Waffles are a fantastic way to start the day, and they're easier to make than you might think. This two-step recipe for whole wheat waffles is quick enough for a weekday breakfast and tasty enough for weekend brunch.
Why make waffles with whole wheat flour?
Whole wheat flour has a nutty flavor like the flavor of oatmeal, while all-purpose flour — more commonly used in waffle recipes — has a relatively neutral flavor.
This nuttiness makes the waffles taste a bit heartier than other types of waffles, even though they're still light in texture. I like the extra flavor, as it gives the waffles some unexpected complexity — and the nuttiness goes very well with maple syrup.
Making whole grain waffle batter
The batter for these waffles is very simple to make: mix the wet ingredients together, then the dry ingredients together and combine everything in one bowl. I like to use buttermilk as my primary liquid, as it gives the waffles a lovely flavor, highlighting the butter and contrasting well with the relatively sweet whole wheat and vanilla.
This batter is thinner than pancake batter, with a high ratio of liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. This, along with a generous dose of baking powder and baking soda, ensures that the finished waffles have a fluffy and light interior. You'll probably be able to smell the nutty aroma of the whole wheat flour even before the batter is cooked!
How to cook whole wheat waffles
These waffles can be made in a Belgian-style waffle iron or a traditional waffle iron. Belgian-style irons produce waffles with deeper cavities, while traditional waffle irons make flatter waffles.
Both styles are equally delicious, but I find that Belgian waffles use a little bit more batter, so this recipe would give you three large waffles. With a traditional iron, you should get four waffles.
Whole wheat waffles also take a bit longer to cook than other waffles. My usual waffle recipe takes about 3 minutes in my Belgian-style iron, while this recipe takes 4 minutes. The exact cooking time will vary from iron to iron, so read your manual and keep in mind that you might want to give it an extra minute of cooking time to ensure a crisp exterior.
How to serve your whole wheat waffles
The waffles should be served as soon as they come off the waffle iron when they are still piping hot. If you can't get them directly onto the plate, place them on a cooling rack for a few minutes so they don't get soggy.
If you're planning to double (or triple) this recipe to serve a big group, preheat your oven to 300 F and place the waffles on the oven rack to keep them warm while you finish cooking the whole batch of batter.
My favorite way to enjoy waffles is with butter, maple syrup and some fresh berries, just as I've pictured here. I use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or any other berry that might be available. But while it is a classic combination, it's not the only way to enjoy these waffles. Other options include:
- Dusting the waffles with powdered sugar
- Spreading peanut butter on the waffles and topping them with chocolate chips
- Warming up fruit preserves and spooning them over the waffles
- Spooning yogurt or whipped cream onto the waffles, then finishing with berries
Whole wheat waffles recipe
Makes 3 Belgian-style waffles; 4 traditional waffles
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1¾ cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together egg, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until batter is uniform.
Preheat waffle iron and grease with nonstick spray. Fill waffle iron with ¾ to 1 cup batter (depending on size of iron).
Cook waffles for 3-4 minutes, according to manufacturer's directions, until deep golden and crisp. Serve immediately.