Aug 10, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Our Favorite Waffles

Pancakes are a mainstay for weekend breakfasts.  I have a favorite from-scratch recipe and occasionally I'll even use packaged mixes.

But homemade cinnamon rolls or waffles make a leisurely breakfast extra-special.  One of the first recipes I tried from Mary Gubser's Quick Breads, Soups & Stews cookbook was this yeast-raised waffle recipe.

It requires planning ahead - you either need to allow an hour for the batter to rise in the morning, or mix it up the night before and refrigerate it.  (I usually do the latter.) I modified Mary's original proportions a bit to suit us, and nothing compares to the texture I can get with this recipe.  I've tried several other waffle recipes over the years, from scratch and mixes, and always come back to this one - it's worth the extra effort.

I have two stove-top Belgian waffle irons.  They demand close attention to maintain the proper temperature, but when I have bacon in the oven and both irons going on the stove top, I can get breakfast on the table in good time.

Our family's favorite syrup is hard to find here;  Griffin Foods is an Oklahoma-based company and not many Tennessee stores carry their syrup or other products.  (Too bad - their corn syrup and preserves are pretty tasty and economical, too.)

 When our boys were growing up (and had ravenous appetites as only pre-teen and teenage boys can have), I bought Griffin's pancake syrup by the gallon.  Now we snag a few smaller bottles anytime we can get our hands on some. In between we make-do with other brands.  If you get the chance to try some Griffin's, you should.

Our Favorite Belgian Waffles

1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Sprinkle yeast on water in small bowl and mix well.  Set aside to proof (I usually add a bit of the recipe's sugar to speed things along.)  In a large bowl, combine milk with the butter, sugar and salt, mixing well.  Add the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks (place the whites in a separate dish); stir until well-blended.  Stir in the yeast mixture.  With a wire whip, beat in flour and vanilla.  Cover bowl and let proof for 45 minutes or refrigerate overnight.  (Be sure the bowl is large enough to accommodate the raised mixture - refrigerator disasters are no fun to face in the morning!)  Refrigerate egg whites separately.

When ready to bake, beat reserved egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.  Bake according to your waffle iron's directions.  Makes 7 waffles.

Serve hot with butter and syrup, or your favorite waffle toppings.  Leftover waffles can be frozen and reheated if you have a toaster or toaster oven with an extra-wide slot.

Happy brunching!