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Amazing Overnight Waffles

From the book The 150 Best American Recipes by and
Serves 2 to 3
Yield 6 to 8 waffles


There’s nothing like a batch of waffles (these come from the book Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café) to brighten a morning, especially if they’re homemade. Mix the batter the night before, and all you have to do in the morning is beat an egg, melt some butter, and stir. At the very most, there’s 15 minutes of work here. Yeast gives the waffles a special subtle quality, and the overnight rise adds a mellow tang and a pleasingly chewy texture that sets them apart from the usual baking-powder-and-baking-soda kind.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. active dry yeast (about ½ packet)
½ tsp. salt
2 cups milk (see Note)
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter
1 large egg


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk until blended. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature. (If it’s warmer than 70 degrees, refrigerate the batter.)
  2. The next morning, heat the waffle iron. Melt the butter, then lightly beat the egg. Add both to the batter, which will be quite thin.
  3. Spray the hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and rub on a little butter with a paper towel or a piece of bread. Add just enough batter to cover the cooking surface, about 1⅓ cups for a Belgian waffle, ⅔ cup for a standard waffle.
  4. Cook the waffles until crisp and browned but not too dark, 2 to 3 minutes each. Serve hot.


A great way to keep waffles warm until you’re ready to serve them is to heat the oven to 200 degrees and place the cooked waffles directly on the oven rack without stacking. This keeps the waffles warm and crisp, whereas stacking makes them soggy.

Culinate editor’s note: You can use buttermilk instead of milk, but you may need to add some milk to make the batter thin enough.

This content is from the book The 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens.

There are 5 comments on this item
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40% recommend this recipe
1. by Hilary Cable on Feb 17, 2009 at 5:09 PM PST

I loved the rich yeasty flavor these waffles had. They reminded me of my mom’s sourdough starter when I was a kid. She made sourdough pancakes to die for that were thick and chewy like crumpets. I highly recommend these. They couldn’t be easier. Served them with Trader Joe’s Blueberry Sauce (find it with the maple syrups).

2. by Emily Swantner on Feb 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM PST

My question is: If using buttermilk, do you have to add a teaspoon baking soda since the yeast is a leavener?

3. by Caroline Cummins on Aug 6, 2011 at 11:26 AM PDT

Emily: If you find that your waffles aren’t puffy enough with yeast alone, feel free to add a bit of baking soda to perk up the batter. (See Meera T. Vargo’s recipe for yeasted waffles for tips on this.) It’s not really necessary, however, and if you have the time, you can simply let the fully mixed batter (without baking soda) rest for 15 or 30 minutes, until the batter starts bubbling again.

4. by keri on Nov 8, 2012 at 6:48 PM PST

Is it necessary to warm or bring the milk to room temperature before adding it to the flour mixture?

5. by Caroline Cummins on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM PST

Keri -- Warming the milk (but not scalding it) will certainly activate the yeast in the batter faster. But it’s not necessary.

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