In my humble opinion, or as the youth might say, IMHO, there is truly nothing better for breakfast than overnight yeasted waffles. They are airy and light with a slight tang from the yeast and it is impossible to eat just one – or even two – and yes, I speak from experience. I personally don’t even add maple syrup to mine, just a pad of salted butter that ideally gets all melty prior to my first bite.
Now don’t get me wrong, I also love regular waffles – the kind you make on the morning of the day that you want to eat them, with a batter remarkably similar to the one you assemble when making pancakes (except waffle batter tends to have more fat than pancake batter, but I digress). Yeasted waffles, however, are truly in a class all their own. First, I love that you make the batter the night before you are craving waffles for breakfast, and if you use instant yeast, as my recipe recommends you do, the whole shebang is made in a single bowl and is thrown together in about three-and-a-half minutes. There is something so infinitely satisfying, at least for me, about waking up and seeing waffle batter just waiting for me on the kitchen island – I mean I don’t even have to open the refrigerator door and pull it out. And I know that may make me sound a bit precious – that opening a refrigerator door first thing in the am is a bother, but just hear me out – I promise you it is nice to not have to do so.
Left out overnight is OK!
And a word about the batter on the counter (for those that are feeling anxious). I get it: the idea of a batter filled with yeast and milk and melted butter remaining at room temp for several hours, is kind of off-putting. All I can tell you is that I have always made my overnight waffles this way, as have loads of others, with no problems. And the flavor that the batter develops during this room temp rest is off-the-charts yum. But, if this makes you uncomfortable, by all means place the bowl in the fridge overnight. No judgment here.
Adittionally, waffles freeze wonderfully, so feel free to place any leftovers in the freezer in a zippered plastic bag and then reheat in the toaster the day you are feeling waffle-y. Finally, if you have teenagers who sleep until 1:00pm, or you wake up early, but just aren’t interested in eating waffles until several hours later, you CAN make the waffle batter the morning you want to eat them, as long as the batter sits for several hours (about 3 to 4) before you use it. And did I mention that a runny fried egg and a couple of slices of crispy bacon on top of one of these waffles makes for a splendid savory breakfast if you’re not feeling syrup and butter? Well, it’s true, just so you know.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 cups whole milk room temp, or slightly warm
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
3 large eggs
A scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
Cooking spray or softened butter for the waffle maker
Maple syrup and salted butter for serving
The night before you want waffles for breakfast, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the warm milk and butter and whisk again. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let sit on the counter overnight.
In the morning, the batter will have at least doubled in size and will look bubbly. Add the eggs and baking soda and whisk to combine. The batter will deflate. Don’t be alarmed.
Prepare the waffle maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use about 1/2 cup of batter per waffle and cook for about 5 minutes, until crispy and golden. Serve with syrup and pats of salted butter.
Jessie is a baker and cookbook author; you can learn more about her through her website jessiesheehanbakes.com.