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Dorothy Dean presents: Crispy waffles that don’t require a reservation for breakfast

Put the waffles on the oven rack, and don’t stack them, to keep them warm and crisp while you cook more. (For The Spokesman-Review / Audrey Alfaro)
Put the waffles on the oven rack, and don’t stack them, to keep them warm and crisp while you cook more. (For The Spokesman-Review / Audrey Alfaro)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

On the rare occasion that we head out for breakfast, I already know what I’m ordering – as it’s the same thing I always order when the classic morning favorites are on the menu: waffles.

I don’t care what type, shape, or size – if they’re waffles, I want them in my mouth.

I love the lightly sweet, buttery taste, the golden crisp exterior and coveted airy inside – it’s that texture that has me swooning.

And it’s also that texture that has had me on the hunt for a waffle recipe just as good that I could replicate at home.

I searched high and low, from the limp and tasteless, to the dense and chewy. I tried yeasted batters. Overnight batters. All to no avail.

That is, until I stumbled across this one.

This recipe creates the ultimate waffle, and there’s two reasons why: cornstarch and whipped egg white.

Excess moisture prevents your waffles from crisping up; the cornstarch absorbs it. And the whipped egg white folded into the batter creates pockets of air that result in incredibly light waffles with a perfect crust.

Before making your batter, be sure to heat your waffle iron to high, and your oven to 200 degrees F. Pouring your batter onto a hot iron will help produce crisp, evenly browned waffles. And since you’ll be making them one at a time, laying them (don’t stack them, they’ll get soggy) directly on the rack in a heated oven will keep them warm and crisp until serving.

I serve mine simply with syrup. My husband slathers his with peanut butter and adds slices of bananas. Our daughter loves her go-to topping of whipped cream and sprinkles.

They can also be made savory, especially for that classic combo of chicken and waffles. Just omit the vanilla, double the salt and add in your favorite herbs and spices – a little cheese and bacon wouldn’t hurt either.

Crisp Waffles

Adapted from foodandwine.com

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup buttermilk

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup whole milk

1 large egg, separated

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Syrup, for serving

Preheat oven to 200 F.

Combine flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a measuring cup, blend the buttermilk, vegetable oil and milk. Beat in the egg yolk.

Add egg white to a medium bowl and beat to soft peaks. Add in the sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Beat in the vanilla.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended. Gently fold in the beaten egg white with a spatula until just incorporated.

Preheat your waffle iron and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into your preheated waffle iron, adjusting the amount to the size of it. (My 8-inch circular iron uses about 3/4 cup of batter.) Bake for 4-5 minutes, or until no longer steaming and waffle is golden and crisp. Transfer waffles to oven rack to keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with syrup.

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