One afternoon last week when I got home from work, Tom announced that he’d bought me a present and that I should wander around the house playing hot or cold to find it. After a relatively short game (we live in a little flat, you only have to say “warmer” about five times in order to direct someone to even the smallest nook and/or cranny) I was beside myself to discover a brand new waffle maker hidden away in his computer desk. Best random getting-home-from-work surprise ever.
Naturally, I insisted on making waffles almost immediately. I wanted to start by playing with rye flour because me and rye have kind of a thing going on at the moment. My current bread obsession is Fjord, a loaf you’ll find at any of the Real Patisserie bakeries around town. It’s a gorgeous, dark, seedy, dense loaf that packs more depth and flavour than I ever thought I’d want in a bread. Give it a try, if you live around here, slathered with Marmite. Unf. Anyway, sorry, that was a digression. Rye. I know that mostly rye is only added as half the flour of batters and doughs and such things, so all I’ve done here is use Epicurious’s excellent recipe for homemade waffles and sub half the plain flour for rye and add a dash of vanilla.
What results is a slightly darker and, in my opinion, more interesting waffle. Next time, I’m gonna try using all rye flour. What’s the worst that could happen? A lot, probably. But expect to hear more on that either way. I’ve paired the (part) rye waffles with banana because the present but inoffensive sweetness of that trusty edible boomerang is the perfect partner to the mild darkness of rye. Whipped cream is, I feel, essential. However, you can take or leave the drizzle of salted caramel that I felt necessary to add at the time. If it’s the weekend and it’s raining, I see no reason why you wouldn’t try and create artificial happiness and sunshine with sugar, but we all want different things from Sunday brunch.
A word on overfilling: it’s going to happen the first couple of times you’re playing with a new toy. The above pictures were taken on my first ever try, I’ve now tested this recipe once more and mastered the art of pouring in just enough batter to spread to the edges. Epicurious recommend using about 200ml of batter, but for my machine that was a smidge too much. You’re gonna have to find your own happy middle and make a little mess, roll with it.
For those hoping for a waffle maker recommendation: this is the one that’s currently available in ALDI for just under £20. I’m not going to rave about it just yet because I’ve been using it for all of five minutes, but I’d happily recommend it based on my experiences so far. Keep an eye out for future recipes where I’ll go into a bit more detail on the appliance after it’s a little more seasoned.
Makes 8 – 12 waffles*
modified slightly from Epicurious
*topping quantities are for four waffles, batter can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container
1 cup (120g) rye flour
1 cup (120g) plain flour
2 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups (420ml) milk – I use soya
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. In a measuring jug or separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined. Careful not to overmix, don’t worry if there are still a few little lumps.
- Pour about a third to a quarter of the mixture into your waffle maker (like I said, this really depends on which you’re using, get to know it!!) and cook according to individual instructions. Mine are to be left alone for between 4 and 6 minutes.
- Serve with sliced banana, squirty cream and lashings of salted caramel.