My favorite 'lazy' dinner is breakfast for dinner. Fling some sausages on a tray, mix up batter, and pour batter in the waffle maker. Making waffles from scratch isn't that much harder than from a mix, or at least as long as you don't have to separate eggs. (I don't enjoy separating eggs, let alone having to whip egg whites to peaks, so this isn't that kind of waffle recipe.) I love this recipe because it's a bit more savory than other waffles (do try these with pesto), yet still go great with the standard waffle toppers. And that subtle crunch from the cornmeal...😍
This recipe is an adaptation of the 'Bacon-Cornmeal Waffles' from the legendary 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking. You might wonder why these lack bacon. The answer is that I was looking through the waffle recipes and wanted one that didn't require buttermilk (which I didn't have at the time), and I thought the base of the bacon-cornmeal waffle sounded interesting enough even without bacon, which I also did not have on hand. I substituted melted butter for the bacon renderings, and I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose or cake flour because it's my favorite. There are few baked goods not improved by whole wheat pastry (biscuits and streusel-topped blueberry muffins being rare cases where I prefer white flour), and these waffles are definitely better with whole wheat pastry than all-purpose. As for the cornmeal, stone ground yellow cornmeal is best (the cornmeal shown in the photo is a Texas brand...Bob's Red Mill has a cornmeal with a similar grind), and if you can't get stone ground, regular yellow cornmeal is fine. White cornmeal is too bland for these waffles, so don't use it. As for the butter, since you're using it in place of bacon renderings, definitely use your nicest butter in these waffles.
Also, I've been trying to break the habit of packing flour (using the kitchen scale helps so much), but this recipe definitely needs the packed quantity of flour (the original recipe must have been thin soup consistency...it really needs more flour than a sifted cup). Trust the weight given for the flour.
(Yields ~8 waffles, fewer if your wafflemaker is larger)
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup milk (preferably whole milk)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 packed cup (or 158g) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup (or 160g) yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup (a.k.a. 4tbsp) melted butter
- Beat eggs in a mixing bowl with a whisk.
- Stir in milk. This is also a great time to plug in your wafflemaker so it'll be hot enough for the first waffle by the time you finish mixing the batter.
- Add sugar, baking powder, salt, and flour. Stir until dry ingredients are well integrated (bubbles are good).
- Stir in the cornmeal.
- Chop butter into smaller pieces to help it melt faster. Melt butter (microwave is fine, especially if your microwave has a 'melt' setting). Pour melted butter into mixture and stir.
- Pour batter onto wafflemaker to make waffles.
Enjoy your delightful stack of waffles! Hope you've got some good maple syrup! (And you can have bacon with these if you want...bacon is better outside the waffle if you ask me. 😉)
And if you've got leftovers, I recommend tearing the waffles in half (if your waffles have 'tear lines' like mine) and stacking them in a gallon freezer bag. Whole waffles stacked in a freezer bag tend to stick together in a way that makes them difficult to separate. For some reason, the half waffles are much easier to separate. Or at least this is the case with this wafflemaker...other waffle shapes might fare differently.
Thanksgiving leftover open-face 'wafflewich'
The reason I decided to post this recipe today is because the savoriness of these waffles makes them perfect to use with Thanksgiving leftovers. Take a waffle, spread it with butter (optional), smear pesto on the waffle (okay, not a Thanksgiving food, but I usually have a jar in the fridge), add slices of jellied cranberry sauce to fit the waffle, then top with shreds of turkey. Pesto and cranberry sauce is the combination you didn't know you needed in your life.