Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 25th January 2022
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Protein waffles are great food, but they often have a dry, unappealing texture – so let’s find out how you can make them more appealing. There are quite a few things you can do to try and improve your waffles, including adding more liquid and mashing in a banana.
Why Are My Protein Waffles Dry?
Your protein waffles may be dry because you are using powders that require handling in the right way. You cannot treat protein powder in the same way as flour; you need to take a slightly different approach.
It’s possible that you may be using too much protein powder in your waffles. If your batter is made up of more than half of protein powder, it will result in dry waffles, no matter what else you do. Check your recipe and alter it as needed to improve the taste and texture of your waffles.
This is particularly true if your protein powder is casein or whey, which can make your waffles dry and rubbery. You should not have more than fifty percent protein powder in any recipe.
So, let’s look at how to make protein waffles less dry and more delicious.
How Can I Make My Protein Waffles Less Dry?
There are quite a few things that you can try to make your waffles taste better. You may find that some of these suggestions suit you better and others do not appeal to you, so try out all the tips below. Often, getting your waffles right is a matter of experimenting and finding out what you like.
Tip One: Add Moisture by Using Some Wet Ingredients
Protein powder requires a wet ingredient of some sort, sometimes known as a moisturizing ingredient.
No matter what protein powder you use – whether hemp, rice, pea, whey, casein, etc. – you will need to add moisture by including a wet ingredient to help improve the texture of the waffles and make them taste good. Moisture is necessary; you cannot get away with only dry ingredients.
There are various ingredients you can add to your mix that will add moisture to your waffles and improve their texture. Try out the different moisturizers for cooking with protein and see which ones you prefer. Some of the top options include:
- Mashed Bananas
- Cottage cheese
- Flax Egg
- Greek yogurt
- Icelandic Skyr Yogurt
- Pumpkin puree
- Ricotta Cheese
Choose the moisturizer according to which will go best with your waffle toppings. If you are having your waffles with sweet toppings, you can use something like banana, but if you’re planning on a savory topping, Greek yogurt or Icelandic Skyr may be a better moisturizer.
Many people have success with cottage cheese in their waffles, and don’t worry – you won’t taste it in the finished product.
Tip Two: Preheat Your Waffle Iron
Adding wet ingredients carries the risk of making your waffles soggy, so it’s especially important to make sure your waffle iron is really hot. Nobody likes a wet waffle, but the heat will help to burn out the moisture on the outside, leaving you with a crispy shell and a pleasantly moist and fluffy interior.
Don’t put your waffle mix into a warm waffle iron; it needs to be really hot to get a good, crispy sear on the outside and help the extra moisture evaporate.
TIP: To make sure your waffle iron is hot enough use the sizzle test. Once your waffle iron has been heating for a few minutes, wet your fingers and flick some water onto the waffle grids. If the water instantly sizzles and quickly evaporates then your waffle iron is hot enough.
Tip Three: Include Another Dry Ingredient
You shouldn’t be using protein powder as the basis of all the dry ingredients in your waffle batter. You need to add another dry ingredient, such as oats or oat flour. This will help to bulk up the waffles and ensure that you don’t have too much protein powder in them.
If you try and make a waffle with just protein powder, your ratios will be off, or you will have a soggy mess. You must have enough dry ingredients to offset the wet ones, but you must not have more than half of the waffle being made up of protein powder.
Coconut flour is another alternative dry ingredient, but you should be careful not to use too much – we’ll cover this later.
Tip Four: Use the Right Protein Powder
You may have a go-to option for your protein powder, and if the recipe you want to use calls for a different one, you might decide to swap it for your favorite one.
However, you should not do this. It might seem like a protein powder is a protein powder, but they behave in very different ways and have quite different requirements.
Whoever has written the recipe that you have decided to use will have tested and perfected their recipe. It will be geared to work with the protein powder that the writer has chosen and there is no guarantee the recipe will work with a different protein powder. So, you should not just swap in a different option unless you already know that the powder will be compatible.
Doing this could result in very chewy waffles because you will not have the right quantities and kinds of ingredients to replicate the protein waffle in the recipe.
For example, substituting pea protein for whey protein will be disastrous in any recipe, because these two kinds of powder behave so differently. There may be some instances in which a different substitution will work, but you shouldn’t just alter the recipes to suit your preferences.
