Bacon!! Buttermilk Bacon Waffles
The basic waffle batter recipe comes from the talent of Andrea Greary at Cooks Illustrated. But, like always, I had to experiment with it, adding a couple of things. You know, like bits of brown sugar caramelized bacon
I've had readers comment, what is it with you and waffles (or pancakes?). It's comfort food for me, Mom making them for dinner, with farm fresh bacon on the side when the budget was really tight. As kids we loved it. Still do. But I can't abide the metallic taste of the frozen ones or the limp ones that result from many recipes.
These buttermilk waffles not only have BACON, but they are crisp, fluffy and light, but not insubstantial.
It's the most basic of science. The melted butter in the recipe is replaced with oil. Butter is 16% water which contributes moisture to the inside of the waffle, which on removal from the iron will start softening your crispy texture immediately. Additionally, with less moisture IN the waffle the outer surface will reach a higher temperature faster, giving the waffle crust more time to form. The result? Crispy golden brown outside, soft fluffy interior. You won't miss the butter taste but this simple trick will keep your waffles from turning soggy.
We've got the crisp outside handled, what about the inside? Most gourmet waffles use whipped egg whites to get that fluffy center, as the whipping adds millions of little air bubbles to the batter.
But whipping egg whites is a repetitious, monotonous task involving time and repeated motion. You've got better things to do, you know, like process that pile of .40 brass in the Dillon press.
As C.I. instructed, replace the whipping the eggs step with seltzer water (not sparkling water, it's not bubbly enough). Using the seltzer with powdered buttermilk powder inflates the batter the same as a chemical based leavener, without the metallic taste. The little bit of baking soda keeps the buttermilk/seltzer mixture from being too acidic to brown the waffles.
The recipe makes 8. Enough for you and yours and an extra, slightly cooled, one to fling off the deck like a Frisbee for Barkley. He doesn't understand science, but he does like a good waffle.