Breads Here Revisited Part 3: Microwave Breads

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Now, I know, some of these are cakes, but I make most of these without the sugar, with a little salt and they make the best quick breads. There are a lot of “mug cakes”, which I do have recipes for as well, but I think of the difference thus: A mug cake is eaten from the mug, whereas the bread is removed from the baking vessel. Now I know that seems a trifle pedantic, but what makes these work so well as bread is that they can be sliced. So, let’s think of them as breads and see what we can see, shall we, dear reader?

Microwave Amaranth Flour Bread
Microwave Banana Flour Cake
Microwave Buckwheat and Rice Flour Cake
Microwave Buckwheat Cake
Microwave English Muffin
Microwave Flax Muffin
Microwave Quinoa Flour Cake
Microwave Rice Flour Cake
Microwave Sorghum Flour Bread

You could be a pain and question whether these are breads and you can feel free to do so. I’m calling them breads and phooey from me to you! What I love about these is that they take very little in the way of specialised ingredients, the ground flaxseed might not be so common, ground chia works too, but other than that it’s pretty basic. The recipes themselves feature numerous options, covering so many diets. The only catch is the egg is necessary for the texture and rise, the original recipe used banana if I’m not mistaken, but it was more of a cake, there are cakes in these too, but for this post I’ll focus on the bread. And, yes, this started as a single recipe that I adapted from another. It uses a total of eight (We’ll count flaxseed as a flour, shush) different flours. I’ve found success with so many, barring ground almonds, too fatty I think, so I can only imagine any free from flour would work here. This recipe is great for using up the dregs of flour as it uses so little. You can easily mix and match as needed. When made using only a single flour it really highlights the unique taste and texture of that flour. I usually make these in a jug ad they just pop right out so there isn’t much clean up.

To talk at length about such mundane things is a gift, dear reader. What you have here is the closest thing to a free-from sandwich bread, no crust sadly, but you can’t have everything, without using gums or added starches. They come out springy, light, different flours yield slightly varying results, but it’s pretty consistent across the board. The reason they come out so light is because of the egg swelling, reacting to the baking powder too I assume, and setting before it can fall. The flax and flour help to stabilise. There isn’t an eggy taste as you’d imagine as the egg is well cooked through when the bread is ready. This is great for making a quick meal, spread on the nut butters and jams or slather sauce and spiced meat and eat it open-faced. It’s filling, again varying on the flour used, and you’ll find you don’t need a whole lot to make it a meal. They’re best eaten on the day, but you could probably freeze them.

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So, there you have it. I would have scoffed at a microwave bread if I hadn’t scarfed so many in my time. Many a time I forgot to leave out something for tea and found myself hungry and in no mood to get cooking. A quick mix up in a jug and there it is: Bread! I like recipes like these, they’re almost foolproof and if you find yourself with a free-from flour that’s lacking in uses you can try something like these and you’ll be almost guaranteed success. I primarily make them with rice flour as it’s the cheapest and least versatile flour in my cupboard. I have found sorghum delicious and wonderfully light. Quinoa works best for a cake and banana flour is slightly revolting if I’m honest.

You’ll notice that the breads I use often are pretty easy to prepare, that’s hardly surprising. I’ve lost count of how many loaves I’ve made over the years. The ease of making them has helped me stick to my diet. The variety has kept me from getting bored and fed up. I hope you’ll find something to interest you in this series, dear reader. There are other breads on the site and maybe they’ll suit you better. The reason I started this series was to showcase a few recipes and to encourage people to look at the recipe page, there are so many recipes that are sadly under-loved. Perhaps if this is popular enough there’ll be another series of posts using those recipes. I’ll see you again next time, dear reader.

