Cornmeal and Rye Whole Grain Waffles

Oh, Waffles. 

Waffles are at the same time easy and quite difficult.  On the one hand, you've got the appliance to make the things right there on your counter - a waffle maker.  Just pour the batter in, close the top, and presto! - a waffle.  But then what, really, is the quality of that waffle?

It takes just the right batter and just the right time in the waffle maker so that when you open the top, the waffle that comes out is tasty, a little crispy on the outside, and soft and spongy on the inside.  I can't claim to have invented that perfect waffle, but I can claim to know a good thing when I've found it.

It's not the first time I've relied on King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking and it won't be the last.  It's the only cookbook I've unpacked since we moved.  I can't figure out where to put the lot of them in the kitchen, but that one's sitting right on the counter.  This recipe in particular results in a waffle with a deep, nutty flavor and a moist crumb.  It pairs perfectly with berries, like the simple raspberry compote I made with frozen raspberries and a little apple cider.  It's my favorite waffle for a weekend morning.

But I don't stop with just the weekends on this one.  I always make a few extra, tear them into their four pieces, freeze them on a cookie tray, and then put them into ziploc bags in the freezer.  On a busy morning, I can pop them in the toaster oven and have them with a little almond butter and jam for a quick breakfast.  They're the weekend waffles that keep on giving.

And don't be turned off by the rye flour! The flavors meld together really nicely.  And while I was doing a little research for this post (to try to figure out what exactly rye tastes like because I had previously assumed it wasn't yummy), I discovered that the mix of rye and cornmeal is what makes up the Ingalls' families "rye n' injun bread" (her words, not mine) in the Little House on the Prairie series.  So, Laura Ingalls ate it, and that's always a good reason to try anything.  

Cornmeal and Rye Whole Grain Waffles
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

3 cups non-dairy milk mixed with 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or buttermilk)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons earth balance (or butter), melted
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole rye flour
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or you can use regular sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1.  Whisk together the non-dairy milk (I use almond milk) and apple cider and let sit.
2.  Melt the butter and whisk with the eggs in a medium bowl.  
3.  In a separate bowl, blend the dry ingredients.  Then mix the non-dairy milk mixture in with the butter and eggs.  Quickly and gently combine the wet and the dry ingredients.  
4.  This is important:  Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to allow the cornmeal to soften.  The resulting batter will be quite thick.
5.  Preheat your waffle iron and spray with a nonstick cooking spray if necessary.  When the iron is ready, drop the batter onto it by 3/4-cupfuls (depending on the size of your waffle maker) and bake until the iron stops steaming, approximately 3-5 minutes.  I like to err on the longer side so that my waffles are nice and crispy on the outside.  
6.  Serve with maple syrup or a fruit compote.  Or both!