Buttermilk and sour cream in the batter react with baking soda to make waffles rise high and fluffy. No buttermilk in the fridge? No problem. Simply make your own version with milk and lemon juice or vinegar.
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature -- putting cold batter into a hot waffle iron will interfere with browning and rising.
A touch of coarsely ground cornmeal in the batter gives the waffles a wonderfully crunchy texture.
Separate the eggs for your batter. Whisk the yolks together with the wet ingredients, then beat the whites to stiff peaks and gently fold into the batter right before cooking for maximum fluffiness.
Don’t overstir the batter. It’s okay if there are a few lumps -– they will dissipate during cooking.
No peeking! Lifting the lid of the waffle iron will cause it to lose heat, leading to a collapsed waffle. A good hint as to whether your waffle is done is to watch the steam coming out of the waffle iron. If there’s still a good amount of steam billowing out of it, your waffle isn’t ready yet.
Once you remove the golden, crisp waffle from the iron, toss it back and forth between your hands to allow some of the steam to dissipate. Then, rest it on a wire rack so steam can continue to escape on all sides without making the bottom soggy. Serve as soon as possible with plenty of maple syrup.