Oat and Grain Waffles

oat and grain waffles leadLast week my son had achievement tests at school…you know the all-day standardized fun-fest. A note is always sent with the kids to caution parents to send their children to bed on time and to feed them a nutritious breakfast.

As though we don’t usually…

So, I figured I probably shouldn’t send the fella off with a snickers and a mountain dew as I do every other day of the school year. And, the cotton candy and beer didn’t seem to do the trick last year for achievement test week…so…what’s a mom to do?

My kids are not in an egg phase. Cereal doesn’t quite feel like the “healthy breakfast” they had in mind. Waffles sound great, but are sort of like cake and ice cream when you get right down to it. So I searched around for a whole grain waffle recipe with good protein numbers so that I could feel like I was giving them something delicious and something that might actually keep them going all day.

The source and inspiration for my recipe is the Oat Waffle Recipe by Alton Brown. His stuff just works, period. However, I simultaneously dumbed down (sped up) his version and added varied grains as well as a dose of wheat bran. Essentially, his brilliant plan was to grind oats into oat flour and then combine them with all-purpose flour to make a nice balanced waffle. He also goes the extra mile of toasting the oats. I respectfully omitted this step for the sake of simplicity.

It is funny that I never see whole grains as a step away from being a flour. I’m sure the flour I use for making cakes was once a green plant in a beautiful field, but my brain rarely makes that leap in the hurry and scurry of life.

oat and grain waffles whole grainsMy other challenge was time. I have to get the kids up at the crack of dawn anyway, just to get out of the house for school. The puppy needs to go out and be fed and be taken back out, the coffee MUST be made, I must cajole the little sleepers into consciousness…and I must grind whole grains into flo…NO, the train goes off the track at that point. So, I devised a plan to create waffle mix for all five days of achievement test week. If you have a kitchen scale and five re-sealable plastic bags, it is a breeze.

I called in the help of three grain products here. Bob’s Red Mill has high quality grains that are becoming easier to find in regular grocery stores. You will likely have no problem getting their oats, but you might have trouble finding the 5 Grain Rolled Hot Cereal. I used it a while back for a savory granola recipe and liked the variety of grains, so I incorporated it into this. I also have a bag of their wheat bran sitting about and I figured, “in for a dime, in for a dollar” and I tossed some of that in too. So three of Bob’s products, yes. But, it makes an ever loving train load of waffles. And if you don’t like the waffles…you can eat hot oatmeal for breakfast. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you can only find the oats, know that that is just fine and you can use oat flour for the entire whole grain component of the waffles. (In case you were wondering…this is not a promoted post, and I’m not getting paid to shill Bob’s Red Mill products…I just like them).

oat and grain waffles making flourA word to the wise: Let the grains process for a long time or you end up with crunchies in your waffles which I kind of like because they make me feel like I’m getting something healthy accomplished, but you might not feel the same way.

Basically, you will grind up each type of grain in the food processor until it is the consistency of slightly bumpy flour. Then you will divide the flours by weight into daily bags. This is why you need a kitchen scale. Each re-sealable bag will have 5 ounces of whole grain flour (3.5 ounces oats, 1.5 ounces five-grain, and a few tablespoons of wheat bran) and 5 ounces of all-purpose flour, leaveners, sugar and salt. Stack the bags in your pantry and they are ready to go. When you wake in the morning, plug in the waffle iron and gather the wet ingredients. Mix the batter and let it sit while you go bugle reveille to the troops. When you get back to the kitchen, followed by small plaid and flannel zombies, put the batter in the waffle iron. You are a mere 2 to 3 minutes from joy.

[I apologize for not having cup equivalents. But it varies with the consistency of the flours and we would end up with different mixes and yours might not work and then you might be irritated with me. For baking, weights are great. We should all bake by ingredient weight...but it is a hard habit to get into, even for me.]

And you will have technically complied with the instruction to feed your child a healthy breakfast.

Please don’t tell them that we loaded them up with butter and chocolate chips and real maple syrup. That might blow the whole deal.

This recipe requires the use of a food processor, scale and a Belgian waffle iron.

oat and grain waffles making using scale

Oat and Grain Waffles
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
We eat these all the time! It is so nice to be able to prepare a whole week worth of breakfast on Sunday and have hot, fresh waffles all week.
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients Total (to be divided into 5 bags):
  • 25 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 17.5 ounces old fashioned oats
  • 7.5 ounces 5 grain rolled hot cereal grains
  • 15 tablespoons wheat bran
  • 15 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2.5 teaspoons salt
Wet Ingredients Total (numbers for 5 days):
  • 15 eggs
  • 10 cups buttermilk (½ gallon plus 2 cups)
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 5 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
Dry Ingredients per bag (or for one batch of 8 waffles): 5 ounces all-purpose flour, 3.5 ounces oat flour, 1.5 ounces five grain flour, 3 tablespoons wheat bran, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients (for one batch of 8 waffles): 3 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Instructions
  1. Create the oat flour by placing the oats in a food processor for approximately three minutes. Process until it is smooth and powdered, like flour. Similarly, grind the five-grain cereal grains in the food processor. If you are making the multi-day batch, it is important to keep them separate. Though, you can easily just make one day worth at a time by using the weights listed "per bag."
  2. If making batches for five days, after grinding the grains, place the “Dry Ingredients per Bag” amount in each of five quart-size re-sealable bags. If you are not accustomed to working with a kitchen scale, this is the easiest way to divide the grains. Place a bowl on the scale and “zero it out.” This sets the scale back to zero, effectively ignoring the weight of the bowl. Measure 5 ounces of all-purpose flour into the bowl. Then, add 3.5 ounces of oat flour on top of the all-purpose flour (scale now reads 8.5 ounces). Then, add 1.5 ounces of the five grain flour (scale now reads 10 ounces). Add the wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl. Carefully mix the contents of the bowl and empty into a plastic bag and seal it. Label the bag. Repeat four additional times. You should have five plastic bags ready to go in no time. Absolute precision isn't necessary, but the flour weights should total 10 ounces per bag.
  3. To make one batch of waffles, empty the contents of one of the quart bags of mix into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine and mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes (time permitting).
  4. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron to medium. Spray the waffle irons with non-stick cooking spray. Place batter into a Belgian waffle maker, approximately a scant ½ cup of batter per waffle. Allow the waffles to bake until fully golden, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and serve immediately with additional melted butter and maple syrup.

