This recipe is adapted from a super recipe by Pam Anderson, found in Fine Cooking. The original recipe calls for buttermilk, which we don't always keep on hand, so my recipe adapts to use milk + acid. Also, instead of vegetable oil, we sub an equal amount of melted butter. You can certainly use vegetable oil (and it would be easier to use vegetable oil) but I much prefer the taste of butter. The first time I made this substitution, I found that if you let the warm butter and cold milk mixture sit around while you whip the egg whites, the mixture seizes. If you switch the order of the steps in the original recipe, though, it works fine. Finally, I add weight conversions since that is my preference. P.S. We made these waffles while watching a Lord of the Rings marathon, hence the name. —halfasiangirl
4 or 5 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron
ounces all purpose flour (3/4 cup)
ounce cornstarch (1/4 cup)
milk (1% or whole both work, with whole making for a richer waffle)
buttermilk (or milk + acid substitution, see below)
unsalted butter OR 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
large egg, separated
In This Recipe
Heat the oven to 200F and heat the waffle iron. If using vegetable oil, skip to step 2. If using butter, place 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a microwave proof bowl. Melt and set aside to cool.
If using store-bought buttermilk, skip to step 3. To make a buttermilk substitute, combine 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar in a Pyrex measuring cup. Stir well and set aside.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking power and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl.
Separate the egg. Add the egg yolk to a second medium mixing bowl. Add the egg white to a metal mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Beat the egg white almost to soft peaks. [How to know if you have soft peaks? The egg whites will transform from clear to foamy to opaque. When the egg whites have just become opaque, start testing by dipping your whisk into the egg white and turning it upside down. Examine the peaks that form: are they soft and do they melt back into the egg white batter after a second? Those are probably soft peaks.] Once you get soft peaks, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until the peaks are stiff. [How to know if you have stiff peaks? Test by dipping in your whisk, turning it upside down, and verifying that those peaks are firm, fully opaque and glossy. Most importantly, they should hold straight up without collapsing.] Set aside.
Go back to that bowl you set aside, the one that contains an egg yolk. Add the buttermilk and 1/4 cup milk. If using vegetable oil, add 6 tablespoons vegetable oil. If using butter, add 6 tablespoons of the cooled, melted butter you set aside earlier. Stir to combine and immediately pour the contents of this bowl into the dry ingredients. Whisk until just mixed. Drop the whipped egg white onto the batter in dollops and fold in with a spatula until just incorporated.
Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron (mine takes about 3/4 cup) and cook until the waffle is crisp and nutty brown; follow the manufacturer's instructions for timing at first and then adjust to your liking (ours takes 6 minutes). Set the waffle directly on the oven rack to keep it warm and crisp. Repeat with the remaining batter, holding the waffles in the oven (don't stack them). When all the waffles are cooked, serve immediately.
P.S. If you have leftovers, they freeze well if you place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen through. Place in an airproof container or freezer bag. Reheat in a toaster oven.