Kathy blogs at stresscake and is responsible for the waffled aloo parantha, along with a lot of behind-the-scenes help and support for which I'm really grateful. When I asked for her favorite waffle recipe, this is what she sent along:
So there’s a story to these waffles. Of course there is. Several years ago, I went out to brunch with a friend at one of those places that have extensive menus of pages and pages of stuff. I generally hate this, as I do not have the sharpest decision making skills first thing in the morning. Through my sleep addled gaze, I saw “Bacon Waffle” in a special little box and was intrigued. Over the next 15 minutes, I came back to that page, over and over, until my friend lost patience and told me to order the damn thing. So I did and it was heavenly – buttery crisp batter with bacon bits sprinkled throughout. It was one of the “where have you been all my life” moments.
I went to work the next day and immediately told the chefs on duty, one of which happened to be Jared Van Camp. In fact, I could not shut up about the damn things. I told everyone who came to work that day and probably everyone within a 2 mile radius that whole week. I thought bacon waffles were the hands down greatest things ever and everyone had to know about it. It was like I was in a crazy bacon waffle cult and had to convert the plain waffle heathens. On my last day, Jared even made them special just for me. It was a touching send off.
Then I tried to make them at home and realized it wasn’t that easy. Through trial and error though, I’ve figured it out. I started with my favorite buttermilk waffle recipe from Marion Cunningham and tweaked it until I liked the results. My big moment came when I added some of the rendered bacon fat to the batter. Oh yes please. And a funny thing about the bacon. I’m all about artisanal fancy pants bacon but not in this case. I actually prefer the cheapo bacon here. Sprinkle the bacon on top of the batter in the waffle iron - it stays crisp and you can control the amount you want in each waffle. When stirred into the batter, the distribution per square is never right, the bits soften and then you have pork waffles. Not nearly as good.
Serves 3-4. In my waffle iron, which gives 4 thick square waffles per batch, I get about 2 ½ batches or 10 squares per recipe. It doubles very easily.
- ½ pound thick cut bacon, finely diced
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat
1. Cut the bacon into rather small dice – about 1/8” or about the size of bacon bits.
2. In a heavy sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
3. Measure off 2 Tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat for the batter and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and the eggs, whisking to break up the eggs.
6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk/egg mixture and stir to just combine.
7. Add the melted butter and the bacon fat and stir only until just smooth, careful not to over mix.
8. Heat your waffle iron.
9. Spray all the panels well with cooking spray then ladle the batter into the iron – I use about ¼ cup per waffle square.
10. Sprinkle each waffle square with a healthy pinch of bacon bits.
11. Close iron and cook until golden brown.
12. Serve immediately with butter and real maple syrup. And maybe more bacon on the side — what else were you going to do with that extra half pound?