Sandwiches have evolved throughout the years, and that includes changing the vessel. What used to be the dominion of bread is now enjoyed by other products such as waffles and pancakes. But are waffles actually bread?
Technically speaking, waffles are a kind of bread called batter bread, just like pancakes. Unlike a typical dough with a higher flour-to-water ratio, waffles and pancakes have more water, producing a batter instead.
Intrigued? Let’s look closely at what makes waffles a type of bread despite being made from batter instead of dough.
What Is a Waffle Considered?
Believe it or not, a waffle is actually bread, just not in the same way we’re used to. The humble waffle falls under the “quick bread” category, and it’s easy to see why.
Once the batter is made, it’s ready to go onto a waffle iron for cooking. No more resting the dough and waiting for it to rise.
What is more, we have many types of sweet bread, just like we make both sweet waffles and savory waffles. In a world where we eat banana bread with ice cream, why wouldn’t we waffle with bacon? 🙂
It’s understandable if it’s hard to see the waffle as bread, especially when we don’t think of cake as bread. After all, both products are made from batter, but they produce two very different results.
What Is the Difference Between Bread and Waffles?
Even though regular bread and waffles fall under the same “bread” umbrella, they have several distinct differences. Here they are at a glance:
|Ingredients||Flour, eggs, salt, sugar, milk, oil||Flour, eggs, yeast, salt, sugar, water, oil|
|Preparation||Mix all ingredients in a bowl until everything is fully incorporated into a batter. Cook it immediately or store it for later.||Mix all ingredients until a dough forms, then knead the resulting dough. Let it rest before baking.|
|Raising Ingredient||Baking powder or baking soda||Yeast or other fermented culture|
Although their ingredients may seem quite similar (some waffles are also made with yeast), that’s where the similarities end. When making the waffle batter, use more milk than regular bread dough. Then, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the milk until a smooth batter forms.
On the other hand, creating a dough for traditional bread requires much less water (or milk) than a waffle batter. The process is reversed: gently incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together. Stir everything gently until a unified dough forms.
Even the ingredient that allows the dough or batter to rise is different. Regular bread needs yeast or a fermented culture to rise; waffle batter only needs baking powder or baking soda. However, it’s important to note that some waffles are made with yeast, that’s not the norm in most households today.
Lastly, the cooking process. Everyone who’s made bread at least once knows you must let the dough rest before cooking it. But with waffle batter, you don’t need to do that. Once everything is mixed, you can immediately pour it onto a preheated waffle iron. Speed and simplicity are the central premises of “quick” or “batter bread.”
Nutritional Differences Between Bread and Waffles
With an identical ingredients list, you might wonder if bread and waffles are interchangeable regarding their nutritional value. Let’s look at each one based on a 100-gram serving.   Remember that exact values might differ depending on any ingredient changes when products are made at home.
|Calories||291 calories||313 calories|
|Carbohydrates||32.9 grams||55.77 grams|
|Protein||7.9 grams||12.96 grams|
|Fats||14.1 grams||4.27 grams|
|Sodium||511 milligrams||601 milligrams|
|Calcium||255 milligrams||165 milligrams|
It’s easy to see the ingredient differences between waffles and bread when looking at the above nutritional snapshot. Because the dough is drier and has more flour, bread has more calories and carbohydrates than waffles. However, the waffle batter’s reliance on liquid ingredients gives it significantly more fat and calcium than bread.
Is Pancake Considered as Bread?
If batter-based waffle is considered bread, does that mean pancake is also bread?
Just like how waffles are considered quick or batter bread, pancakes fall into the same category. The same principle applies: pancakes are made from flour, eggs, milk, oil, salt, and sugar; the ingredients are whisked together to form a smooth batter. Afterwards, it’s poured onto a hot plate to cook.
The only difference is that pancakes are smooth, whereas waffles have the iconic grids impressed on their surface. Pancakes might also use a slightly different amount of ingredients, but nothing too significant.
So the next time you make a breakfast sandwich out of pancakes, don’t worry: they’re also bread.