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Breads Here Revisited Part One: Buckwheat Breads

It’s been a while since we talked bread, dear reader. No, this isn’t a shake down. I’m talking about the ever humble loaf, more specifically the bread recipes that have endured with me, never becoming tiresome, Unlike me? How dare you! No matter how you slice it, talking dough can be dull, I’ll try to liven up this series, yes, a series, with a little wit scattered here and there. I was considering a post collecting this all together, but I think this way will be best, I don’t have any new photos to share, and as I’m just me I won’t be baking each bread again solely for portraits , my freezer is well stocked already, the original recipe pages have plenty of photos. What I hope to accomplish here is a recap of all these breads have provided, all the ways they’ve  enriched my diet, all the ways they celebrate the ingredients, the diversity of simple recipes, their numerous preparations. What I’ll do is choose an individual recipe and work through that as that seems to be the best way, these posts aren’t going to feature every single bread, there are much too many for that, instead they’ll focus on the breads that I have continued to eat and never tired of.

First up: Buckweat Flour Bread!

Ah, the basic buckwheat loaf is the cornerstone of my understanding of free-from breads. It has created so many recipes thanks to its versatility and simplicity. Raw buckwheat flour has to be the greatest of all the single-use free-from flours, to me at least. I’ve always made my breads without gums or added starches and I feel that this bread, even at its most basic, shows why that should be something everyone tries. I do have a preference for either extra eggs or the flaxseed option as these eliminate the extreme dryness that the original loaf suffers from. This isn’t a complex bread, but in truth I’ve eaten a few commercial free-from loaves that haven’t touched it. You’re tasting buckwheat here, no fake textures, simple wholesome ingredients with no fuss. I do have a preference for firmer free-from breads, I’m not a fan of the mushier textured breads so this has been continuously stocked in my freezer.

The science behind why this works is vague, I use it, but I don’t always understand the  reason why, but really it’s just that buckwheat and its strength, from starch content I imagine, means a loaf can be firm and won’t crumble even when cut fresh out of the oven. The trick is to get enough liquid in, the batter has to have a sort of runny thickness. I does take practice to get it just right every time, that’s true of anything really. No matter how much I know I can’t condense it down so that you can grasp it on your first try. Thankfully it is a very forgiving recipe. The slow baking is key here. If the bread rises too fast it can deform and the exterior can become too dry before the centre is cooked. Luckily it bakes fast through. If you’re unsure, even with a skewer test, then press the top down, if it yields too much, again you’ll know what too much is in time, then back into the oven it goes. You’re best to freeze it on the day of baking as it will get stale after a day or two. That’s true of a lot of fresh baked goods really. I just slice it when fully cool, make sure it is fully cool as it’ll get soggy when defrosting, pop it into bags and freeze. Defrosting it as needed. It slices thin and thick so you can have it the way you prefer.

I’ve found this works best when thought of as as a strong-flavoured bread, I’m so used to the taste of buckwheat it doesn’t register on my taste-buds any more. I’ve had people say it’s like brown flour if that helps. It doesn’t toast very well, it just becomes dry and crumbly. It can be made as a large loaf or a smaller set, I like to make them smaller as the crust, however slight, and interior are in a better ratio. It’s a bread that can have so much added to it, I’ve made entire recipes, with multiple variations, based on that fact alone. If you need a loaf that cover numerous allergies and intolerances then this is that loaf. I’m not breaking out the hyperbole and telling you it’ll taste just like the bread you remember, I’m a long time away from those days, this is a buckwheat loaf, unique in its own right, but you might have to acclimatise yourself to it. That’s entirely on you, if you’d rather made your breads with gums and starches then go to it. This loaf has kept me balanced health-wise and taught me that you have to compromise, to give up what you knew and replace it with better options, which in time you will learn to love. Eat it with butter and jam, spread with healthy nut butters, top with cheese, meat, whatever and you’ll find this humble loaf is an enduring help to free-from eaters everywhere. I’m so glad I made this recipe and stuck with it. I hope you’ll give it a look too, dear reader.

This is just one of my main breads, I hope that in sharing this and others I’ll show newcomers, and oldies alike, just how many options are being presented to you here on Pep’s Free From Kitchen, that even with numerous problem food sets you can still eat well, eat better than you’d ever get in the store and, most importantly, eat enjoyable food that won’t break diets or your heart. That’s it for part one, I’ll see you next week for the next instalment. Regular posts will be incoming too. If you have any questions about this or other breads then ask below I’ll try to help as best I can.