oat and grain waffles making mix

Notes:

Possible substitutions: I made this with one cup Greek yogurt mixed with one cup milk and it was fine. The buttermilk is better but if you are in a pinch, try the yogurt.

Write the needed wet ingredients on the front of the plastic bags, and you don’t need to go digging up the recipe every time you want to make waffles.

And…in case it occurs to you that it would be easier to make one HUGE batch and divide it equally between 5 bags…the reason I don’t do that is that I fear that the leavening ingredients and the heavier ingredients like the sugar would migrate to the bottom of the big bowl and you would not have an equal and necessary distribution of those ingredients.

Finally, I have tinkered with this recipe using gluten free baking mix from King Arthur and also self-rising flour as a substitute and they all work to varying degrees. One must merely tinker with the amounts a bit, and they are perfectly good.

oat and grain waffles cooking

Make Ahead (even more ahead): I have made these waffles a million times now. Getting up early enough to even mix the batter is sometimes hard (yes, 5 extra minutes matter). So I have whipped up the mix with the wet ingredients the night before and left it in the fridge a few times and it works great…for 2 days.  So, all you have to do is get up and plug in the waffle iron. Victory!

HOt Oat Waffles…and finally, really finally, when I am melting the 2 tablespoons of butter for the wet ingredients, I usually just melt a whole stick so that I have a totally inappropriate amount of hot melted butter to serve on top of the finished waffles.

 

Comments

  1. Kelly says

    Diane: I’m still not sure my mom can laugh about my high school antics. My cohorts, to remain unnamed, and I once skipped a morning SAT prep class due to a similar condition and I’m fairly sure she is still, rightfully, irritated with us about it. It is amazing that any of us ever reached adulthood. I’m hoping the karmic retribution for such things isn’t too precise, or I’m in big trouble as a parent. I still have a few years to toughen up for those issues, but I’m sure they are coming.

  2. Kelly says

    Diane and Christine G: I wrote this in jest, sort of…but you are so right. Our kids’ nutrition, as a country, is pretty scary. I once asked my son what he had been eating at school, actually, and he informed me that his weeks go like this: taco, taco, pizza, taco, taco. Wednesday is pizza day! Yikes. I could do a much better job.

  3. Kelly says

    Meaders, I have a hard time believing that anything you make is lousy. I flat-out-do-not believe it. Let me know what you think, though.

  4. Meaders Moore Ozarow says

    I am trying your waffles. My kids say i make lousy waffles. This gives me hope. Maybe I’m not putting enough melted butter, chocolate chips and real maple syrup on them…..
    Sounds like a great recipe, seriously

  5. Val says

    These photos make me feel like I am in your kitchen with my favorite little sleepy heads, sipping hot coffee and planning for the busy day ahead.

  6. Mary Pat says

    These were delicious and my whole fussy family devoured them. I decided to make just one batch to try them but I didn’t have a weighing scales so I used one cup of flour, one cup of ground oatmeal, and one quarter cup of Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal. I might try making the batter into pancakes because it’s so good and healthy and we don’t have time to wait for the waffle maker in the morning. Otherwise I’m going to make a giant batch of waffles and freeze them. Thanks for the yummy recipe, as always!

  7. Diane says

    You are a better woman than I…I’m afraid my sons got Eggo-s, on waffle day…but that was many years ago! I did get a decent breakfast down them every morning, unlike their carpool buddy who started his day with an ice cream sandwich! Oddly, his mom was a health nut…but that’s all he’d eat…whatever works, right?
    PS…they always nailed their standardized tests…even in high school when one of my sons took his SAT…yep, hungover…thankfully unbeknownst to me until SO many years later! I can laugh about it now…sort of.

  8. Christine G says

    That is so funny. I used to sub in my son’s former school and I am not kidding when I say this one little Kindergartener used to come to school with Cheetoh’s, Mountain Dew, a Reeses or candy bar, some fruit roll-ups (gotta get your fruit you know), and then some other random food item for lunch. I now know why the notes are required to be sent home! Ha! Thanks for the healthy recipe idea, as my kiddos love their waffles.

  9. Anne Mullen says

    These sound delicious, but we have a family waffle recipe that is written in stone, though I may try using the grains for healthiness. This calls to mind a story our pediatrician told me years ago about chatting with a child he was examining and asking what he had had for breakfast. The kid said, “The usual”. When asked what “the usual” was he answered, “Jelly beans and Dr. Pepper”. Wouldn’t you have loved to see that mother’s face? The child probably didn’t do well on the standardized tests.

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