my breakfast is predictable: toast, peanut butter, tea. specifically, whole grain toast, natural peanut butter and a cup of yorkshire gold with milk and a touch of agave syrup. i like this toast and tea ritual very much, but every now and then i need a change. cue breakfast baking.
the toast alternatives (waffles, pancakes and french toast) are lovely indeed – carby, doughy goodness anointed with sweet maple syrup. the trouble is that such a meal always leaves me feeling as if i’ve had dessert for breakfast. the less indulgent baked breakfast solution is to throw whole wheat flour at the situation. the rub is that whole wheat baking typically tastes of, well, whole wheat and little else. not terribly alluring. cue mark bittman.
i’ve been a fan of bittman for many years. my copy of ‘how to cook everything’ is literally falling apart due to overuse. one of his more recent books, ‘the food matters cookbook’, is full of body (and planet) friendlier recipes that don’t sacrifice flavour in the name of health. his ‘anadama waffles’ sounded perfect – made with whole wheat flour and cornmeal, sweetened with applesauce and lightly flavoured with molasses, while incorporating beaten egg whites for some airiness and requisite crispiness. the result, i’d say, was just right.
these waffles are, as described by bittman, substantial but fluffy. they have a subtle sweetness from the applesauce, and the molasses flavour provides just enough tang to counter the toothsome (and typically bland) whole wheat base. they are simple and lovely with butter and pure maple syrup, and, if any of you are like me and just can’t do breakfast without peanut butter, they stand up nicely to a spoonful of creamy peanutty goodness. i know – adding pb really makes these virtually identical to my everyday toast repast, but they’re just different enough to make me feel pleased with my effort to climb out of the predictable toast-rut for a day or two (and they give me an excuse to bake first thing in the morning). cue hearty, satisfying, non-toast breakfast!
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whole wheat waffles (from mark bittman, the food matters cookbook)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind – i used fine)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup applesause (i used sweetened because that’s what i had on hand)
2 tbsp molasses (i’d cut this back a bit next time)
•prepare your waffle iron and heat the oven to 200°f if you’ll be holding the waffles.
•beat the egg whites just until stiff peaks form. in a separate bowl, beat the yolks, milk, applesauce, molasses and 3 tbsp of vegetable oil until foamy, about 2 minutes. in another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, then stir them into the applesauce mixture until just combined. fold in the egg whites until the batter is evenly coloured and relatively smooth.
•spread batter thinly in waffle iron and bake until done. serve immediately or keep warm in the pre-heated oven. serves 4-6.
in case you didn’t know, waffles freeze really well and are mighty tasty if reheated carefully in the toaster. mmm.
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