I had never had buckwheat waffles until I made these waffles last weekend. I’ve had plenty of buckwheat pancakes, which I find much more interesting than regular pancakes. The buckwheat flour gives a nutty texture to the pancakes but due to its lack of gluten, it doesn’t make for heavy, tough breakfast goods like most whole-grain flours do. There was a little apprehension on my part before making these waffles—I was anticipating a oozing mass of batter coming out the waffle iron—but these are even better than buckwheat pancakes. The edges get crispy but the ricotta in the batter keeps them tender and moist, and a generous amount of orange zest contrasts beautifully with the dark buckwheat flour.
The batter comes together in minutes, and a hot waffle iron takes all the guess-work out of the cooking process. Once these waffles come out of the iron, they get topped with fresh ricotta, supremed orange segments, and a drizzle of hot maple syrup. They’re hearty yet light at the same time, and they make a perfect breakfast treat for lazy weekend mornings. Citrus season is at its peak right now, so pick up a couple oranges and get ready for a restaurant-worthy meal that you can eat in your pajamas.
Orange Ricotta Buckwheat Waffles
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 orange—I find that Cara Cara pink oranges have the best flavor
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup whole-milk ricotta
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Maple syrup and additional ricotta, to serve
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
- Using a micro plane zester, zest the orange until you have 1 tablespoon of orange zest. Place the zest in a large bowl with the granulated sugar and rub the two together with your fingers until the sugar becomes scented with orange flavor. Set aside.
- Using a sharp knife cut of the two ends of the orange until the flesh is just barely visible. Place one of the cut sides on a cutting board, and using your knife, carefully trim away the orange peel from the top cup down to the bottom, following the shape of the orange with your knife and taking care not to remove too much of the flesh. Then, hold the orange in one hand over a medium bowl and cut between the membranes to allow individual orange segments to fall into the bowl. This is called supreming. Here is a visual aid to illustrate the technique. Once all of the segments have been cut out, you will be holding an orange membrane. Squeeze any excess juice from the membrane into the large bowl with the sugar—do not skip this step, it is essential to the flavor of the waffles. Set the orange segments aside.
- Whisk together the orange juice, sugar, and orange zest, then add the ricotta, water, vanilla, and eggs and whisk until smooth. Fold in the dry ingredients from step 1 until almost combined. Pour in the melted butter and fold until combined. Do not over mix the batter.
- Heat a non-stick waffle iron until hot, then scoop ¼ cup dollops of the batter into each segment of the waffle iron, and cook until golden brown and crisp, which is typically 4 minutes for the average waffle iron. Once the waffles are done, top them with a dollop of fresh ricotta, a few of the orange segments, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Note: If the thought of supreming oranges on a Sunday morning makes you want to tear your hair out, just zest the orange and squeeze 3 tablespoons of orange juice into the bowl with the sugar, then omit the orange segment topping.