Why This Recipe Works: We wanted a gluten-free whole-grain waffle recipe that produced crisp-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside waffles. We liked the idea of a classic buttermilk waffle, but unfortunately buttermilk tasted harsh in combination with our hearty whole-grain blend.
We swapped out the buttermilk for low-fat milk, preferring the leaner, thinner batter along with the milder flavor. However, removing the buttermilk, the acidic component of this recipe, altered the effectiveness of the baking soda, which is acid-activated. This led to doughy, dense waffles. After numerous tests of combinations of baking powder and baking soda, we found that we liked baking powder alone the best. It gave the waffles a lighter structure and a fluffy rise.
But we still noticed a slightly gritty texture. Letting the batter sit at room temperature for 30 minutes allowed the starch granules to hydrate and soften before hitting the waffle iron. Although this step made for a less gritty waffle, the starches absorbed much of the moisture, so we increased the amount of milk to allow the starches to fully hydrate without turning our batter to cement.
Our last challenge was to create a crisp exterior. Even straight out of the waffle iron, our waffles were soft. It turns out the interior moisture was making its way to the surface, causing our waffles to feel doughy from edge to edge. Since butter contains some water, and since fat repels moisture, we traded the butter for pure fat in the form of vegetable oil.
Waffles made with oil were significantly crispier than those made with butter, but we missed the rich, buttery flavor that complemented the whole-grain blend so well. So instead we swapped in vegetable oil for only half of the butter, and this resulted in waffles that had a crisp exterior encasing a light interior, plus rich flavor.
Gluten-Free Whole-Grain Waffles
MAKES FOUR 7-INCH BELGIAN WAFFLES; SERVES 4
We prefer the crisper texture provided by a Belgian waffle iron, but a classic waffle iron will also work, though it will make more waffles. Do not substitute skim or whole milk in this recipe.
12 ounces (2 2/3 cups) ATK Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups 1 or 2 percent low-fat milk, plus extra as needed
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place prepared sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Whisk flour blend, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk milk, eggs, melted butter, oil, and vanilla together until combined. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until well incorporated, batter has thickened, and no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Heat waffle iron and cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions, until each waffle is deep golden brown and has crisp, firm exterior (use about 1 cup batter for Belgian waffle iron and scant 3/4 cup for 7‑inch round iron). Serve or transfer to wire rack in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, whisking extra milk into batter as needed to loosen.
Variation: Dairy-Free Whole-Grain Waffles
We prefer the flavor and texture of these waffles made with almond milk but soy milk will also work; do not use rice milk. Substitute unsweetened almond milk for milk, and vegetable oil for melted butter.
G-F Testing Lab
Flour Substitution: Do not substitute other whole-grain blends for the ATK Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour Blend; they will not work in this recipe.
Baking Powder: Not all brands of baking powder are gluten-free; see page 25 for more information.
Resting Time: Do not shortchange the batter’s 30‑minute rest or else the waffles will be dense.
Cooking Time: These waffles may require a longer cooking time than usual.
Adding Fruit: For berry waffles, sprinkle 1 tablespoon berries (chopped if large) over surface of each waffle immediately after adding batter to waffle iron, and cook as directed.
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