A waffle feast

Try yeasted waffles this weekend

January 18, 2011

I’m a sucker for the weekend routine of freshly made, hot from the pan, mildly sweet, cake-like breakfast. Be it pancakes, French toast, or waffles, I like my leisurely breakfast with syrup or jam, fruit or plain, sausage or bacon, coffee or tea.

Waffles, I must admit, have a bit of an edge over the other two contenders, literally; their crispy square indentations not only help waffles catch syrup or jam beautifully, they also help them toast up well a day or two later.

Plus, any decent waffle iron makes at least four waffles at once, an efficiency much appreciated when cooking for a crowd.

Usually I make ordinary waffle batter, leavened with baking soda and baking powder and ladled onto a hot iron as soon as I’ve mixed it together. But when I can remember to prep the batter the night before, I prefer the chewier texture and slightly fermented flavor of yeasted waffles.

The make-ahead aspect of yeasty waffles makes them an even better option for family breakfast on a weekend morning, when you want to get that breakfast going but you don’t want to slave too much. Make the batter the night before, leave it out on the counter, add the last ingredients in the morning (generally eggs and sometimes butter), then cook away, keeping the hot waffles crisp and warm in a preheated 200-degree oven.

If you have one, a Belgian waffle maker lets you whip through a batch of waffle batter much faster than a small regular machine. Keep in mind, too, that most waffle recipes will only make enough batter for two to four adults, so increase your batter proportions accordingly.

A bowl of yeasty waffle batter, with a Belgian-waffle iron warming up.
A saucepan of maple syrup and butter, slowly warming on a back burner. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Using a 1/2-cup measure, pour batter onto the hot iron.
Use the back of the measuring cup to spread the batter evenly around the iron.
Check to see if the waffles are browned and crispy by gently pulling open the iron; if the two sides of the iron resist pulling, the batter is still too sticky. Stash cooked waffles on a rack inside the preheated oven to keep warm and crispy.
When ready to eat, pile the waffles straight from the oven onto a serving platter and bring to the table.