Buckwheat and Sorghum Flour Bread

 photo WP_20170518_002_e_zpssjtxysrg.jpgBest to let this one cool before cutting.

No, no talk of sad things, dear reader, no talking of hard times. If I’ve learned anything it’s than pain shouldn’t be bottled and let ferment, nor should it be dredged forth on every occasion. I’ll talk when I want, you’ll get recipes and everyone carries on as normal. Or as close to normal as we usually approach. If I’m not my usual self, well, eh. Today we talk of bread, of fresh herbs, of drupes! (Bump parts of a raspberry). Talk aimlessly, endlessly if needed, until the hurt heals just a bit.

So, sorghum. It isn’t much on its own and it tends to drag down other flours. I’m still testing it out, but even with just a little the bread is noticeably weaker, but on the aggravating side it’s also more tender, with a light crumb. It’s an interesting flour and I still maintain it’ll be best in recipes without rises. You can notice how flat the end bread is. This is based on my Buckwheat and Quinoa Bread, whereas that loaf was the melding of two flours in equal measure, this is a case of sorghum dragging poor buckwheat down. Buckwheat in this case is similar to a plain wheat flour combined with a non-traditional one, it has the burden of carrying the sorghum and it shows a bit in the more crumbly exterior and the slightly adhesive loaf. Thankfully a few whacked removed the loaf, but sorghum remains a very clingy flour. The bread is fine, tasty enough, but more of an experiment than anything of any real note. It’s always worth trying these kinds of recipes out, dear reader, this is how we learn.

 photo WP_20170518_004_e_zpswshq6zak.jpgThe taste doesn’t come through as well.

I’ve been picking herbs, dear reader. I’ve used them to flavour sous-vided beef, large snatches of parsley, stalks of sage, clumps of oregano, occasional snippets of thyme. They flavour the meat wonderfully and when you combine them with garlic and a stock-cube in the bag they give you extremely flavoursome juices for gravy. I do have basil growing and I should soon be making my first batch of pesto. Genovese will be the first one, Cinnamon a close second, Dark Opal is just starting to get large and Thai is sluggish, but new, so we can forgive. I have two other large pots of both the genovese and cinnamon just starting to sprout. I plan to have lots of pesto. The salad garden is still ticking along. Mustard and Spinach have just recently been transplanted. The lettuce is plentiful and the Chive flowers are almost open. For the non-nightshade intolerant I have tomatoes, bell peppers and chillies, two varieties, all starting to gain momentum. It’ll be a while before that harvest. I think I may have Yellow Strawberries soon, along with Raspberries. All of which will be frozen and used when I have a considerate amount. Everything is chugging along nicely. I should have some interesting recipes using fresh produce in the months coming. I have fourteen squash plants, only three Table King, so I hope they’ll produce plenty of berries this year too. If the Runner Beans fail to appear I’ll add another squash. Expect plenty of reports on the garden once I start harvesting. Until then, take care, dear reader.

Ingredients

170g Buckwheat Flour
30g Sorghum Flour
120ml Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Eggs
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt

Makes one loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan).

2. Grease and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

3. In a large bowl whisk together the Egg and Olive Oil. Add the Soghum Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Salt and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then add the Water and stir together until a smooth and thick batter has formed.

4. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until dark brown and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool in tin for a few minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire-rack.

Buckwheat and Sorghum Flour Bap

 photo WP_20170515_002_e_zpsxw9joio6.jpgBippity-bap. It’s, yet again, Jack!

May 17th Update: They cancelled my surgery. Now I have to wait, again. I have no idea when it’ll happen now. I don’t know when the blog will resume, bear with me, dear reader.

Typed on the 16th May.

Heh…hehhh…er. Dear reader? Spanky? I may be just two days away from pretty major surgery. That’s still hitting me, I’m trying not to let it consume me, but I’m scared. I know I wanted this, still do, but it’s getting real, if you get my meaning. That’s one of the reasons I’m typing up so many of these posts, as a distraction, as a means to keep the blog going after I get back and have to start recovery mode. I feel like my clock stopped over three years ago, when I first started this leg of the journey, and suddenly it’s started and is whirling out of control. I’ve prepared all that I can. For the hospital stay and after. There’s so much I could talk about, I’m just me, losing ten stone, dealing with the affect effects and all this is too huge for me to talk about now, maybe after, maybe never. This kind of things happen to other people, not to quiet, unassuming people like me. To the recipe.

