I got a new gadget! I have wanted a waffle iron for a while now, and decided to get one this week. After looking over the options on Amazon, I picked this one, the Oster DuraCeramic Waffle Iron. Here it is, set up for its maiden voyage:
This gadget makes “Belgian-style” waffles. (I didn’t know there was more than one kind, but guess what? There are at least two different kinds. The Belgian kind are the ones that are thicker and have the deep square-y indentions.) It flips, so the waffle gets cooked on both sides at once, and it has a variable temperature control, which means you can set it to your preferred doneness and forget it. The best thing, though, is the DuraCeramic coating.
I have never used a ceramic-coated cooking utensil before, and frankly, I had my doubts that it would work. I was raised on Teflon, after all. Don’t NOTHIN’ stick to that stuff, especially the newer versions. However, having read all the warnings about whatever toxic nonsense is included in Teflon, I decided to give the ceramic coating a try. Being my absentminded self, I forgot to grease the waffle iron before pouring the first batter in. Guess what happened? Nothing. The waffle cooked. When it was done, I pulled it out, no problem at all. Absolutely NOTHING stuck to the ceramic coating. Here is the waffle iron when I opened it after the first waffle cooked. You will notice that nothing stuck to the top piece:
The Oster Corporation, along with almost every reviewer on Amazon, mentions that the first time the waffle iron is heated, it will emit a chemical odor. Expecting a noxious fume fest, I set the thing up on top of our stove, right next to the downdraft exhaust, so the fumes could be sucked outside; however, the smell was almost nonexistent. They also encourage the purchaser to sacrifice the first waffle, which we did.
I had every intention of using Alton Brown’s waffle recipe. I love Alton Brown! I’ve never had a recipe of his to fail me. However, this recipe calls for an obscure ingredient – Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. I didn’t have any (and they don’t sell it at HarrisTeeter), so I had to drop back and punt. One of the reviewers of AB’s recipe said that she liked the sourdough waffle recipe over at King Arthur Flour better than AB’s. What?!? Sacrilege, I say! Well…. since I didn’t have pastry flour of any kind, I decided to go check out King Arthur’s recipe page, and found they have several different waffle recipes over there. After reading a few – I had to skip the sourdough one because I don’t have any sourdough starter – I decided on this one.
At the bottom of the recipe there’s a note about the amount of salt in the recipe. Apparently, the original recipe called for a half-teaspoon, and they have now reduced that to a quarter-teaspoon. I made up the batter with a rounded quarter-teaspoon. When I tasted it, I decided to add a pinch more, so I think next time I’ll go with the half-teaspoon of salt. The recipe states that it makes about 5 Belgian waffles; it actually made about 3.5. I ate mine without syrup, ‘cuz that’s how I roll, but Ginny put Aunt Jemima on hers. The outside was crispy brown, and the inside was all tender, eggy and delicious. Ginny said the inside was like a popover. The recipe says they can be frozen, but these ones never had a chance. Maybe next time!