Whenever I go home to to visit my family, there’s one thing that I always request: My grandmother’s overnight yeasted waffles.
To me, these are the quintessential waffles and all others are held to their standard. They’re crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, but they’re also a touch chewy from the overnight rise with yeast. Yeast and a long rise give these waffles an unmatchable flavor.
Unlike many Saturday morning waffle recipes, this one starts the night before. You add some yeast to the batter and let it slowly rise on the counter overnight. Use your biggest mixing bowl – the batter can double or even triple by the next morning.
The slow overnight rise makes waffles with a subtle sweet yeasty flavor and a more substantial texture than waffles made with baking soda. My family recipe was made without sugar, but I’ve found that adding a few spoonfuls is a nice weekend treat. Try it both ways and see which one you like best.
Emma Christensen: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overnight Yeasted Waffles
Use a very large mixing bowl. The batter will double in size as it rises.
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Combine warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let stand for a few minutes. Stir to make sure the yeast dissolves into the water.
Melt the butter over low heat or in the microwave. Combine the butter with the milk, salt and sugar (if using). Test with your finger to make sure the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, then stir it into the dissolved yeast mixture. Add the flour and stir until a thick, shaggy dough is formed and there is no more visible flour.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight. The batter will double or triple in bulk as it rises.
Beat the eggs together the next morning. Using a whisk or hand blender, beat the eggs and baking soda into the batter until completely combined.
Make the waffles according to your waffle maker’s instructions, cooking until golden brown. Cooking time will vary, but it’s usually 4 to 6 minutes.
Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftover waffles up to a week or freeze up to three months. Reheat waffles in a toaster.
YIELD: 8 Belgian-style or 16 standard-size waffles.