Waffles. Yummy any time of day, especially here in the South as the Waffle House, a cultural and dare I say culinary icon, is open 24/7. However, I strongly urge you to cruise on by the next Waffle House (which is probably just around the corner as prolific as they are!) and make these the next time your waffle craving hits – be it morning, noon, or night.
Scared of yeast? Don’t be! This is a great recipe to try as there’s no proofing or kneading required, just a little advance planning as the batter needs to sit in the chill chest for 8-24 hours. As Alton Brown (who’s from Atlanta, the headquarters of the Waffle House empire) always says, “Your patience will be rewarded.”
We’ve scaled this recipe to 1.5x the original, which assures plenty of waffles for the 5 of us plus a few extras. The leftovers can be frozen and reheated in the toaster oven when needed, so leggo those Eggos ’cause there’s a new waffle in town! If you know you’ll have leftovers to freeze, you may want to slightly undercook them as they’ll crisp up in the toaster.
Makes ten 7-inch round or six 9-inch square waffles in a classic waffle iron (We have a Belgian waffle iron and it works fine although it makes slightly fewer waffles.)
The batter must be made 12 to 24 hours in advance. The waffles are best served fresh from the iron but can be held in an oven until all of the batter is used. As you make the waffles, place them on a wire rack set above a baking sheet, cover them with a clean kitchen towel, and place the baking sheet in a 200 degree oven. When the final waffle is in the iron, remove the towel to allow the waffles to crisp for a few minutes. These waffles are quite rich; buttering them before eating is not compulsory and, to some, may even be superfluous. Ha! Try telling that to Tim or his dad!
- 2 5/8 cups whole, low-fat, or skim milk (we usually use skim)
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
- 1.5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons table salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (we use rapid-rise or bread machine yeast)
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- butter and maple syrup for serving
Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool milk/butter mixture until warm to touch. (This takes a while – you can speed things up by placing it briefly in the frig.) Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl to combine. Gradually whisk warm milk/butter mixture into flour mixture; continue to whisk until batter is smooth. In small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla until combined, then add egg mixture to batter and whisk until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
Following manufacturer’s instructions, heat waffle iron; remove waffle batter from refrigerator when waffle iron is hot (batter will be foamy and doubled in size). Whisk batter to recombine (batter will deflate). Bake waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions (use about ½ cup for 7-inch round iron and about 1 cup for 9-inch square iron). Serve waffles immediately or hold in low temperature oven (see above note).