Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yeasted Belgian Waffles

Pardon my phrasing, but what the hell happened to November?!? I mean, I’m planning pumpkin and root vegetable recipes, and I turn around and it’s gone! Now it’s time for December’s holiday treats and there’s nary a cookie in the house! What’s to be done?

Well, I could go on about the epic-ness of recent culinary shortfalls, but that’s not what these pages are for. Right now, these pages are for waffles. Fluffy yeasted Belgian waffles made from batter you can mix up the night before so breakfast can be produced without delay!

I got a Belgian waffle maker long enough ago that I don’t remember when it was, but then I had to sift through my hefty collection of mostly unorganized recipes to find the particular magazine clippings I had saved for years. These held a recipe for yeasted Belgian waffles, which sounded so interesting that I actually remembered them for, yes, literally years.

And these are good waffles. Just a basic flavored with a reasonably fluffy texture and a bit of yeasty aroma. The head notes printed with the original recipe insisted that the waffles would be sweet and therefore would not need to be served with maple syrup. Um, no. Not gonna happen. I simply reduced the sugar to make room in the sweetness palette for that oh-so-necessary syrup.

As tasty as these waffles are, however, I think their most appealing quality is their ability to be made ahead. The batter is mixed up the night before and the yeast allowed to work its magic in the refrigerator. If you have lots of time before breakfast or brunch, or if you want to serve Belgian waffles for supper, you can let the batter sit at room temperature for a couple of hours instead. For myself, I like to have things ready to go for a lazy weekend breakfast, perhaps as fuel for a day of holiday baking. Let’s just hope that has a chance of happening!

Overnight Yeasted Belgian Waffles
Adapted from Cooking Pleasures magazine

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup warm water (about 110 F), divided
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 ¼-ounce package)
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup warm milk (about 110 F)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, mix the warm water and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

4. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add to the water-yeast mixture. Whisk in the melted butter. Whisk in the remaining water, and milk. Whisk in the sugar and beat until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract.

5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the mixture is smooth. Cover with a towel and refrigerate overnight (or let stand at room temperature until the batter doubles in size).

6. When ready to make waffles, preheat oven to 250 F to hold finished waffles and keep them warm. Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron. Spray the heated iron with cooking spray. Pour about ½ cup batter onto the iron. Bake according to manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat with the remaining batter, keeping the finished waffles in the oven to keep them warm. Serve with butter and maple syrup (of course).

Makes 5-6 Belgian waffles.

Other recipes like this one: Orange Millet Waffles, Pumpkin Waffles

One year ago: Sweet Pumpkin Dip

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