sweet & savory yeasted waffle bar
The latest obsession in my house is one that has since spread to everyone who has come into contact with it: yeasted waffles. I now consider myself a yeasted waffle evangelist, intent on converting everyone with a mouth to my new breakfast church.
Leaving aside the crack-like addiction to the bready taste and crisp texture of these waffles, what makes them utterly magical is that they can turn any meal into a LIT'RAL party that can be done completely in advance. Whether you prefer a sweet or savory start to your morning (or like to push breakfast into lunch or dinner territory), these waffles hit the spot. You can make the batter ahead, cook them ahead, and then set out a spread of sweet and savory toppings for everyone to Frankenstein their own perfect meal.
Below is Ina Garten's basic yeasted waffle recipe, as well as my methods and suggestions for cooking them and a wide range of accompaniments. You can stick to waffle formation, or you can Alton Brown this shit and explore pancake and scrambled varieties. There's no wrong way to party.
sweet & savory yeasted waffle bar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm whole milk
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the waffle iron
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
The night before, combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a very large bowl (the batter will expand enormously). Allow it to stand for about 5 minutes, until the yeast dissolves and the mixture has started to foam, which tells you the yeast is active. Stir in the milk, butter, honey, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and whisk until the batter is smooth. Cover the bowl (I use a beeswax wrap but you could also use plastic wrap; a clean dish towel also works but you won't get as much rise) and allow it to sit overnight at a cool room temperature.
The next morning, beat the eggs together with the baking soda and whisk them into the batter until combined, then choose from the three cooking methods below. To make these ahead, follow the process below to make the waffles, let them cool, stack, then wrap in aluminum foil. You can freeze them or refrigerate them for the next day; reheat on a baking sheet in a 300'F oven, pop them back into the waffle iron, or use a toaster!
To make waffles: heat a Belgian waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and brush the top and bottom with melted butter. Pour just enough of the batter onto the hot waffle iron to cover the grids (⅓ to ½ cup each, depending on your waffle maker), close, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat, until the waffles are golden brown, and remove them with a fork. Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.
To make thin pancakes: heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and melt a little butter in the bottom. Pour in the batter into a few cakes, just like making pancakes, and when bubbles start to form on the top, flip (these won't firm up much so don't get frustrated if they flop over themselves) and finish cooking. I tend to eat these straight from the pan because I lack basic self control, but you can treat these as you would a waffle, with the understanding it's all going to collapse into a happy pile.
To make a deconstructed crepe-scramble-thing: heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat, and melt a little butter in the bottom. Pour in enough batter for a single serving (though this can easily be scaled up) and cook slowly, as though you're scrambling eggs. Once the batter is halfway cooked (use your judgement here; this is the same decision making process as making a scramble), add in your cooked filling and stir as your cook until you're happy with the level of doneness.
You can put ANYTHING on these--if you can put it on toast, pancakes, regular waffles, OR A SANDWICH HELLO PEOPLE, you can put it on a yeasted waffle.
- spread creme fraiche on the waffle and top with smoked salmon, sea salt, sliced green onion or chives, and a drizzle of EVOO. To level up, you could add a slice of ripe tomato (don't bother if it isn't a fabulously ripe summer tomato), capers, and a scattering of raw minced red onion or shallot (my preference).
- cooked crumbled bacon, prosciutto + grated gruyere + broil until cheese is melted and bubbly
- ham + grated swiss cheese + green onion + Mornay sauce + lemon
- good butter + Maldon sea salt
- good butter + Maldon sea salt + maple syrup
- jam/fruit compote + good butter
- blackberry compote + creme fraiche + prosciutto + grated gruyere + broil until cheese is melty
- creme fraiche + creamed mushrooms
- cooked/drained/crumbled Mexican chorizo + white English cheddar
- scrambled eggs + crumbled bacon + cheddar cheese + broil until cheese is melted
- cocaine (just kidding, that should go up your nose or on your gums, dummy)