as we turned the iron and while it was baking. Maybe 2/3 cup will work better. If protein is added so that the batter is thicker, a setting of 3 and a longer baking time may be just right.

the waffle, off the iron

the waffle, off the iron

As you can see, the experiment wasn’t quite as successful as we were hoping it would be, but we’re hopeful because of several things:

a) we’ve got the crunch right.
b) the batter may need a bit more heft/thickness, which I think is easily achievable with the addition of some quinoa or amaranth or teff or garfava flour as mentioned above. In tiny amounts they shouldn’t affect the flavor/texture too much.
c) the batter may need a bit more heft/thickness so it fills up the waffle iron easily, but doesn’t flow too quickly out of the waffle iron sides as you turn it. I think (b) would solve that problem as well.
d) we’ve got the flavor right.
e) the kids ate every single one of this “failed experiment” — so in this respect, it’s already a success.

back to not enough batter, but at least we've still got the crunch right, and this time color is perfect.

back to not enough batter, but at least we’ve still got the crunch right, and this time color is perfect.

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