Experimentation is fine, provided you are aiming to learn how switching ingredients will work, and that you are prepared for some substitution to work less than perfectly or not at all.
Tip Five: Don’t Use Too Much Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is extremely fibrous, and it can make very dense waffles. If you want to use a little, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be your main ingredient, otherwise, your waffles will not be nice. I’m not saying you should not use coconut flour, just make sure you combine it with the other powders and only use it in small quantities.
Tip Six: Do Not Over-Cook the Waffles
Cooking your waffles for too long will also cause them to be tough and dry. The best waffles have a crispy exterior, but the insides stay soft and fluffy.
An over-cooked waffle will have had most of the moisture driven out of it, so be careful if you want the insides to stay pleasantly moist. You should cook your waffles just until the steam stops coming out of the waffle iron, and no longer – this should result in perfect waffles every time.
Tip Seven: Don’t Miss Out the Eggs
Whipped egg whites are a fantastic way to increase the fluffiness of your waffles because they add air and texture to them. That’s true even if you are using baking powder as a raising agent. If you don’t add eggs to the waffles, they will be crumbly, but they will also be dense.
Many people use both egg yolks and egg whites for their waffles, but it’s important to use something. If you do not eat eggs, use another binding substance that will work, such as Aquafaba. Do not try and miss the eggs out entirely.
If you do not know what Aquafaba is, it is the liquid in a tin of chickpeas. Separate the chickpeas from the liquid and the Aquafaba can be beaten or whisked then used as an egg replacement. So, now you know.
Tip Eight: Use High Quality Protein Powder
The type of protein powder that you use will also make a difference. Make sure that you read the packaging so that you get a protein powder that does not contain artificial fillers or unnecessary ingredients.
If you are struggling to get your waffles right, try swapping the brand or the type of protein powder that you use and attempt a different recipe. This might solve the issue.
As you can see, there are a lot of ideas to try if you want to improve your waffles and stop them from being dry or dense. Follow each of these, and check that you aren’t forgetting the wet ingredient in particular; this will make a significant difference.
If you’re really struggling with your waffles, don’t be afraid to try a different recipe. Sometimes, a recipe simply doesn’t work well, but you should be able to find an alternative one that does.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you add protein powder to baking?
You can use protein powders in many baking recipes to replace some or all the flour. However, there are a wide range of powders you can choose from, so use one that suits your needs. For instance, that could be determined on the desired flavor or if wish to avoid certain ingredients. If you do not wish to use dairy products, clearly you should avoid whey powder.
If you are unsure of how much protein powder to use, begin with about a 1/3 cup for every cup of flour in the recipe. Some recipes will still work if you use more, although some kind of flour may still be required.
What happens if you heat up protein powder, is the protein destroyed?
When protein is heated, it is denatured. The structure unravels slightly, losing its ordered shape and becoming looser, often the protein molecules become insoluble and clump together. This is clearly seen when egg whites are heated. The albumin in the egg white changes from transparent to opaque white.
The denaturing of the protein changes the structure of the molecular, which should prevent its biological function. However, since it helps in the release of amino acids, cooking protein-rich foods is beneficial since it helps digestion and reuse of the amino acids and nutrients.
Including protein powder in your cooking does not destroy the protein. That will only happen if you use too much heat and the ingredients char or burn. Using protein powder in normal cooking is fine, although the protein will denature, which would happen anyway in normal digestion.
Why do you add oil to waffle mix?
Oil is used in waffle batters to help reduce gluten production, thereby creating a fluffy texture on the inside instead of chewy. But oil also helps to produce the waffle’s crisp golden shell and release it from the waffle iron. However, applesauce or mashed bananas can be used as a substitute for oil.
I explain more in my article Can you Bake Cakes, Muffins, and Waffles without oil and eggs. But for guidance on making waffles with oil read my article What Is the Best Oil to Use for Waffles.
What is the purpose of eggs in waffles?
Eggs are used in waffle batter to bind the ingredients together and provide structure. If also beating the egg whites, they help the waffle to rise and to be fluffy by trapping air. The fat in the egg yolk also plays a part in reducing the production of gluten, ensuring fluffy and not chewy waffles.
Tosh learned how to cook while watching his Polish Mom at home. He also worked in a family-owned restaurant while a student and learned much from the chefs. Cooking has always interested him, especially the hearty Polish recipes he learned from his mother. He has helped create and appeared on cookery shows on radio stations in Scotland.
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