Waffles are definitely one of my favorite breakfast foods. Largely, I don’t discriminate against them, unless they are achingly sweet or use too much vanilla. But in terms of texture, I like mine soft and cakey or even crunchy crisp. When I make waffles or pancakes at home, I rarely ever eat them with syrup. There’s just something about the cake or waffle coming hot off the griddle that is so right to me, I feel like syrup is an insult. Not to mention the fact that when you’re at home syrup seems to get all up in ERREwhere. I didn’t even use syrup (my mom and sister did), and after I ate these, I found a patch of it in my hair (oh, being a woman). And there seem to be lingering traces of it everywhere, the table, the counter, even the floor (WTF?!).
Don’t get me wrong, syrup and I have no gripes about flavor. If I am eating some challah french toast, best BELIEVE I’m dousing that bad boy in a healthy serving of syrup. But if the waffles are hot off the press, I prefer au natural. Okay so now onto the recipe. Yes, it does contain a whole stick of butter, but one waffle is really enough to sate anyone, and this particular recipe made six for me, so I think a little over one tablespoon is a mild indulgence. Also, I was a little wary of a waffle recipe using yeast, which I was not aware it required, but if you have the time to let it sit, the taste is excellent. It has a fluffy, almost spongey, eggy texture, which I found to be quite similar to popovers (and I love me some popovers, so thumbs up).
And a little tip about your waffle iron ( yes some equipment necessary in this one): I was told that using melted margarine over butter or non-stick baking sprays, works well and doesn’t impart the waffles with any funky flavors. Just warm some up in the microwave, and brush it onto your pre-heated iron (waffle, folks, buttery clothes=not so good). I haven’t really experimented with the other ‘greasing’ methods, but I can attest this one worked well.
Really, between butter and egg and vanilla, how can you go wrong? In my book, you simply cannot. We had about three extras, so I froze them up in a giant freezer bag separated by wax paper. One of the select number of leftovers I have the feeling I will actually enjoy. I ‘ll let you know if the freezing/ reheating is extremely detrimental to the flavor or texture. At least I have three to “experiment with different methods.”
Recipe taken from The Café Sucré Farine
Classic Belgian Waffles
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water, 110-115 degrees F
¼ cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
powdered sugar, for dusting, if desired
butter and maple syrup, if desired
fresh fruit, for topping, if desired
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the yeast and stir to combine; let mixture sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, stir the flour with the salt. Whisk in the yeast mixture, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter and let stand for 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 225°. Heat and grease a Belgian waffle iron. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the batter into the iron and cook until the waffles are golden, 3-5 minutes, depending on your waffle maker. Transfer the waffles to the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. Dust the waffles with powdered sugar or serve with butter and warm syrup. We also love these waffles topped with fresh fruit.
More awesome waffle shots:
Happy breakfasting (or desserting with vanilla ice cream….mmm, waffle sundae)!