Our beloved household waffles are the insanely great Waffles of Insane Greatness. We make them with regularity during lazy weekend mornings and the occasional breakfast for dinner. But when we had plans for an early-morning breakfast to discuss summer hiking plans with a friend (no, it’s never too early in the year to plan grand hikes, and the fact it was nearly 80 degrees this weekend certainly didn’t hurt either), I thought I’d make something the night before to prepare for the next morning’s breakfast summit.
Being the waffleholic that Eric is, he immediately suggested “we should make the overnight-yeasted waffles.” I’ve always been curious about this concept, although skeptical that they would be better than our house waffles. But it seemed fated that we try them. So before bed I mixed up the batter and set it out on the counter overnight to rise.
The next morning, the batter had doubled in size (not unlike a loaf of bread) and smelled of yeasty goodness (not unlike a brewery). I added eggs and baking soda and heated my waffle iron. Eric juiced oranges from a coworker’s tree to make fresh-squeezed orange juice and cooked applewood-smoked bacon. I put on a pot of tea and brewed up some Earl Grey. Breakfast came together in a snap.
The waffles were crispy in a delightfully light and airy manner. And the smell of fresh yeast waffled through the air. With a dollop of Grade B maple syrup on top, the flavors melded together oh so right. They were good and we consumed more than two Belgium waffles each. I know that sounds like a lot, but keep in mind these are much lighter than commercial waffles; still, I can’t say we didn’t experience a mild waffle comma immediately afterward.
But were they better than WIG? Maybe, maybe not. They were crispier, to be sure. And the smell can’t be beat. But Waffles of Insane Greatness probably still gets our vote. Maybe it’s because they were our first love. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a direct comparison. However, having two great waffle recipes in our repertoire doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.
The next time I need a ready-to-go waffle, I will make Marion Cunningham’s raised waffles.
You should, too.
Makes 8 or 9 Belgium waffles
1/2 cup warm water
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
2 cups milk, warmed
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, add water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let dissolve, 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour, and beat with an electric mixer or wire whisk until well blended and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature.
Preheat the waffle iron. Stir in eggs and baking soda to the batter (the batter should have doubled in size overnight). Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions until crisp and slightly golden. Serve immediately—they’re best hot off the griddle.
Adapted from Orangette, originally from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book