Move over, pancakes, and make room for waffles. I enjoy a nice stack of pancakes, but there's no denying my true love of the cratered, crispy waffle with moist and fluffy innards. I vary between recipes quite a bit, opting for a simple and quick buttermilk or regular milk version, sometimes whipping the egg whites separately from the yolks if I don't mind the noise and have time to spare.
My ultimate favorite kind of waffle, however, is a yeast waffle. In fact, what really separates a Belgian waffle from the normal version isn't so much the Belgian waffle maker as it is the addition of yeast to the batter. What you end up with is a waffle that retains its crispy outtards longer than most waffles with an incredible depth of flavor, a light sourdough essence. (And if you want a real experience, make some Liege waffles -- your world will never be the same.)
Normally, when I think ahead of time (which is always easier to do in retrospect), I make an overnight yeast waffles from America's Test Kitchen. When I don't, and this is my usual waffle experience when I want waffles NOW, I either resort to the quick, standard version. However, if you're not hasty and can spare two hours, you can most definitely enjoy yeast waffles TODAY!
I came across this particular recipe for yeast waffles through either Foodgawker or Tastespotting (yeah, that's some memory fail right there). After just one second of staring at all the pictures on her blog, there was no way I was walking away without the prospect of waffles in my immediate future.
There are so many different waffle toppings to choose from, like a "fruit salsa with a lime glaze", "ants" in the form of raisins and chocolate chips (I will give you a shout out on this blog if you order "ants on waffles" the next time you're at a restaurant), peanut butter, cream cheese or sour cream, various flavored syrups, chicken and gravy. When I eat yeast waffles, though, I prefer to keep the toppings at a bare minimum to keep from overpowering the flavor. A few pats of butter, maybe some fruit, a light coating of syrup (enough to mostly fill the craters), and a sprinkling of powdered sugar for beauty.
So GO. Waffles. Go eat some waffles!
(Recipe after jump)
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Original recipe here. Below is my modified version.
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk, heated to 100-110
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar with the milk. Set aside until bubbly, about 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the remaining sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the butter and lemon extract until combined.
- Stir the egg mixture into the yeast, followed by the flour mixture, making sure to mix thoroughly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for two hours; the mixture will be thick, elastic and bubbly.
- Heat waffle iron. When ready, scoop batter into center of grid. Since this batter is thicker than that of normal waffles, it won't spread like you might expect. It will expand whilst cooking, so make sure to fill the grids about 3/4 full (experiment and find what works best). Cook according to waffle iron instructions. Serve with butter and syrup.