As most people know, I like old things. Not too long ago, the wife’s mother passed down her old electric waffle iron that she got from her grandmother (the wife’s great-grandmother). It’s a Manning-Bowman model from 1941, which means it was manufactured just before all US industry shifted to the war effort following the attack on Pearl Harbor. We recently cleaned it and let it heat outside for about an hour to burn off all the old grease. This past weekend, we finally decided to try it out.
The wife used a variation of this Buttermilk Belgian Waffle recipe for the batter:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, lukewarm
- 2 large eggs
- Spray-can vegetable oil for waffle iron
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients in another bowl, and then gradually add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
A 2 ounce ladle pours the perfect amount of batter for each waffle. I like to set the oven to its lowest setting (170°) to keep the waffles warm until they’re all finished cooking. This recipe makes a total of ten waffles.
The well-seasoned cast iron didn’t smoke at all except for when we sprayed it with oil. As you can see, the old cast iron gave the waffles a perfectly golden and crisp crust while leaving the interior soft and moist.
This thing is older than my parents and still works perfectly. Oh, and I should mention that the waffle recipe was flawless. It made a dozen waffles and we’ll definitely use it again when we have guests in town. I don’t like sweets, so I didn’t make the glazed bananas.
UPDATE: We’ve made these several times since this blog post. Every time we eat them, I’m blown away at how good they taste, especially with homemade butter.
As a matter of fact, butter is usually the pretext for the waffles. When you make butter out of a pint of heavy cream, you end up with ½ cup of fresh buttermilk. Then I add 1½ cups store-bought buttermilk or regular milk cut with a little lemon juice to replicate the buttermilk. They come out perfect every time.
I use the leftover buttermilk to marinate chicken or catfish for breading and frying.