A couple of years ago, we visited some friends out west. We arrived in the early evening, so they picked us up at the airport and we drove to a restaurant to eat. After dinner we went to their home where we chatted and caught up until it was time for bed. At that point, they told us what was available for breakfast. I don’t remember exactly what they said but it was something like “There’s some cereal in here. And there’s some milk in the fridge.”
A few minutes later, Steve and I were in the bedroom getting ready for bed, when he turned to me and said “I guess they don’t take breakfast as seriously as we do, do they?” I cocked my head to the side, raised my eyebrows and replied “Nobody takes breakfast as seriously as we do!”
Every morning we sit down and eat breakfast together and it’s not unusual for us to spend 15-20 minutes preparing it. Steve is in charge of the coffee, which on the weekends resembles a Japanese tea ceremony (there’s weighing of beans, grinding them at a specific size, boiling water to a precise temperature, and more) and I am in charge of drinks (fresh fruit smoothies or juiced fruits and veggies). The food is some kind of baked good, oatmeal, toasted home-made bread with butter and honey or jam, or granola. Everything is homemade of course.
So, yes, we take breakfast seriously. And nothing says “serious breakfast” like freshly made waffles. We used to make sourdough waffles with a starter we kept in the fridge, but then we discovered this recipe for yeasted waffles that blew our minds and we never looked back. The batter is prepared the night before and left on the countertop overnight, during which time it rises and then collapses. In the morning, you add two eggs and a touch of baking soda and it’s ready for cooking.
The yeast makes all the difference here. It makes the waffles crispy and filled with tiny bubbles so that when you bite into them, they dissolve in your mouth with a satisfying crunch. It also gives them an addictive malted taste and aroma that fills the house as they cook. We’ve discovered that the best way to eat them is by first pouring maple syrup on them, adding a dollop of freshly whipped cream and topping them with sliced strawberries.
Is this a serious breakfast or what?
Marion Cunningham’s Raised Waffles – Adapted from “The Breakfast Book“
½ cup warm water
1 package (2 ¼ tsp.) active dry yeast or 1 3/4 tsp instant yeast
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1 stick (½ cup or 113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. table salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. baking soda
– If you are using active dry yeast, pour the water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes. Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour, and beat with an electric mixer until well blended and smooth.
– If you are using instant yeast, add the water, milk, butter, salt, sugar, flour, and yeast into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended and smooth.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature. We’ve found that when we let the batter sit for 12 hours, the waffles have the most intense, malted flavor, but you can go as low as 7-8 hours.
In the morning, remove the plastic wrap. The batter will look deflated with a pocked surface. It will also look like it separated over night. Don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to be! (The first time we tried the recipe, we thought it went bad, so we threw it out and then tried a second batch which was exactly the same, until a little research online revealed that it’s supposed to be exactly like this).
Preheat your waffle maker to a medium-high setting (you’ll have to experiment with your waffle maker because each one is different). Stir the batter with a fork or spoon until it is smooth again. Add the lightly beaten eggs to the batter along with the baking soda. Mix the batter until fully combined. The batter will be very thin.
Cook in your waffle maker until the waffles are golden brown and crisp. As you take the waffles out of the waffle maker, place them on a cooling rack to prevent them from getting soggy on the bottom.
Any leftover waffles, once completely cool, can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. Whenever you want them, just reheat them in a toaster straight from the freezer (no thawing required).