Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough came up with this gorgeously nutty and toothsome version of our brunch favorite. And we love it. Slather them with butter and syrup and you’ll never even notice that they’re a healthier version, too.
A whole-grain mix you can make ahead and have on hand for when you’re ready for cornmeal and oat waffles? Sounds like heaven to us! Although butter and maple syrup are the standard condiments, you might want to try sorghum syrup, a Southern favorite.Make sure you buy coarse, whole-grain cornmeal. While the mix can be made with more standard yellow cornmeal—and is still a whole-grain recipe because of the rolled oats—the coarse cornmeal will make every forkful more toothsome. Can’t find whole-grain cornmeal? Grind coarse, whole-grain polenta in a blender or food processor until it’s the consistency of coarse cornmeal. –Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
LC For the Pancake Lovers Amongst Us Note
Authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough—bless them—note that if you want to turn this handy dandy waffle mix into pancake mix—soon-to-be pancake batter—simply thin it out with 1/4 cup additional milk (or maybe a touch more, depending on how dry the flours have gotten as they’ve sat on the shelf) and presto! Pancakes in place of waffles. We’re quite taken with the nuttiness imparted by the whole grains, although if anyone in your family has a hard time wrapping their mind and their mouth around something healthful so early in the morning, consider distracting them with a slab of ham, an egg sunny-side up, berries, or sliced fruit galore.
Cornmeal and Oat Waffles
For the waffle mix
- 4 cups coarse whole-grain yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups whole-grain spelt flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick-cooking or steel-cut oats)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup baking powder
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
For the waffles
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk (whether whole or fat-free or anything in-between)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter melted and cooled, or 2 tablespoons nut oil (walnut, hazelnut, or pecan)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the waffle mix
- Whisk the cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, spelt flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, if using, in a large bowl, taking care that the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout. Spoon or pour the whole kit and caboodle into a large container and seal tightly. Store at room temperature for up to 3 months in a dark, cool pantry.
Make the waffles
- To make 3 waffles, scoop 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons waffle mix into a large bowl. Whisk in the egg, milk, butter or nut oil, and vanilla. Mix well and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes while the waffle iron heats.
- Heat the waffle iron.
- Make the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the waffle iron. Pile the waffles into stacks and serve ’em while they’re hot, hot, hot.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve been searching for a multi-grain waffle. My son requests a hot breakfast almost every day and I feel guilty loading him with white flour pancakes, however delicious they may be. I love the idea of making homemade waffle mix. It only took a few minutes to assemble the mix and then I was able to store it in a canister for later, and I taped a copy of the rest of the ingredients needed to make the waffles right to the container, as if I were reading the side of the box. I used a stone-ground cornmeal which I like because it has a nice texture without being grainy. I thought letting the batter rest for 10 minutes helped the cornmeal absorb some liquid. I tried the batter both as waffles and pancakes and both are great. The edges get a particular crispness that I find addictive, especially when good maple syrup is involved. These cornmeal and oat waffles are slightly more dense than standard buttermilk waffles, but they’re certainly not door stops. Despite the other ingredients the taste is predominately corn, so there’s no sneaking this past the family. My 6-year-old noticed the difference at first glance. Still, they’re a welcome change in the breakfast lineup.
I was doubting my choice of recipe as I stood in the bulk food section of Whole Foods scooping out whole grain after whole grain. I fully expected cardboard in the form of a waffle. I could not have been more wrong. The spelt flour and sugar made these waffles delightfully and slightly sweet. The cornmeal made them crispy and crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside. The oatmeal and wheat flour were hardly discernible. The recipe was foolproof and I liked the fact that you make up a master mix to make smaller batches at any time. I also liked that there’s a pancake option, too. P.S. The kids loved them!
I love the idea of making the dry mix to have on hand for easy “waffle weekends.” I liked this crunchy whole-grain waffle a lot, though it was a tad dry. I tried these again another morning and I added 1/4 cup yogurt to enough batter for 6 waffles and they were perfect! Crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Overall, a great recipe.
First, I must confess that I don’t have a waffle maker. My roommate has one and I planned to make these with hers. However, when I opened the cabinet door, I found an enormous gap where the waffle maker normally resides. So I attempted to make these on a ridged grilled pan. The edges—those that didn’t stick to my pan—were lovely and crisp. They were a little thin and lacked a lot of flavor alone, but were delicious with maple syrup. After one attempt I decided to make pancakes instead. I let the rest of the batter sit overnight and the results the next morning were much nicer. They certainly are very hearty. The mix makes quite a lot, so I cut it in half.
Originally published August 13, 2012