These extra crispy gluten free waffles are made with crispy rice in the batter for the perfect fully insides and edges so crisp they nearly shatter.
This one's a brilliant idea from Cook's Country
I had originally developed a recipe for this style of gluten free waffles years ago based upon the Cook's Country innovation of adding crisp rice cereal (related: Are Rice Krispies Gluten Free?) to the waffle batter. I long ago canceled my Cook's Country online membership (which was honestly way, way harder than it has any right to be), but the recipe stuck with me.
I had posted my extra crispy gluten free waffle recipe years ago, and somehow it disappeared from the website. Sometimes that happens, and honestly, it's momentarily terrifying. I do have the whole site repeatedly and regularly backed up, but it's no small task to sift through a backup for a missing recipe.
There's one determined reader who has been asking me for this recipe for a long, long time (you know who you are!), and I never had a real answer for her. All I had been able to recover were a few scattered notes, and it would take nearly started from the beginning to get it right.
Well, I finally did it! I'm glad I did. And I think you'll be really glad too (at least I know one of you will!). My fluffy gluten free waffle recipe makes a really lovely gluten free waffle. You can also make it in a Belgian waffle maker just like these. But there is indeed something extra special about this extra crispy recipe.
How are waffles and pancakes different?
This recipe for waffles is essentially based upon my recipe for homemade gluten free pancake mix. It's a baking mix made of a basic gluten free flour blend (superfine white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch), with some cornstarch added for more lightness and a touch more xanthan gum.
To make pancakes, you need a bowl, a whisk, a spoon, and a griddle or hot pan. You mix dry pancake mix with eggs and milk, and you have basic pancakes in a flash.
To make waffles, the ingredients are largely the same, but I add more fat in the form of a neutral, flavorless oil since it's all fat without any added moisture. That helps keep the inside of the waffles soft and fluffy while the outside cooks until crisp.
The other key difference in making waffles from pancake mix is separating the eggs into yolks and whites. The yolks are added to the milk and oil, which is then mixed with the dry ingredients.
The egg whites are whipped separately with a simple handheld mixer (or with a handheld whisk and a ton of elbow grease) until they hold soft peaks. The whipped whites are then folded into the batter to make it fluffy and light. In this recipe, the crisp rice cereal that you add makes for a lumpy batter but a super crisp waffle.
What sort of waffle iron works best?
The Belgian waffle maker that I have is made by Presto, and it was delightfully cheap-o. I believe I paid around $30 for it at Bed Bath & Beyond using a coupon. Or you can stalk it on Amazon with the site camelcamelcamel.
You merely need a basic waffle iron that has pleasantly heavy nonstick plates. I try not to use more than a very, very light coating of nonstick spray on my waffle irons. That oil cooks over and over, which creates build up and #ohtheirony makes the plates decidedly stick over time.
Other than the heavy nonstick plates, your waffle iron should heat evenly. The way you know that your waffle is ready without peeking (try not to peek! it drops the temperature of the iron fast) is to watch the steam as it's escaping.
You can see in the photo just above that steam will escape quickly from the iron when the batter is fully raw. It should continue for a solid 3 minutes, and then start to taper off. By the 4 minute mark, the steam should be escaping gently and slowly. Your waffle is ready!
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: Let's start with the easiest substitution of all. This recipe can be made dairy-free by using your favorite unsweetened nondairy carton milk. Just avoid anything that's nonfat because that will make the waffles batter too thin. Otherwise, the waffles are naturally dairy-free.
Egg-free: These waffles are not egg-free, and I'm not entirely sure they can be made egg-free. You should be able to replace the yolks in the batter with melted unsalted butter (1 tablespoon (14 g) for each yolk) and perhaps the whipped egg whites with whipped aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas).
Unfortunately, I have been disappointed to hear that whipped aquafaba often doesn't perform well in baking. If you decide to try that swap, please let us know how it goes!
Flours: Please do not use an all purpose gluten free flour like Better Batter, which already contains xanthan gum in it. The balance of ingredients is not right for pancakes and waffles, and there is too much xanthan gum in the mix.
Xanthan gum: If you cannot have xanthan gum, try using guar gum in its place. Guar gum is better in cold applications, and xanthan gum in warm ones, but it might work well enough here.
If you leave out the gums entirely, your waffle batter will be considerably thinner, which makes the mechanics of using a waffle iron much harder. Your waffles will also be less crispy and will become stale more quickly.
Corn-free: In place of cornstarch, you can use more potato starch or arrowroot.
Extra Crispy Gluten Free Waffles
1 1/2 cups (210 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour (140 g superfine white rice flour + 45 grams potato starch + 25 grams tapioca starch/flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup (72 g) cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (30 g) gluten free crisp rice cereal
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, separated
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons (14 fluid ounces) milk (any kind, just not nonfat), at room temperature
5 tablespoons (70 g) neutral cooking oil (grapeseed, canola, vegetable, etc.)
Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the crisp rice cereal and mix to combine. In a separate small bowl or 2 cup+ measuring cup, place the milk, oil, and egg yolks, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the milk mixture, and mix to combine. Place the egg white in another clean, medium-size bowl, and beat with a handheld mixer on medium speed just until soft peaks form. Add the whipped egg white to the rest of the waffle batter in two batches, and fold in using a silicone spatula until no more than a few white streaks remain.
Open the preheated waffle iron, and pour about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of batter on the waffle iron, depending upon the size of the waffle iron. Aim to fill the bottom wells of the iron in a single layer nearly to the top. Working quickly, spread the batter into an even layer. Close and secure the lid, and allow the waffle to cook for about 4 minutes or until steam has largely stopped escaping from the iron. Open the iron, remove the waffle using tongs, and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining waffle batter.
The cooked waffles can be served right away or cooled completely, wrapped tightly and frozen. To refresh from frozen, defrost and warm in a toaster oven at 300°F or in a toaster on medium. Serve immediately.