Sunday, July 18, 2010

Waffles With Little Effort?

Seriously?! How many of you like homemade waffles but don't like how long it takes to make them? I mean, if you're like me and your children are like mine, it's difficult to have breakfast too long after everyone wakes up. I want something that can be made fast, but still taste amazing and my kids...well, they just don't want to have to wait too, too long.

But I like to have good breakfasts, especially on the weekends. Why? Because it's just plain fun to have good breakfasts. And it makes the weekends festive, fun and full of delicious memories. But, with our Sabbath Dinner on Saturday night and church on Sunday mornings, I don't want to put much effort into making anything elaborate on either Saturday or Sunday mornings or else I'll probably find myself going crazy before long. There must be balance. Therefore, I am ALWAYS on the hunt for recipes that can be assembled the night before and then baked/put together the next morning. On my repertoire so far of make-ahead go-to hits are cinnamon rolls, bagels, coffee cake and pancakes (although these aren't make ahead, they're so easy and fast to make from scratch it doesn't matter). Waffles sounded great to me too but I never wanted to go through the process of making the batter in the morning. Some of the best waffles are the raised kind (leavened with yeast) but they sadly just take too long.

But wait...not anymore. I'm happy to report that I have the BEST waffle recipe and it came from none other than Cook's Illustrated. When I had Elliana, some friends came and spoiled us with treats in the hospital. They brought Steve a celebratory beer, me some magazines and some other fun things like Odwallas and strawberries (thanks Renos!!). Among the magazines they brought was a Cook's Illustrated. I had never seen this magazine before but I quickly realized it was put out by the same people who do the America's Test Kitchen cookbook which is one of my FAVORITE and old stand-by cookbooks. Anyhow, I devoured this magazine during my stay in the hospital (and continue to by the way) during late night feedings and mere lounging around while Ellie was sleeping. And lo and behold, in it was a recipe for Overnight Yeasted Waffles.

I had to try them. They seemed too easy. But after one test-run this weekend...we have a winner. Do try these at home. They are so, so good. And the best part is that the leftovers can be frozen and reheated in the toaster for a quick breakfast during the week.


Overnight Yeasted Waffles

1 3/4 cups whole, low-fat or skim milk (doesn't matter; I used whole because that's what we have)
1 stick of butter cut up into 8 pieces (I know it's a lot of butter but it makes a lot of waffles)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used regular active dry yeast because it's what I have)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted, about four minutes; let cool until warm. Note: it's important to let it cool to lukewarm so that it's not too hot to kill the yeast but still warm enough to proof the yeast (if using regular not instant yeast.) Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in large bowl.

2. Gradually whisk warm-milk mixture into flour mixture and continue to whisk until batter is smooth. Whisk eggs and vanilla together in small bowl until combined, then whisk into batter until incorporated.

3. TO STORE: Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours (mine only went 11 hours and was still fine).

4. TO SERVE: Heat waffle iron. Remove batter from refrigerator when waffle iron is heated. Whisk batter to recombine. Batter will deflate. Bake waffles according to manufacturer's instructions. Use about 1/2 cup for a 7-inch round iron and about 1 cup for a 9-inch square iron. Serve hot. Or cool on a wire rack. Once cool, freeze. Reheat in toaster.


And for fun...some recent pics because a blog post without pictures isn't that exciting. Of course, I didn't take pictures of the waffles because I'm just not that on top of things right now. But here's some random, silly ones of the children.

Elliana's first bath! Yes, it took me three weeks to do it but to be fair, she hardly spits up and it took over two weeks for her umbilical cord to fall off. So there...I have good excuses!

Summer bounty. Quite large!

Put into perspective! Definitely HUGE! We didn't realize zucchini can get that big. Looks like we left them on the vine a little too long.

The boys were sick with some sort of flu last week. All had high fevers and two of them had their share of throwing up. That's always fun. So we watched tons of movies and built forts. Movies and forts. Such is the life huh!!

Well, have a great week.

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