18 September 2013

Raised Waffles

Dear Lissy,

For years my waffles were little more than corrugated pancakes.  Yummy, but definitely not worth the extra time and clean-up. We enjoyed them when we went out for breakfast, but I only made them at home a couple of times a year.  About 10 years ago I discovered yeasted waffles while cooking through Shirley Corriher's massive tome, Cookwise:  The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking.  These waffles are feather-light with a crispy crust and a creamy interior -- the waffle incarnation of Krispy Kreme donuts, if you will.  I also like the flavor and health benefits of a batter that ferments for 8-12 hours.  Raised waffles are best served hot off the iron.  If you plan to hold these waffles warm, do so on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet in a low oven -- they turn to mush on a plate.  I tend to serve these when we're not all sitting down to eat at once.

 ***If you're reading along with these letters to my daughter, do yourself a favor and do-si-do over to Smitten Kitchen for Deb's gorgeous writing and drool-worthy photos of this same recipe she calls, Essential Raised Waffles   Her readers left dozens of comments praising their favorite waffle irons, too.***

Raised Waffles
This recipe is older than dirt, but this version appeared in Cookwise in 1997. 
Makes 4 -6 waffles
1/2 cup warm water (115 degrees F)
1 pkg (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
2 cups warm whole milk (115 degrees F) 
1 stick or less butter, melted
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups bleached all-purpose flour (9-1/4 oz)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. baking soda 

Sprinkle the yeast on warm water in a very large mixing bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and flour and beat until smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.  Seriously, it's ok.  They won't have a wonderful malty flavor if you pop the bowl in the fridge.

When ready to cook the waffles, beat in the eggs and baking soda.  The batter is very thin, and most waffle irons will require 1/2-3/4 cup batter per waffle.  Cook until waffle stops steaming, which is more than one complete cycle in our waffle iron.  Serve immediately.

Waffle irons vary dramatically -- always read reviews before purchasing.  We prefer classic waffles to Belgian style, and I recommend the $30 Cuisinart WMR-CA Round Classic Waffle Maker. You can often pick it up for about half that price if you catch a sale and use a coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Happy Waffling,

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