Last Wednesday morning, I awoke to a beautiful sight on my Twitter feed, these buttermilk and grits waffles from Southern Souffle — I just had to make them! I immediately got to work on a gluten-free adaptation, and was in the kitchen, waffle iron preheating, maybe fifteen minutes later. They are virtually the most ethereal cornbread you’ve ever had, nice and crisp on the outside and light in fluffy in the middle, a fantastic breakfast treat — even David, who isn’t usually a cornbread fan, came back for seconds. They are simply addictive!
True to my New Englander roots, my favorite accompaniment to grits — which I’ve always viewed as basically a naturally gluten-free substitute for cream of wheat — has been maple syrup from day one. To get an extra boost of maple flavor in the waffles, I incorporated a bit of pure maple sugar into the batter. However, if you’re not a fan of maple or can’t get ahold of maple sugar, don’t worry, a couple teaspoons of regular old granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice will work in its place!
One thing’s for sure, these waffles will feature heavily in my breakfast repertoire from now on!
Buttermilk and Grits Waffles
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4, 6″ round waffles (serves about 2)
- 1 cup water
- 35 grams (1/4 cup) dry gluten-free corn grits/polenta
- 28 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 76 grams (1/3 cup) cold buttermilk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour
- 12 grams (1 tablespoon) granulated maple sugar¹ or about 4 – 8 grams (1 – 2 teaspoons) sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Maple syrup
- Powdered sugar
Preheat waffle iron to medium-high heat.
Set water in a small saucepan (2-quart) over high heat; bring to a boil. Quickly stir in polenta and butter; return to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, until polenta forms a smooth mass that pulls away from the sides of the pan when stirred (about 10 minutes).
Scrape cooked polenta into a medium (4-quart) heatproof bowl. Whisk cold buttermilk into grits, continue to whisk for about 30 seconds to help mixture cool. Quickly whisk egg into polenta-buttermilk mixture.
Whisk in millet flour until mixture is smooth (it’ll seem really thick at first then thins out). Whisk in sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
Scoop about 1/2 cup batter into the center of the preheated waffle iron. Bake each batch for 3 – 4 minutes or until golden brown (allow iron to return to temp between batches). Serve waffles hot off the press (they lose their crispy exterior if you let them sit) with powdered sugar and/or maple syrup. Repeat with remaining batter.