Wafers – Part 2
So two years ago, Richard made us a beautiful wafer iron and we tried to make it work. Wafer Part 1
This year, Baron Drake Morgan was running a wafer class and so Louise, Richard and I all trooped off to the St Florian campsite at Rowany Festival to get some new tips about making wafers.
It turns out that we had been making the batter far too thin, as we’d been trying to make a thin crepe like batter, when we should have been trying to make a thicker, almost like a cake batter mix, particularly for our wafer iron.
All wafer irons it turns out, have their own slightly different requirements that they need and like to get the perfect wafer from them.
We were using spray oil. The period way would be to brush melted butter or oil on every time. The irons must be re-brushed with oil or butter before every cook.
Irons must be hot on both sides to start (over a low constant flame or charcoal), so that the batter sizzles when dropped in. The batter is dropped slightly back from the centre, given about 10 seconds to cook and then the irons are closed together and held over the fire, turning after a minute. (if the irons are hot enough). You want enough batter in the irons so that a little bit comes out the side. The gas from cooking will cause the irons to try and come apart, so need a tight grip down the irons to keep them together.
(For our irons, the batter goes on the lion pattern, not the line pattern.)
While warm, the wafers can be rolled up into cones. This might be a later period thing.
Larsdatter has some links to 15th century irons here.
V and A has a massive collection of wafer irons, only one of which has a date to late 15th century.V and A Wafer Iron Collection
Le Menagier de Paris has four recipes, and mentions wafers frequently when talking about what is requried for feasts and weddings.