Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles + Berry Coulis

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My childhood is fraught with memories of waking up on weekend mornings to the unmistakable aroma of waffles wafting up to my bedroom. The smell was incredible, managing to permeate the entire house before wandering up to my room and lingering there long enough for me to rub the sleep from my tired eyes and coax me out of my deep slumber. Inevitably, there would be a delicious treat to be found in the kitchen, along with a motley assortment of other breakfast items. Life is good when you can wake up to a plate of freshly made waffles. My mum would make her waffles on a traditional four-square waffle iron which was perfect for the little mouths she had to feed when we were growing up.  I prefer a round Belgian rotary waffle iron which produces large, decadent waffles that bake up puffy and golden and beautiful. Whether you have a smaller traditional waffle iron or a large one such as mine, this recipe will always taste the same — buttery, gently sweetened and oh, so delicious!

I’ve used this round waffle iron for about 9 years now. My brother-in-law and sister gifted my first one to me years ago when they came to visit me from Michigan. They have a knack for giving the perfect gifts and, well, I suppose it didn’t hurt that I dropped the ‘hint’ that I wanted this by circling it on a store flyer and highlighting it in bright yellow marker with the words “I need this…now” 😉  The iron they gave me held me in good stead for about 6 years after which time the motor seemed to have burnt out, presumably after a marathon of waffle-making one morning for my husband’s huge (enormous, really) family right after our wedding where I made over 3 dozen waffles in one morning. I made the sad discovery a few weeks after that when my brother asked me to prepare buttermilk waffles and the iron would barely heat up to above body temperature, forcing me to use my batter to produce pancakes rather than the requested waffles. My handy husband attempted to take it apart and repair the motor, but, alas, it would have cost more time and money to repair it (with no guarantee of success) than to just purchase a new one. I snagged the one I’m using now on a trip to the Tangier Shopping Outlets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at a steal of a price at $40. I managed to cajole my sister into getting one and, after some resistance, she too picked one up and, I’m happy to report that she has used it most every weekend since, to make waffles for her lovely family. 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m gadget pusher of sorts. I will always try to cajole those around me to get themselves kitchen tools that not only lend efficiency to their kitchens, but also, enhance the experience of trying new foods in different mediums. Much like my plight to convert the masses to use pizza stones I am employing the same rational persuasion to encourage you all to go out and get yourselves this waffle maker. It retails for around $60-$80 and is worth every penny. I’ve managed to convert a few friends and some of my sisters and my mission continues!

When you do get yourself one, for the love of God and all things sacred, resist the urge to give into passivity and use a boxed waffle mix. These irons were meant to be produce fresh home-made waffles using ingredients that don’t have an indeterminable shelf-life and leave an unsavoury after-taste. Get out the eggs, the buttermilk, and the flour and try these. You won’t be disappointed! If your arm still needs twisting, let me add that the dry ingredients can be mixed the night before and set aside. All you have to do the next morning is whip up the rest of the ingredients. In fact, I often mix the dry ingredients and put them in resealable zipper bags marked “Dry Waffle Mix” leaving me to just mix the rest of the ingredients when I’m ready to satisfy my craving for these fluffy and delicious waffles!

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The greatest thing about these professional-grade waffle irons is the 180° rotary feature. Once the batter is poured onto the iron, you immediately swivel the iron on its head using the attached handle, allowing the batter to evenly coat both sides of the inside of the iron. The result is a perfectly round waffle with extra deep pockets. The rotary feature also ensures consistent baking and even browning.

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Flaky Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

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After those Chicken and Dumplings I made the other night, I’ve been caught up in the spirit of the American South  In fact, I’ve even been walking around the house tawkin’ in a suthern drawl. So, I was fixin’ to make something else from the deep south like fry up some okra or make a casserole or maybe sum’ sweet tea. I haven’t made biscuits in a month of Sundays so I figured I’d satisfy my hankerin’ for buttery, flaky biscuits. I may only be a bumpkin when it comes to Southern cuisine but, I reckon, after countless attempts over the past few years, I’ve got this recipe down pat.

If you haven’t mastered the art of making a perfectly flaky and fluffy biscuit, your attempts have likely yielded biscuits that are sitting on the fine divided line between a cracker and a scone. A good biscuit should have a significant crumb and be as tender as it is buttery. If you tend to produce biscuits that would get better use out of them as hockey pucks or doorstops, this recipe will go a long way in rectifying your past failed attempts.  I’ve found that the key to the flaky biscuit is the combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour. Most recipes call for AP flour which will produce a biscuit with a heavier, denser crumb. The cake flour, on the other hand, will produce a tighter and finer crumb. Both of these are desirable qualities in a biscuit, and together they produce a biscuit with the right amount of both.

If you have a grasp of the science of baking like I do, you’re steps ahead of the crowd. Producing a tender biscuit requires you to handle the dough as little as possible so as not to overstimulate the gluten. I find that grating the butter on a cheese grater, allows you to quickly combine the butter with the flour without over-handling it. Some recipes call for you to run the flour and butter in a food processor, but apparently some Southern people consider that a cardinal sin, opting instead to use two forks or two knives or a whatchamadoodle (i.e. a ‘pastry blender’ if you want to get complicated with the terminology;). Other recipes call for eggs, but for fear that I’ll have to say two Hail Mary’s to atone for my indiscretion of using eggs in biscuits, I always keep eggs out of the biscuit mix.

Biscuit-making requires you to roll up your sleeves and really get into the process so a rolling pin has no place in this process. The ingredients are few, but the technique is key in this recipe. The biscuits bake up beautifully and your entire home will begin to fill with the delicious aroma of freshly baked biscuits. When they come out of the oven they are hotter than a goat’s butt in a pepper patch, so if you want them to be extra delicious, that’s the time to slather them with some more butter. And, Oooh, Lord have mercy, these are awfully deeeeeeelicious!  Yes ma’am, they are granny-slappin’ good! And if you want biscuits that are gussied up, you can slice them and add homemade marmalade and you’re all set. I didn’t get a lick of work done after making these. I chose a good book, made a warm cup of tea to enjoy with my biscuit and curled up on the couch, as snug as a bug in a rug for the rest of the afternoon.

So, I figure my husband is tiring of my southern colloqualisms or “southern’isms”, and he’s afraid that I’ll want to go to a tractor pull or go four wheeling next, so I’ll quit while I’m ahead and veer away from Southern recipes after this one.

But go ahead and throw your hat in the ring – challenge yourself to forego the boxed Bisquick biscuits and try your hand at making the finest biscuits this side of the border. If I had my druthers, I’d be eating these all day long. Hope y’all enjoy these!

And don’t forget to scroll down to read my secrets to creating a perfectly flaky biscuit!

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