Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gluten-Free Cornmeal Waffles

We're hosting Easter brunch for the family next week and I was shopping around for a gluten-free waffle recipe that could rival Evan's Waffles. I wasn't that optimistic since his waffles are so fantastic, but I hit gold on the first try. These are light with a nice corn flavor and slight grit from the cornmeal.

The recipe is a slightly-tweaked version of this one from the Gluten-Free Gourmand, which is, in her turn, a tweaked version of the regular Joy of Cooking cornmeal waffle recipe. I used my go-to wheat flour substitute mixture adapted from Hey, that tastes good!, which is 2 c. brown rice flour, 2/3 c. potato starch, 1/3 c. tapioca. I immediately decreased the melted butter in the Gluten-Free Gourmand's recipe from 5 TBSP to 4. I mean, really, five would have been overkill. While my husband loves the sweetness in these waffles that comes from the 1/4 of sugar, I think I'd be even happier with 2-3 TBSP instead.

When pulling the first waffle off the iron, I was dubious. It had a sheen to it, almost like it was wet. I thought it would be limp and mushy. Not at all. I let it rest a moment on a cooling rack and then bit into it. There was a slight crunch and a delightfully airy texture along with that cornmeal grit. We have a winner! I'll be proud to serve these to family.

The waffles do soften when left at room temperature, but they're not bad this way, as evidenced by the fact that Evan and I have been picking at them for hours.

One note to the reader--too much time in the UK had me confused when I saw the call for corn flour. While in the UK, this term is interchangeable with cornstarch, I had to look it up to make sure that here in the US there is a big difference. Corn flour is more like masa harina and is key to enhancing the corn flavor in the waffles without making it like eating sand.

INGREDIENTS
1 c. gluten-free flour mixture (see above or use your own)
1/2 c. corn flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2-4 TBSP sugar
2 eggs, separated
Pinch of cream of tartar
2 c. milk
4 TBSP butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat your waffle iron according to instructions
  2. Mix dry ingredients (from flour mix through sugar) in a large bowl
  3. Put the 2 egg whites in a small bowl and add the pinch of cream of tartar
  4. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then set aside
  5. Mix the milk and egg yolks together (I did this in the large measuring cup I used for the milk)
  6. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well
  7. Stir in the melted butter
  8. Fold the egg whites into the batter, doing about 1/3 of the whites at a time before adding the next dollop. Fold until there are no large streaks of egg white
  9. Depending on the size of your waffle iron, put about 1/2 c. of batter on the hot iron
  10. Cook until most of the steam has dissipated. I put our waffle iron on the highest setting--you want the waffles to be a deep golden brown to maximize crispness
  11. Remove from iron and set on a cooling rack. If you need to keep them warm, put the rack in a 250 degree F oven
  12. Serve with syrup, jam or other toppings

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