Brussels Waffle: Flour Choice
I’m currently obsessed with selecting the right flour for my Brussels waffle. So much of the waffle’s flavor comes from the flour. It’s not a trivial element. To date, I’ve tried 3 different pastry flours: Bob’s Red Mill, Central Milling, and King Arthur. Another shipment from Anson Mills is on the way, but here’s the breakdown of the first three.
Bob’s Red Mill: Light in color. Mixes-up to a moderate consistency. Final flavor effect is fairly clean, slightly nuanced, and somewhat bitter.
Central Milling: Slightly creamier color than most. Mixes up somewhat thick. Final flavor is more robust, not at all bitter, yet with an almost corn flour-like element.
King Arthur: Like the Bob’s Red Mill, it’s light in color and mixes-up to a moderate consistency. However, the final flavor is bland.
What I might end up doing is mixing the various flours together, in order to get a superior end product. But I do know that I will be sticking with pastry flour. Not only were traditional 19th century European flours low protein like American pastry flour, but the lightness I want to achieve here with the waffle is definitely best served with pastry flour.
Once I have a chance to test the Anson Mills flour and work out an ideal ratio of flours, I’ll be one step closer to perfection.
Looking at the above photo, you can see how light and airy the waffle is. Note that while the crests of the dimples are amber-colored, the body of each pocket is light in color. It’s not because it’s under-cooked. It’s because the bubble structure of the batter ruptured so thoroughly in those areas, as to leave craters. There was literally so little batter between the bubbles that only trace amounts of it were left touching the iron. While less than impressive aesthetically, I feel it might be necessary evil for a texture and weight of the finished product that is sublime.