Recipes from a hundred-years ago often contain minimal directions and can be difficult to interpret. And, I occasionally come across old recipes that call for ingredients that are no longer available. Today is one of those times. When I read a 1919 recipe for Sour Milk Waffles, I immediately knew that I was not going to be able to exactly replicate the recipe.
A hundred-years-ago many families still lived on farms; and, even in towns, much of the milk that was sold was not pasteurized. Back then, if the non-pasteurized milk was not used quickly, the “good” bacteria in the milk would turn it into a sour milk suitable for use in recipes. Today’s pasteurized milk can be turned into a sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to create a slightly curdled acidic milk.
But this recipe calls for “thick sour milk.” The soured milk that I make with vinegar or lemon juice isn’t very thick. Then I remembered that milk in days gone by would have also contained cream that floated on the top. Perhaps the recipe is referring to the thickness of the soured cream. So, I substituted 1/4 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup milk, and 2 tablespoons vinegar for the thick sour milk.
The recipe also says that if the milk lacks richness, add additional shortening. I decided that the sour cream added sufficient richness, and that no extra shortening was needed.
I was pleased with how my updated version of Sour Milk Waffles turned out. If you are looking for a soft waffle recipe, this is the recipe for you. The waffles had an old-fashioned goodness, and were very tasty. They browned nicely, and were fluffy and soft – though they were not crispy like most modern waffles.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Sour Milk Waffles
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice (I used vinegar.)
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons shortening, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
Put the milk in a cup or bowl, then stir in the vinegar. Set aside for at least 2 minutes.
Put the egg whites in a small mixing bowl, beat until light and foamy. Set aside.
Put flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, shortening, sour cream, egg yolks, and milk soured with vinegar or lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
Ladle batter onto a hot waffle iron and cook, following the waffle iron directions.