A few years ago I bought one of those old school, cast-iron stovetop waffle irons a with high ambition, thinking I could turn out the same light, fluffy but crispy waffles as my play cousin's mom did. Well, my first go at it failed miserably - not only was my waffle batter too dense, but I under-oiled the waffle iron. I refused to give up though, and over the years I've tried several different recipes and seasoned the life into my waffle iron.
This is hands down my favorite waffle recipe - not just because I think that cornmeal solves all problems and can create world peace, but because of the perfect balance between crispy and fluffy waffles and the fact that it holds up with grace to any topping you throw on. You can even freeze these babies for later. My kids love them with maple syrup, but the hubby and I topped them with a dynamite Strawberry and Apricot jam from Atwater's Big Kitchen and freshly whipped cream.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Up to another 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter or pure vegetable shortening, melted, on hand to oil your waffle iron
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal, finely ground
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole buttermilk
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
1. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, yogurt, whole milk, and butter. Pour this into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a wooden spoon or large sturdy spatula. Set aside.
3. Put the egg whites in a medium bowl and beat with a wire whisk (for an upper body workout) or with an electric hand mixer until they form stiff peaks. Fold this into the waffle batter carefully until combined. Do not over stir or beat or you will kill the fluffiness!
4. Brush your waffle iron butter or shortening and heat over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Pour in enough waffle batter to cover the bottom surface of the pan (about 1/2 cup) and cook according to your iron instructions until golden and crisp on both sides. Butter your iron between each batch.
5. Serve each waffle right as it comes of the iron, or keep warm in the oven (at 200F). You can also freeze extras, if you have any. Serve with pure maple syrup, with fruit preserves or compote, whipped cream, or with fried chicken and honey.