Waffles usually disappoint me. The perfect waffle should be crisp–almost crunchy–on the outside but light, fluffy and moist on the inside. Most waffles, even at restaurants, tend to be too heavy and lack much distinction between outside and inside.
The secret to perfect waffles is yeast, which results in highly risen, flavorful and crisp waffles. Unfortunately, yeast batter recipes (called “overnight waffles”) do not generally allow for a quick waffle fix. However, using inspiration from Alton Brown’s English Muffin recipe, I realized that I could speed the process to a little over 30 minutes. The ingredient list is from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. His overnight recipe can be found here.
We had these for dinner, but they could easily be made quickly enough for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
Quick Yeast Waffles
(serves four hungry adults)
2 cups whole milk
8 TB (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 envelope yeast, active dry or instant
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or more white flour)
½ tsp. vanilla (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
(1) Warm milk and butter in a bowl in the microwave or on the stove in a saucepan to above body temperature, but not hot (between 100 and 130 degrees). You can also warm these separately and combine them.
(2) Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in milk/butter mixture. Let sit until foamy (around 5 minutes), then mix in eggs and optional vanilla.
(3) Combine flour(s), remaining sugar and salt in a medium bowl or 4 cup glass measuring cup. Add milk mixture and stir well
(4) Let dough sit in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. An oven quickly heated to 170 degrees and then turned off works well for this..
(5) Make waffles following the instructions on your waffle iron. You will probably end up using a bit less batter per waffle than you would in baking powder waffles because of the amount these will rise.