Waffles for me are like pancake's fussy cousins. To the casual onlooker, they are just pancake batter baked in a funny pan. And yet, they are a treat I have yet to really master.
There are two main types of waffle batter. Quick batters rely on some combination of baking soda, baking powder, and (sometimes) egg whites for leavening. Yeasted waffles rely on (you guessed it) yeast.
I usually end up making the non-yeasted variety because yeast requires hours to rise, and I prefer to sleep in the wee hours of the morning rather than make batter. But the quicker kind usually has a big downside: most of them require one or two egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. As much as I dearly love my stand mixer, it is incapable of whisking less than about six egg whites. And doing it with a hand mixer takes 5-10 minutes of non stop bowl-scraping and blending. Don't even think about doing it with a plain old whisk unless you are bored and looking for an upper arm workout.
I found a great deal on a deep waffle maker recently, so I thought I would take it for a whirl with actual overnight yeast waffles. The result is shown in my photo above (forgive any uneven browning...it takes a while to learn the quirks of a new cooking tool). The batter was pretty fast to make (stirred up about ten PM last night), and the prep work this morning was mostly unpacking the new toy and reading its instructions.
- 1 3/4 cups milk (I used skim)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup, 8 Tbsp) butter, melted
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Whisk melted butter into the milk..
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients. Add the butter/milk mixture and whisk together (I really mean whisk here--I promise it will work better than a spatula and the batter is not heavy).
- Whisk the eggs and vanilla together, then add to the rest of the batter. Whisk well.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat your waffle iron. If necessary, brush the plates with cooking oil (avoid using sprays because excess spray will bake onto the plates).
- Take the batter out of the fridge and stir.
- Pour onto the waffle iron and bake according to the directions. Typically that means baking until it mostly stops steaming.
- Serve warm, or set cooked waffles on a wire rack so the bottoms don't get soggy (keep them on a rack in the oven set to warm/200 if you are not going to eat them right away).
- Leftovers can be frozen and re-heated in a toaster for quick weekday breakfasts