Why a bap? Because I wanted a sandwich This is a tweak on my Buckwheat and Quinoa bap. Go there to get a fair idea of the texture and intricacies of the recipe. I’m in quick-mode today. As I’ve mentioned there is little strength in sorghum and it’s very evident here. Even with buckwheat and flax the bread starts crumbly while warm and as it cools stays somewhat brittle. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t crumble to dust in your hands, but it can’t be manhandled without cracking. What of the benefits of sorghum? One is the taste, there’s a pleasant, almost sweet taste, I really enjoy. There’s also a lightness that I think could be useful in lightening other recipes, but I’d advise only using a little of the sorghum. I will be buying another bag, or two if possible, in the future. There might not be a lot of new recipes or a while, but there may, I won’t say anything for certain, it all depends on how I feel. And let me tell you something, dear reader, Jack is tough, not arrogant, braggadocios, grandstandingly tough, but tough enough to know what he can do. Life has handed me plenty of challenges and I’ve overcome a lot. So have no fear, Jack will be back better than ever. Take care and spare a thought for Jack.

 photo WP_20170515_004_e_zps11crfyip.jpgSorghum will be conquered in time.

Ingredients

25g Buckwheat Flour
25g Sorghum Flour
6g Ground Flaxseed
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
30ml Olive Oil
1 Medium Eggs (55g-65g In Shell)
62ml Water

Makes 1 Bap.
Can be Frozen.

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (Fan). Grease, with Butter, and line a 4 1/2 Inch Springform Tin.

2. Mix together the Olive Oil, Eggs and Water and then add the Flours, Flaxseed and Baking Powder and mix until until a runny batter has been formed. Let rest for 5 minutes. The Batter should be thick but stirrable.

4. Pour Batter into tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning half way if needed, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Then remove from oven and cool for a few minutes then remove from tin and transfer to a wire-rack to cool completely.

Microwave Buckwheat Mug Cake

 photo WP_20170407_005_e_zps5qnzz4hb.jpgCake makes me happy. As do you, dear reader. Just not as much as cake.

Hello, dear reader. I love when a simple recipe, crafted on the spur of the moment, actually succeeds. This was inspired, perhaps spitefully, by a boxed mug cake mix. I looked at the ingredients, the necessary additions and thought: I could do that. Though the original was chocolate and I can’t do, or eat rather, that. Mug cakes are a dime a dozen, this probably isn’t all that different from the norm. It’s egg-less which marks it as different from my usual microwave cakes. It’s also smaller, lighter, fluffier and doesn’t come out of the mug. Funnily though the boxed version is wheat based it still uses xanthan gum, as does everything these days or so it feels. No gum for me, I don’t need it and can’t tolerate it. Give me buckwheat and I’ll find a way to replicate most recipes in time.

 photo WP_20170407_009_e_zpscklokdyh.jpgYou also react violently when stabbed with a fork.

So, the egg-ectomy changes this…What? That was an An egg-cellent yolk! I crack me up, dear reader. Okay, I’ll stop. It’s much less filling than the others, it also has a lighter texture and because of that it’s more crumbly. It’s a fair trade off for a lighter cake since you won’t be removing it from the mug. You could whip up some caramel sauce, in the microwave too, to top the cake with, I just used a little maple syrup. It killed a craving for something sweet. It’s often funny what recipes cause people to comment, it’s always pleasant to see a comment, a report of success is especially gratifying, on a little loved recipe. So, that’s it, just a quick recipe. Now, to pass it over to me and bend our ear about plants.

 photo WP_20170407_001_e_zpsogcpc6ul.jpgWatching the Shirley Tulips slowly colour is really interesting.

