Up until today, I had never seen a waffle, let alone made one. I have only seen them made (or consumed) on The Simpsons, so that probably doesn’t count for much in the way of culinary instruction.
My wife had acquired a waffle maker through eBay – it appeared pristine and unused, and I really wish that I had taken a photograph before I trashed it.
I started off making a batter of egg, water, gluten-free baking powder and a flour based on chick peas, rice, tapioca and potato (from Lola Workman’s Wheat Free World book). The waffle maker was duly oiled and fired up. Once up to temperature, I added batter, shut the machine, sat down and waited. After just over three minutes, I opened the machine and found batter completely adhered to both the upper and lower cooking surfaces.
Now waffle machines are self-heating; this means that cleaning the cooking surfaces cannot be achieved simply by dropping the whole thing into a sink of water for a few minutes – and neither are the cooking surfaces detachable. The instruction manual says quite glibly that a wipe with a damp cloth is all the cleaning that would ever be needed. Really? If only that were so. I will not go into the cleaning process that I had to apply, but would say that it took me an hour and 20 minutes.
Whilst I was doing that, I cooked up two lots of the batter in my pancake pan, and produced a very passable naan bread.
What went wrong? More reading and reasoning led me to think that, firstly, the batter was too thick and, secondly, I should have used more oil in the batter. I corrected what remained of the batter and tried again. It stuck again, but not quite so badly. What could be prised out and eaten was actually quit nice.
The waffle machine is now sitting awaiting another cleaning, hopefully not such a long one this time. No further experiments will be conducted until I have done considerably more research.
I concluded the cooking session by making myself some bread. Working with wheat flour can be absolute bliss after the efforts of cooking gluten-free. And I just can’t wait for that St Padraig’s Day Guinness tonight.
I have now received some advice from a professional – next attempt will be when I have cleaned the machine. Results will appear in a future post.