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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/12/2011

Chat Leftovers: Sub conscious

By Jane Touzalin

Happy Wednesday, all. Do I have a great job or what? Many weeks I get to taste the results of the upcoming Dinner in Minutes recipe after it's had its closeup in the photo studio. And I can tell you that this week's Chinese Chicken and Cabbage Stir-Fry is a real standout. Flavorful, healthful, nice to look at: It's got it all.

Also in today's Food section, you'll learn why some farmers markets in winter start to look less like markets and more like food courts; you'll meet Mexican-food expert Diana Kennedy, who's about as prickly as a cactus in the Oaxacan desert; and you'll find out all about the Indian street-food snacks called chaats.

And then, your culinary whistle whetted, you can drop in on today's Free Range chat. It's a happy hour that starts at noon. Don't forget to bring your culinary questions, like this one that we couldn't get to during last week's chat:

Recipe Included

I saw whole-wheat pastry flour listed as an ingredient in one of Lisa Yockelson's recipes in "All We Can Eat." Is there any way to modify the recipe so one can use regular whole-wheat flour? I've seen substitutions for cake flour, for example.

I grind my own flour from wheat and am reluctant to go buy something that I already have unless there really is no other option. What do you think?

Well, the important thing isn't what I think, is it? It's Lisa Yockelson's recipe. And let me tell you, she has very demanding standards. So we asked her about a potential sub for whole-wheat pastry flour, an ingredient that might not be common on home cooks' pantry shelves.

Turns out you're in luck: A sub is perfectly possible. Lisa recommends you use 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of your whole-wheat flour. However, she adds, "you may have to use a few extra tablespoons (1 to 3) of buttermilk to keep the batter from becoming overly dense."

The recipe in question, by the way, was "Waffles of Many Flours and Meals,” and I'll include it at the end of this post. Lisa said she tailored her answer to that specific recipe, so don't try to make it work for anything else.

"In baking," she wrote, "my personal philosophy is that ingredient-for-ingredient substitutions should be avoided, because each recipe with its attendant list of ingredients is a shade different from the next and, as far as my recipes are concerned, based on a finely-tuned set of items. Some recipes have more flexibility than others, case in point those delicious waffles I wrote about in the fall of 2009. And a final footnote: I am thrilled to hear that you grind your own flour."

She wrote a slightly extended answer to this question on her Web site; you'll find it here.

And here's the recipe, for hearty waffles just perfect for the cold spell we've been having. They're great for serving right away, and they can be frozen for spur-of-the-moment eating.

Waffles of Many Flours and Meals

MAKE AHEAD: To prepare the waffles for freezing and toasting, griddle the waffles, cooking them through but only until moderately golden and firmly stable. Place them on cooling racks as they are griddled. When cool, wrap each waffle in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer-safe resealable plastic food storage bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, unwrap the frozen waffles and place them directly into a toaster oven (not in an upright toaster) on a medium-low setting until heated through.

(Juana Arias for The Washington Post)

Makes 8 Belgian-style waffles

1 1/4 cups (all-purpose) flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (sometimes called "whole-grain" pastry flour)
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup kamut or spelt flour (see NOTES)
1/4 cup yellow or white cornmeal
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, preferably golden
1/2 cup ground cane sugar (see NOTES)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably Rumford brand (aluminum-free, double-acting)
1 teaspoon baking soda (if lumpy, sift before measuring)
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola oil (may substitute 8 tablespoons, or 1 stick, of unsalted butter that has been melted and cooled to tepid)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cultured low-fat buttermilk

Preheat a round, four-quadrant Belgian-style waffle iron.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, oat flour, kamut or spelt flour, cornmeal, flaxseed meal and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk thoroughly to incorporate.

Whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl, breaking up the eggs and incorporating the yogurt. Add the buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture. Stir to combine, using a flexible spatula or wooden spoon. The batter will be moderately thick and somewhat lumpy. Though all traces of the flour should be incorporated, resist the temptation to break up the lumps; they will disappear once the waffle mixture is griddled.

Carefully spoon 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the waffle batter into the middle of the preheated waffle iron. Close the lid and griddle the waffles until cooked through and golden brown. If your waffle iron has numbered settings, use No. 4 or 5. The color of the waffle largely is an indicator of its cooked-through structure; to be safe, the waffle batter must be thoroughly cooked.

Carefully lift the waffles onto individual plates; serve immediately. Repeat to use all of the remaining batter.

NOTES: Alter Eco Fair Trade Organic Ground Cane Sugar is available in 1-pound boxes at some Whole Foods Markets. It is a medium-brown color and unrefined. (A reasonable alternative is organic light brown sugar, which should be measured firmly packed in a dry measuring cup.) This amount of sugar returns a waffle that is balanced and only moderately sweet; the quantity can be reduced to 1/3 cup or increased to 2/3 cup, depending upon taste, without affecting the balance of the recipe.

Whole Foods Market carries a range of flours from Arrowhead Mills. Those appropriate for this recipe are Arrowhead Mills Organic Spelt Flour (available in 32-ounce bags); Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Grain Pastry Flour (available in 32-ounce bags); Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Cornmeal (available in 32-ounce bags), and Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Flour (available in 24-ounce bags). Whole Foods also carries items from the Bob's Red Mill product line. At some Whole Foods with bulk-bin items, look out for whole-wheat pastry flour and organic unrefined cane sugar (the granulation is fine enough to use in waffle batters). It's best to call individual stores for availability on all baking products.

By Jane Touzalin  | January 12, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Tags:  Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin  
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Next: Lunch Room Chatter: Shooing animals away from the food pyramid


Wow Wow Wow! Look at those amazing and healthy ingredients for waffles! I love it and this is getting bookmarked right under the chinese chicken and cabbage! We LOVE Kamut Wheat and I am thrilled to see you included it - plus the flax! Yum!

Posted by: smilinggreenmom | January 15, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

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