I think the greenhouse is giving the plants a better chance, even with drops in temperature after warm spells they seem to be doing just fine. I’m happy to report that the first Table King Squash seed has germinated. I have five or so harlequin, but I was unsure of the viability of the table king seeds in colder weather. The only problem I have is that winter squash seems to be little known and not often grown around here. So I have only myself and the world wide web to consult. I know more each year and therein lies the problem. What problem? The unbearable smugness of Jack The Squash King! All hail me! Preventer of root binding! Deterer of powder mildew! Seriously, I would love to see more people growing and enjoying Winter Squash. If you ever visit Jack’s garden I will give you a winter squash plant! For only Nineteen ninety nine! Free? Don’t be silly, dear reader. Jack needs the money to buy more plants.

 photo WP_20170407_003_e_zpsldcwk92e.jpgI can quit whenever I…COMPOST!

I think that every gardener faces the disappointment of cuttings failing to take root. It’s a great way to get different plants, but success seems to be mostly up to luck. I seem to have hit a lucky spell, dear reader. I have a large rose plant, that was merely a nub from a red rose and a Hydrangea, more still growing too. I couldn’t believe the root the rose had, it was really large. I of course added sugar water to them, so that that droop will be gone in a day, if not already and gave them plenty of rose and shrub feed pellets. I leave them to look after themselves when cut, but once they prove they’ll grow I take as much care and attention as possible. I even bought colourant for the hydrangea, well, for the large established plant in the front garden. Blue flowers, wouldn’t that be fun? See you again.

Ingredients

45g Buckwheat Flour (6 Tbsp)
30g Butter
50ml Milk
15g Sugar
1/2 Tsp GF Baking Powder
Dash Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Melt the Butter, in a mug, on a low heat and when cooled slightly mix in the Sugar, with a fork, until dissolved.

2. Add in the Milk and Vanilla Extract and stir until everything has combined. Finaly add in the Buckwheat Flour and Baking Powder and mix until smooth.

3. Microwave on full heat for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Cake should be dry and springy to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Buckwheat Flour Savoury Waffles

 photo WP_20170330_009_e_zpsnm74nzjr.jpgTake a photo of it before you add the whites…”Whoops”

Okay, checking boxes for many different diets again. This has no sugar, which does cost you a little crispness, but I’ve countered that somewhat with the olive oil. Speaking of which this is now dairy free as you can use water. You’ve got beaten egg white so they’re extremely light and airy. These would make amazing sandwiches, just the right amount of bite. I’m struggling to think of anything to add here, dear reader. I like these, they’re plainer, but would work perfectly with any savoury filling. Marinaded or spiced meat with sauce. Nut butters, even just plain old butter. Whatever you’d put in a sandwich you could plop it in here.

 photo WP_20170330_010_e_zps9e0unoxp.jpgLook, batter, how professional am I?

I think the weather is starting to settle, it was really hot then cold on and off for a while, but I think we’re getting near a consistent temperature. No squash yet, but it’s early days. I bought more plants and two berry bushes, bareroot blackcurrant and red currant, and planted a wealth of dahlias so I am keeping busy. The newness has faded, but I think the underlying joy of growing you own produce is still there, I’m just a trifle impatient. It’s funny how the more you do the more you realise a lot of it is chance. I’m seeing seeds starting much sooner than I did last year, with less work, while others are lagging. I realise you’re here for waffles, but really they’re so simple I can’t find anything to say. I could enthusiastically tell you of all the wonders I could make up on the spot, but you’re smarter than that and I’m just not interested in falsifying these recipes. If they’re simple so be it, they’re good and worth sharing. Okay, see you again soon, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170330_014_e_zpsu7y7seko.jpgI’ll freeze these two and report back.

 photo WP_20170330_011_e_zpsxmee1yfs.jpgSweet things on savoury. You can’t break the rules when there are none.

Ingredients

100g Buckwheat Flour
115ml Low Fat Milk/Water
1 Medium Egg, 60g-65g in Shell, Separated
50ml Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch Salt

Makes 4 Waffles.

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat the Whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form.

