Norwegian Waffles

Every Norwegian family has their own go-to recipe for waffles. They're an institution of sorts and are found nearly anywhere the country's food is served. Traditionally they're whipped up for special occasions or for large family gatherings. In our family, my farfar (grandfather) was always in charge of the iron, but now we've all stepped in, taking turns preparing the much loved treat, and most importantly, keeping the tradition going.

This recipe is an old one. In fact it comes off the cast iron griddle that my great-great-grandmother used. People might be surprised to see that yeast is used, and alternatively you can use baking powder (more common these days). I'll post the "modern recipe" at the end of this post, but enough of that, let's get to cooking!

For a pile of waffles that will feed at least 15 people, here's what you'll need:

  • 1.5 liters milk (6 1/4 cups)
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 3/8 kg sugar (3 1/2 cups)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 kg all purpose flour (8 cups)
  • Cooking spray/butter

Make sure your milk is warm (NOT BOILING) because you want the yeast to do its thing, which it can not if the liquid is cold. The best way to do this is dump the milk into a large pot and heat very, very slowly, stirring pretty consistently.

Once the milk is just warm enough where it doesn't yet burn your finger to the touch, and slightly balmier than the room temperature, pour in the packet of yeast and stir.

Once incorporated, pour the lot into a large mixing bowl and add the eggs, one by one. They won't cook because the milk won't be warm enough for that. If you can manage to find a dark blue bowl, the yolks of the eggs will pop all the brighter as you're stirring (not a necessity, but an added bonus for the cook's pleasure).

Next, add the flour in small batches, if you can stand the patience. I think I managed three, before I just threw the rest in and whisked away. Don't worry about small lumps.

It will be quite runny at this point, so it needs to sit and rest for 15-20 minutes. You're not making bread, so don't forget about it.

The following step is crucial. You need a waffle iron that looks like this:

It's the traditional Norwegian waffle shape and pattern. The reason this one is ideal, is because it produces thin waffles with crispy edges. I have no idea how the batter would do in thicker quantities. BUT if you have a Belgian waffle maker, give it a go and let me know how it turns out. I'm curious. 

Grease the iron with cooking spray or butter. You'll need to do this between every two batches or so.

Take a small ladle or 1/3 cup and pour it over each mold, spreading slightly before closing the lid. It takes about 2.5 minutes for each set of waffles to finish, but each iron is different, so check on them during the first batch and set a timer for yourself once you've found the perfect waffle.

In between batches, let them cool for a few minutes before stacking them up on a kitchen towel and covering them to keep warm.

They are delicious warm and should ideally be eaten that day, but if you wrap up the leftovers tightly, you can microwave them up for a few seconds to bring them back to life. I wouldn't recommend keeping them for more than two days.

The toppings of choice are jam, especially homemade strawberry jam (I've got the best recipe here!), sour cream, Norwegian geitost (brown goat cheese), sugar, or just naked and right off the iron.

I don't get to eat Norwegian waffles often, but when I do it's an instant time portal to my childhood. Hope you enjoy!

Alternate Recipe (Farfar's version)

  • 1 liter milk (a bit of it should be buttermilk)

  • 250g butter

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3 eggs

  • 800 grams flour and a bit of water

  • Vanilla sugar and regular sugar to taste