YOU GUYS. These. Overnight. Yeast. Waffles.
The last few weeks have been pretty insane, work has been overwhelming with crazy long hours, and I’ve just been so tired. Last weekend daylight savings time ended, which should have meant that I got an extra hour of sleep, but instead meant that my body’s been waking me up at 4:15 every morning this week.
And the sun is rising so early—I’m so used to getting into work and having a couple hours of darkness to get stuff done (I’m like a mole, I like working in a cave) that the early sunrise is making me feel like I’m starting the morning way behind. It has, however, exposed me to some glorious sunrises this week on my drive to work.
Anyway, back to the waffles. I do have a point, I promise. My family takes brunch very seriously. Every sabbath growing up, we would get up and whip up a feast of pancakes or waffles, eggs, bacon, and fruit. While I tend to be more partial to pancakes, my mom absolutely loves waffles.
When I was little, we made the kind of waffles that required you to beat egg whites for forever and gently fold them in. Which is ridiculous and time consuming. Then we found (or kind of created?) this buttermilk waffle recipe which is easy and awesome.
But I still seem to be on a mission for the best waffle recipe, because waffles and pancakes are definitely a kind of comfort food for me and my family. And I’m very much in need of comfort food right now.
I think I originally found this overnight yeast waffle recipe on Smitten Kitchen, but then within the same week found it on A Cozy Kitchen. It’s a classic recipe (that I’d never heard of), and it seemed like all of a sudden it was having a “moment”.
When I first read the recipe, I was fascinated by the idea. Yeast in waffles?? And leaving batter out overnight?! But both bloggers raved about the flavor and texture of the waffles, and I knew I had to try them.
When my mom came into town last weekend, I knew I’d found my opportunity. If there are waffles involved, she’s on board. She got in Friday night and I whipped up the batter before heading to bed, then we got up, drank coffee for a few hours, and then got around to making our (fascinating) overnight yeast waffles.
That’s one great thing about this recipe—exact time isn’t important. You don’t have to time it the night before or make it right away in the morning. I put on at around 8:00 Friday night and we didn’t end up making them til almost noon Saturday. The recipe is pretty forgiving.
You do most of the work the night before. Start by pouring the warm water in the bottom of a large bowl. I do mean quite large, the batter will rise a lot and you will need a bigger bowl than you think. Trust me. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it dissolve and foam for about 15 minutes.
And melt your butter, then let it cool a bit.
Whisk in the milk, melted butter, salt, sugar and flour. It’s easiest to do a little bit of wet ingredients, little bit of dry, and whisk in between to avoid lumps.
DO NOT PUT THE EGGS IN. (Or the baking soda.)
Then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it out on the counter overnight. And go to bed.
When you get up in the morning, you will have this crazy, puffy, fermented-smelling awesomeness.
Don’t feel like you have to make the waffles right away—the batter is really forgiving and is ready when you are.
When you are ready, whisk the eggs and baking soda into the risen batter until the batter is smooth.
Now we’re talking…
Heat your waffle iron and coat it lightly with butter or oil. A thinner waffle iron is better here than Belgian, since these waffles don’t get really puffy.
Ladle in the batter, erring on the side of under-filled. It will be very thin and will spread a lot in the pan, so figure out what works best in your iron. Cook until they’re crispy on both sides.
I don’t feel like I need to tell you to eat them right away, but I’m going to. Eat them right away.
However, they can be kept crisp in a warm oven—in fact, they hold their crispness better than any other waffle I’ve had. Or re-crisped in a toaster oven later.
Also good to know? The overnight waffle batter can be kept in the fridge for a few days if you don’t want to make all of them right away. My mom and I made (and scarfed) a bunch on Saturday, but then chilled the rest of the batter for Sunday.
Normally I’d slather my waffles in peanut butter, but honestly the flavor of these is so interesting and nuanced that I Think they shine best with just some good butter and a bit of maple syrup.
Other pancakes and waffles you’ll love:
- Easy Buttermilk Belgian Waffles
- Cinnamon Polenta Pancakes
- Best Buttermilk Pancakes Ever
- Bourbon Banana Pancakes
- Bittersweet & Indulgent Dark Chocolate Waffles (& a single-serving version)
Marion Cunningham’s Overnight Yeast Waffles
Makes about 16 single square waffles (my waffle maker is a 2-square one). Would probably feed about 4 hungry people if you didn’t have eggs & bacon & such. You could halve it for two people.
- 1/2 cup of warm water (about 105 to 110 degrees, so not too hot)
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
- 2 cups of milk, warmed (again, not too hot or it’ll be scalded)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled until lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- Oil or melted butter for waffle iron
- Powdered sugar, syrup or berries for serving
- The night before—pour the warm water in the bottom of a large bowl (trust me, much larger than you think, the batter will rise a lot). Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it dissolve and foam, about 15 minutes.
- Then whisk in the milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour. You can do a little bit of wet ingredients, little bit of dry, whisking in between to avoid lumps.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it out on the counter overnight.
- The next morning when you’re ready to make the waffles, whisk the eggs and baking soda in until the batter is smooth.
- Heat your waffle iron (thinner is better than Belgian, they barely rise at all) and coat lightly with butter or oil. Ladle in the batter. It will be very thin and will spread a lot in the pan, so I’d err on the side of under-filled until you figure out what works best in your iron.
- Cook until they’re crispy on both sides. They can be kept crisp in a warm oven—in fact, they hold their crispness quite well! And re-warmed nicely in a toaster oven. The batter can be kept in the fridge for a few days if you don’t want to make all of them right away.
Original overnight waffle recipe here
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