The cooked oatmeal that goes into this batter starts with quick-cooking rolled oats (don’t use old-fashioned or instant!) that are toasted in a bit of butter until they give off an amazing aroma. Toasting is an extra step, but it’s well worth the effort for the alluring, butterscotchy quality that it brings out in the grain. Be sure to add the buttermilk to the oatmeal while the cereal is still quite warm, before it begins to set up into a starchy mass. As for cooking, bake the waffles until they’re deeply browned so that they form a delicately crisp crust that contrasts beautifully with the moist, custardy interior.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re browned and smell deeply rich and toasty, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully pour in the water; the water will steam and sputter, so use caution. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer; the oatmeal should smell remarkable, with an aroma of freshly ground peanut butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats have absorbed the water and the oatmeal is thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a medium bowl, add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar, and stir until fully incorporated. Stir in the buttermilk. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- If you plan to hold the waffles and serve them all at once rather than one at a time hot off the waffle iron, preheat the oven to 225°F and set a large wire rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
- Preheat your waffle iron.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda until well combined.
- Whisk the beaten eggs into the oatmeal mixture.
- Pour the oatmeal mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until the batter is evenly moistened.
- Pour a generous 1/2 cup of the batter (or the waffler manufacturer’s recommended amount) into the center of the waffle iron. Use the rubber spatula to spread the batter to about 1/2 inch from the waffler’s edge. Close the lid and bake the waffle to the desired doneness.
- Remove the waffle and serve it immediately before baking the remaining batter. Or set it on the wire rack and slide the baking sheet into the oven to keep the waffle warm. Bake the remaining batter, transferring each waffle to the rack in the oven.
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