~ Teresa's Easy-to-Make Overnight Belgian Waffles ~
In the event you make real-deal waffles from scratch, you know the mere sight of a box of frozen, stick-in-the-toaster-type waffles makes you shudder. In the event you have never made real-deal waffles from scratch (sorry, boxed pancake and waffle mixes do not qualify for "from scratch" status), I warn you, once you do, there is no going back in time. You'll have no where to run and no where to hide from your family, so, proceed with caution. Take a moment and make your decision carefully, because the path you choose will affect you for the rest of your life!
Let me be honest, if you are the family cook, making real-deal waffles in the midst of getting everyone in your household out the door for school and/or work on time, to say the least, requires a degree in time-management. Toasting some bread, scrambling or frying some eggs, and, even whisking up a few pancakes is child's play compared to making any type of waffles. For years, I saved waffle making for occasional weekend and very special occasion breakfasts.
I had issues with the entire waffle-making ordeal. Waffles made with baking powder and/or baking soda lacked the well-developed flavor of waffles containing yeast. Waffles containing yeast require ample time to rise, several hours on the countertop or overnight in the refrigerator, and, even then, most recipes require whisking additional ingredients into them prior to cooking. Not my idea of a good time. For me, cooking in the morning had better be seriously simple and straightforward -- period. I am not a "sweet" girl in the morning. I just want to have fun:
Preheat waffle iron, remove batter from refrigerator and cook!
By coincidence, about two weeks ago, a talented foodie friend of mine, Teresa Gottier, posted a photo of her "overnight" yeast waffles on Facebook. Over the past two years, Teresa has shared a few of her delicious recipes with me. Let me tell you, when Teresa shares a recipe with you, you know it is going to work perfectly: it is precisely written, with all sorts of added notes that troubleshoot any "gray areas". Good luck trying to find that in a published cookbook these days. Her recipe for Belgian waffles is EVERTHING a waffle should be, including easy!
A bit about Belgian vs. American Waffles: Americans tend to think all waffles are alike. Nothing could be farther from the truth -- even in Belgium. Traditionally, Belgian waffles are made with yeast, giving them plenty of time to rise, rendering them lighter and crisper than American waffles made with baking powder and/or baking soda. Unfortunately, that distinctive difference in preparation has been dumbed down to refer to the type of waffle iron used (either electric or stovetop), rather than the recipe.
It is important to note that the difference between the two irons is immediately obvious. The Belgian iron (pictured on the left) has a deep, bold grid, while the American iron (on the right) has a shallow more delicate grid. I own both types of electric waffle irons and I find it very odd that neither of the recipe booklets include a recipe for waffles made with yeast. No wonder people are confused!
In 1958, Belgian waffles were showcased to the world at Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgium. I was 3 and I did not attend. In 1962, they made their American debut at the Century 21 Expo in Seattle, WA. I was 7, and I didn't make that event either. Belgian waffles were made famous in 1964 at the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, where they were served with strawberries and whipped cream. I was 9 and my brother was 6. Our family visited that fair 3 times and Belgium waffles was one of our stops every time!
It's time to make some overnight Belgian waffles!
1 generous tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated yeast (1, 1/4-ounce packet), not Rapid Rise
14 ounces whole milk (1 3/4 cups)
4 ounces salted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, not imitation
2 large eggs, at room temperature
~ Step 1. Let me start by saying when a recipe gives you a flour measurement by weight, it is the correct way to give you a flour measurement. Flour should be measured using a kitchen scale. As per Teresa, I weighed the flour. For your convenience I measured it. It worked out to be about a teaspoon shy of 2 1/4 cups.
In a 1-cup measuring container (or a small bowl), using a fork, whisk the eggs and set aside.
~ Step 3. In a 1-quart saucepan, place milk, butter and vanilla. Melt the butter into the milk over medium heat, stirring frequently. When butter is melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool to 120 degrees, about 20-25 minutes. Check temperature every 5 minutes with an instant read thermometer to get it exact.
~ Step 5. Transfer the mixture to a very large, clean bowl (I like to let the dough rise in a bowl with no residue on the sides and this is a 5-quart bowl). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight, 10-12 hours, or longer. (Mine was in the refrigerator from 5:30PM to 10:30AM, or 17 hours.)
Note: Grid size varies between manufacturers, so, it may require a test batch to determine if you need to use more or less batter. Make a note of it and you'll never have to worry about that again!
Open the lid of the preheated waffle iron, and, working as quickly as you can without making a mess, deliver a level ladleful (no more, no less) to the center of each square, and, slightly towards the back hinges of the waffle iron. I used a teaspoon to scrape all of the batter from the ladle onto the grid.
I say "slightly towards the back of the machine" because when you close the lid, it is going to push the batter forward towards the front.
Note: This time will vary depending upon the heat of your machine, and, as you bake continuous batches, the time will most likely lessen a bit because the grids store heat.
Using a fork, lift the waffles up from the grid, slide a long spatula underneath the pair and serve immediately, or:
To make them slightly ahead of time, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Place a rack in a 17 1/2" x 11 1/2" baking pan that has been lined with a sheet of parchment. Prepare all of the waffles, as directed above, placing them on the rack as they come out of the waffle iron. When all waffles are cooked, place the entire pan in the oven for 3-5 minutes to warm and crisp them.
Special Equipment List: kitchen scale; whisk; 1-cup measuring container; fork; 1-quart saucepan; instant-read thermometer; a very large mixing bowl, about 5-quarts; plastic wrap; waffle iron, preheated to manufacturer's specifications; 1/2-cup ladle; teaspoon; long-handled fork; long spatula
To learn about these delightful cookies and get my recipe, click into Categories 7 or 12 to read ~ Double-Lemon & Vanilla-Kissed Pizzelle Cookies ~!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)