Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's fer breakfast?

Ever since we got back from our family beach vacation in early August, I've been trying to stop eating everything in sight. Since, basically what we did during the week of family vacation was...ate everything in sight. Between the temptation of Tina's fantastic dinners and all the snacks I brought ("for the kids"), we packed a lot in. So...for the past 3 weeks I've been really, really good. No weekend morning pancake breakfasts have been happening. But, when presented with a delicious breakfast idea that was ALSO something new in the kitchen, I had to move on this!

Although I've made countless waffles in my life, I'd always heard of another type of waffle, the elusive "yeasted waffle." Most waffle batters use buttermilk to help with the fluffiness, but this recipe does not. The trick with yeasted waffles is that it's not a "spur of the moment" kind of breakfast. You gotta make the batter the night before so it can sit overnight and rise and bubble. Trust me, you are going to want to do this. When you wake up in the morning, you want to jump out of your skin and get right to eating! The smell of the yeast rising from the kitchen is INSANE!!

I searched all over the internet for yeasted waffles and almost all posts kept coming back to one recipe - Marion Cunningham's from The Breakfast Book.

A few really nice things about this recipe:
- It's easy
- It doesn't require any whipping or folding of egg whites (again, uses yeast for volume)
- It uses dry yeast, which is the kind that's most readily accessible (also called instant yeast or active dry yeast)
- You get to watch the yeast working, the bubbling is super duper cool.
- Did I mention how great it smells in the morning?
- Although you do have to think ahead, there is very little work to do in the morning!

On to the recipe:

½ cup warm water
1 package (or 2 ¼ tsp.) dry yeast
2 cups milk, warmed
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. baking soda

Put the warm water in a bowl (choose a large bowl, since the batter will double in size when it rises) and sprinkle the yeast over the top. After about 5 minutes, whisk smooth to be sure the yeast has dissolved. Now, add the milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour and mix until well blended. The batter will not be very thick, so this can be done with an electric mixer. If you are doing it by hand (which I did), use a whisk to be sure you break up the flour and end up with a smooth batter. Cover and set aside overnight at room temperature.

When you wake up, remember you are going to smell that yeasty goodness coming from the kitchen, get in der (no need to change out of your pjs, cause you're gonna want to laze around a bit after this) and add in your eggs and baking soda.

Get some coffee on now too, because it won't be long. Heat up the waffle iron and pour some batter in! The batter is very thin, so try not to over pour or you will have batter running down the sides of your waffle iron.

Give the first batch a few minutes in the waffle iron, I'd say at least 5, then gently lift up on the lid (like you would with any waffles) to check their doneness. They should be golden brown and they will be crispy. These waffles are easily THE BEST that Todd and I ever tasted. They are delightfully crisp and not too sweet, even slightly salty (which goes great with the maple syrup). Best eaten when fresh! Delish!

Up next, later this week: Macarons! (In keeping with the season, I'm going to try both plum and fig flavors. It will be an experiment!)

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