If you want your waffles to be super fluffy, they need to be full of air. But if you try to whip air into the batter directly, you'll overwork the glutens, and instead of being fluffy, your waffles will be tough as doormats.
Fortunately, there's a solution. And as we see so often in the culinary arts, the solution involves eggs. Specifically egg whites.
How it works is, you separate the eggs, then beat the egg whites until they're fluffy, as if you were making a meringue or souffle, and then gently fold the whites into the batter before spooning it onto your waffle iron.
Fresh egg whites are best for this, as opposed to pasteurized egg whites that you buy in a carton. The pasteurization process, which involves heating the egg whites at a low temperature, reduces the egg whites' ability to form stiff peaks. They'll still work, they just won't hold as much air, and they'll collapse sooner.
NOTE: You'll see that the flour measurement below is given in grams. Read more about why we do it that way. Also, when it comes to baking powder, make sure yours is fresh. If it's older than six months, your waffles won't be as fluffy as they should.
- 228 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 2 tsps. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 oz. (1/2 stick) whole butter
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat your waffle iron to its hottest setting. Placing a cookie-sheet under it can help catch any batter drippage during cooking.
- Preheat oven to 200 F. (This is to keep the finished waffles warm while you continue cooking the next ones.)
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- Separate the eggs. Save the whites in a glass mixing bowl and the yolks in another.
- Melt the butter over a low heat, then remove it and let it cool (but not solidify).
- Beat the yolks thoroughly. Whisk in the milk, oil and melted butter.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Then add the sugar and continue mixing until you get nice stiff peaks.
- Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Don't overmix!
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter—and again, be careful not to overmix.
- Spray both surfaces of your waffle iron with cooking spray.
- Ladle 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on your waffle iron) of batter onto the iron and close the lid. It's not unusual for a bit of batter to seep out of the edges of the iron. If there's excessive leakage, use less batter for the next waffle.
- Cook until the waffle iron's indicator light shows that cooking is complete, or until the steam has stopped coming out. The finished waffle should be golden brown and crispy.
- Lift the waffle out of the iron with a pair of tongs and either serve right away or transfer it to the oven to keep warm.