One of the things I find most disturbing about many modern waffle recipes (and box mix instructions) is the use of vegetable oil. It’s flavorless, highly processed, and completely disconnected from tradition. No one, back in 15th-19th century Europe, was milking canola seeds and soybeans for oil. But since so many recipes use oil, I wanted to find a better approach to its use.

When I think back on medieval life, grapes and almonds were a huge part of food culture. Grapes made wine, and almonds were widely used to make milk; cow milk went bad quickly, since there was no refrigeration. So if anyone ever was going to extract oil for use in waffles (not that this ever happened), grapeseeds and almonds would have been logical go-tos. It helps that both have very high smoke points, which makes them ideal for baking.

Below, I’ve taken my classic recipe, cut out the corn flour and butter, upped the AP flour, and introduced almond oil. If all goes well, it should produce a pleasantly light and flavorful waffle – a fine compromise for those who love oil-based waffles or those who prefer to side-step butter.

Almond Oil Waffles

makes 1 round American-style waffle


Preheat the waffle iron to 191°C/375°F

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. Add the warmed egg and almond oil.

3. Then add about 1/2 of the milk, and whisk to blend the ingredients.

4. Add the remaining milk, and finish blending the ingredients. The batter will be fairly thin and smooth.

5. Pour the mix into the preheated iron and cook for 3 minutes 25 seconds.

Remove the waffle from the iron and place on a wire rack to cool. When the waffle has cooled below 49°C/120°F, place the waffle back into the iron to cook for 10 seconds longer. Serve immediately.