2. Beat, with an electric mixer, Yolk, Milk, Olive Oil and Salt until combined, then beat in Flour and Baking Powder. Finally gently fold in the Egg Whites.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up further as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up.

 photo WP_20170330_002_e_zpspqk8yhnq.jpgLove in a Mist Persian Jewels just starting.

 photo WP_20170330_004_e_zps1mcsl5u0.jpgThe lilies are really taking off again.

 photo WP_20170330_001_e_zpsrtjzmsi5.jpgShirley Tulips I mistook for Shakespeare. See? I can even lose a large pot of tulips in the garden. Such talent.

 photo WP_20170330_007_e_zpsdalrukfk.jpgNasturtium Gleam getting ready for going outside.

Buckwheat Flour Sweet Waffles

 photo WP_20170327_001_e_zpspx5bb0ws.jpgMy first attempt and first ever home-made waffle!

Did you know that the reason they’re called waffles is due to the fact that when first introduced people just wouldn’t stop talking about them? Yeah, they just waffled on about them. A tumble-weed just rolled by and with it took the majority of my reader-base. Did you know a tumble-weed is called a Russian Thistle? There goes the rest. It’s just me and you dear reader, you ever useful rhetorical device. So, waffles…truth be told they’re not very popular here. Not that they’re disliked, they just seem to be relegated to the packed versions that occasionally crop up beside the packaged pancakes. Being the adventurous food-ennui suffering person that I am I decided to buy a cheap waffle iron. It’s pink. It’s got interchangeable plates and gets hot. That’s a far as my expertise on the inner workings of waffle irons has brought me. So, I took a gander at the manual’s recipe page and tweaked it to suit me. All I knew was that waffles are supposed to be crisp and that the batter is to be pourable. Well, to cut a long story slightly shorter: They were crispy, thank you buckwheat and the batter was pourable. Though you can see with the first ones I didn’t add enough. They had a soft springy interior, which I prefer over the sometimes dry pancakes and the cooler they got the more they crisped up, though one side cooked more than the other, which is, I assume, to do with the steam escaping from the bottom plate.

 photo WP_20170327_002_e_zpsvxiph8ei.jpgSecond try was better. Bottom is on the left and top is on the right. Shocking, I know.

As these are sweet they do actually taste sweet. Not quite cakey, but different from a pancake. Oh, I should mention that I didn’t grease my iron as the manual didn’t say to and someone on the internet told me not to grease if it didn’t indicate to. Since they popped out fine it must have been the correct choice. If you have enough oil in the batter they shouldn’t stick seems to be the reasoning. I guess if you’ve never eaten a waffle this might be tricky to decide on, hmmm. Okay, a pancake has a fairly uniform texture, even the exterior isn’t hat different from the interior texture, right? Well, in the case of Waffles (Versus Pancakes. Will the defendant please rise….) there is a marked division between the crisp, slightly crunchy exterior and the springy inside. I admit this is a quick and dirty recipe, I just wanted an easy and swift recipe to begin with. As opposed to a separated egg, electric whisked drudge of a recipe. I might do that later, filled as I am with ruth for my elaborate-waffle deprived, dear readers, but for now. This’ll do. I will try a savoury version too and also see what else can be made in a waffle iron. That’s it really, I made waffles for the first time ever. I’m waiting and worrying over squash seeds. This is all your pal Jack has. Really you should cherish me, for I am a joy. Before anyone contradicts me I shall flee! Later.

Ingredients

100g Buckwheat Flour
100ml Low Fat Milk, More as Needed
1 Large Egg, 70g-75g in Shell
50g Butter, Melted and Cooled Slightly or 50ml Olive Oil
40g Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Dash of Vanilla Extract

Makes 6 Waffles

Method

1. Turn on Waffle Iron. Beat Eggs until frothy using a whisk, then mix in Butter, Sugar, Vanilla Extract and 25ml of Milk, beat until combined.

2. Add the Flour, Remaining Milk and Baking Powder and mix until a smooth, silky, pourable batter has been formed.

3. Add enough Batter to warmed Waffle to fill the plates, close and cook for 7-10 minutes until waffles are golden brown and the bottom is crisp. Remove with a rubber spatula and let cool for a few minutes, Waffles will crisp up further as they cool. Repeat until batter is used up. If batter becomes too thick add more Milk.