Going out to a restaurant for a weekend brunch is one of those things I hate. The good restaurants are often so busy that you wait in line forever. Then the food is often overpriced. Think about it – breakfast food is usually pretty cheap and easy to make. So why not have your friends over for brunch at your house? Before we moved away from all our friends and family, and we still had a little bit of a social life, having people over for brunch was a common occurrence. The only thing I hated was having to get up early to start cooking. That’s where these overnight yeast raised Belgian waffles can save the day. You make the batter the day before you cook them, so when you wake up, you barely need to do any work.
Have you ever had waffles that were leavened with yeast instead of baking powder? If not, you need to. Now. Seriously, make this batter right now so you can eat them tomorrow. The second I tried yeasted waffles, I never made regular ones again. They have a subtle yeasty flavor, with a crispy crust and light, fluffy center. Like a traditional Liege waffle, these ones also have bits of caramelized pearl sugar baked into the crust, so they don’t even need syrup (but real maple syrup makes pretty much everything better, so why not?)
These waffles are pretty much just as easy to make as regular North American style waffles. The only difference is that the batter sits for longer.
All you do is heat the milk and butter until the butter is melted. This can be done in the microwave or on the stove. Stir together the dry ingredients, then stir the milk/butter in.
Then you whisk the eggs and vanilla together and mix them into the batter. That’s it. Your part is done. Now just let the batter hang out in the fridge overnight.
When it’s done, it will look kinda bubbly and spongy. Give it a stir and it’s ready to go into the waffle iron.
While your waffle iron is heating, get your pearl sugar out. Okay, you probably don’t have any on hand unless you regularly make these waffles. The first time I bought it, I had a hard time finding it. I ended up finding it in a European import store, with not a line of English on the box. I guessed it was pearl sugar from the picture on the box, and I was right. Since then, I’ve seen it around. Even my regular grocery store has it. If all else fails, buy it online or coarsely crush up some sugar cubes.
Sprinkle the pearl sugar evenly over the waffle iron, then spread a ladle full of batter over the iron. It’ll probably need a little help spreading out, because the batter is a little thicker than regular waffle batter.
You’ll want to make sure you don’t put too much batter, or it will overflow and make a huge mess. Also make sure you don’t put too little, because it won’t be enough to make the waffle rise enough and make the crunchy ridges…
And the waffles will end up pale and soft, like this. Sprinkle a little more pearl sugar over the top of the batter, and close up the iron.
Serve the waffles immediately while hot, or cool them on a wire rack to freeze. If you do freeze them, put them in an airtight bag or container, and warm them up in the toaster. Because of the pearl sugar, they don’t even need syrup, but a little maple syrup makes them extra yummy! They’re also great served with fresh fruit.
In other news, my posts might be a bit sparse over the next week. I’m actually writing this one on the way out the door to the airport. I’m going on my first ever trip to Washington DC to see some monuments and museums – without the tykette! Lucky for us, Granny and Grandpa are here to babysit, so we get to spend as much time as we want looking at what I’m sure is not very exciting to a 2 year old. I’ll try to keep you posted!
- 1 3/4 cup low fat or skim milk
- 1 Tbsp stick unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces, 8
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp instant or quick rise yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
Warm milk and butter together in the microwave or a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Allow to cool until just warm, if needed.
Whisk together flours, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in milk and butter mixture slowly.
Stir together eggs and vanilla, then stir this into the batter.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a lid and let rise in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
When ready to cook, heat waffle iron. Spray lightly with canola oil if desired. Sprinkle pearl sugar evenly into the waffle iron. Spoon in batter with a ladle, being careful not to over- or under-fill. Sprinkle more pearl sugar on top of the batter.
Cook waffle until steam diminishes. Serve immediately or allow to cool on a wire rack to freeze. Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag and reheat in the toaster.