Why would I want to use the creaming method in waffles?

  • Why would I want to use the creaming method in waffles? rumtscho

    All good chemical leavened waffle recipes I have had (the ones from New best recipe, Bittman, etc.) instruct me to melt solid fats before adding them to the waffle batter. I only once tried a recipe which uses the creaming method for adding butter to the waffle batter, and I didn't like it. The result was like badly baked cookies, with a crumbly texture instead of soft and elastic. I never found out if it was the method or the ratio which created this bad texture.

    Now I bought a whole recipe book dedicated solely to waffles. It has many different recipes, savory and sweet (for the savory recipes, the butter is creamed without sugar, and the eggs are added to the creamed butter). All solid-fat recipes use the creaming method. I find this very strange.

    Is it a good idea to cream the butter in waffle batter? How are creamed-batter-waffles different from melted-fat-waffles?

    update An example recipe

    100 g butter 
    75 g powdered sugar 
    1 sachet lemon essence 
    3 eggs 
    250 g flour 
    1 teaspoon baking powder 
    200 ml milk 
    Give the butter with the powdered sugar and the lemon essence into a bowl 
    and beat it into a foam. Add the eggs one by one, mixing vigorously. 
    Mix the baking powder into the flour, place it on the egg-butter foam, and 
    fold in together with the milk. If the batter is too thick, add some more milk. 

    This is the waffle part only, the actual recipe specifies chocolate glaze to dip the waffles in, and fruit salad as a side. Any language stiffness is probably due to the fact that I tried to do a very literal translation from German and should not be interpreted as incompetency on the recipe writer's side :)

    Update 2 There was one obvious way to see if the recipe is any good. I made the waffles from the above recipe.

    The result was not good. The waffles have a texture between cakey and gummy. Not directly crumbly, but not soft and elastic like normal waffles or pancakes. I also looked into the New Best Recipe and found a wildly different ratio. If normalized for flour amount, the NBR recipe has 1 less egg, half the amount of butter, no sugar at all, and 3.5 times the amount of liquid, as well as more leavening. Now I have to make this recipe without creaming and the NBR recipe with creaming to get a conclusive answer :( Unless somebody has already tried it and can answer it for me.

    • Butter in liquid state is more easy to mix and get an homogeneous batter.
    • Given enough effort, creamed butter does the same thing.

    By effort, I mean making sure not to overlook tiny lumps of heterogeneous batter; otherwise the texture will be different. Also, if you are mixing the eggs with some lukewarm butter, it may be a health concern if you don't use the batter right away.

    If you had a crumbly cookie-like texture, then my first thought is that the ratio was not correct or something was missing.

  • At first read I suspect the creaming method is being used to reduce the amount of gluten in the final product, ideally resulting in more tender finished product. The flour is to be 'folded' into the fat/sugar/egg emulsion allowing it to coat the flour before the water (milk) is added. This order of operations is almost exclusively done to reduce the gluten. Now, whether that is 'good thing; or not is between you and your taste buds.

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