The Essential Ingredient For Waffles That Are Soft On The Inside And Crispy On The Outside

Waffles being made in a waffle iron
Waffles being made in a waffle iron - Inna Vlasova/Shutterstock

Let it henceforth be known: There shall be no more floppy waffles in this house. The perfect harmonious balance of golden and crispy outsides surrounding plush, tender insides is the Waffle Promised Land, and the approaching road is seldom traveled. However, all it takes to get there is one extra ingredient for crispy waffles, and there's probably a pretty good chance that you already have it stocked in your pantry. It's time to whip out the cornstarch.

Cornstarch (not to be confused with cornmeal) is made from finely ground corn flour. More specifically, it's a carbohydrate extracted from the endosperm of corn kernels, a starchy, flavorless substance that makes a wicked versatile thickener in a variety of recipes. In addition to thickening, those starch molecules are highly absorbent, soaking up the liquid in your waffle batter and crisping 'em up in a jiffy. As they heat up during the cooking process, those moisture-loving molecules unravel and swell to 6-to-10 times their original size (twice the thickening power of flour), creating more structure in your fluffy waffles while softening the tough proteins in flour, all without affecting the taste of your waffles. When used in tandem, the flour and cornstarch duo makes for dreamy waffles with a crisp yet tender texture -- the elusive golden texture. Breakfast Belgians aside, this tip also totally works for savory dinner waffles, like these mouth-watering sesame scallion waffles perfect for at-home dim-sum.

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For Crispy, Crave-Able Waffles, Whip Out The Cornstarch

Bowl of cornstarch beside corn on the cob
Bowl of cornstarch beside corn on the cob - New Africa/Shutterstock

To whip up a batch of diner-worthy waffles, simply mix the cornstarch with the dry ingredients in your regular from-scratch batter. A quarter cup of cornstarch and three-quarters cup of flour is a solid ratio, but if you prefer your waffles to be more or less crispy, you can adjust using more or less cornstarch (more for crispier). Or, if you're working with a pre-made dry mix, you could whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for a subtler crisp.

To give those cornstarch molecules a chance to do their thing, set the batter aside for 10 to 20 minutes after whisking the wet and dry ingredients together. From there, just slam that batter into the waffle iron as normal and bake away using the directions on your waffle iron (don't forget the butter and syrup). Perhaps the best part? You can still stir a cup of buttermilk into the mix for that creamy, tangy, rich, luscious flavor -- the best of both worlds.

To further prevent any rigid flour proteins, as you measure out your dry ingredients, lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it with the back of a knife rather than scooping the cup directly into the bag and packing the flour down. For maximum crispiness, pour your batter into a super hot waffle iron. (Pro tip: Preheat the waffle iron while the batter is resting and the cornstarch is working its magic).

Read the original article on Tasting Table