The Belgian waffle, an ancient festive cuisine that still feels special today, is all too frequently just a spongy mattress for mounds of whipped cream and syrupy sauce when it truly ought to be the star of the show. A heated waffle is a habit worth honoring on the weekends or during a holiday, even though it may not be typical Monday morning fare.
15 minutes to prepare
Rest for at least one hour and twenty-five minutes before cooking.
6 tbsp. Melted butter (about 60g)
Milk, 180 ml.
1 tbsp (10g) (10g) dried active yeast
One tablespoon of soft light brown sugar, or more to your liking
240g of flour
1 tbsp dry polenta or cornmeal, or an additional 1 tbsp flour
12 teaspoons of salt
24 milliliter of buttermilk
One big, beaten egg
1. Start the batter far in advance
Unless you plan to eat them for breakfast in the early morning, I’d suggest mixing the batter the night before. There is just no getting around the fact that you will also want a waffle iron because, without one, this batter will only produce pancakes (also delicious, but not waffles). Although I make mine on a straightforward stove-top model, you may get electric ones.
2 . Mix the yeast with the hot milk.
In a pan, melt the butter, then set it aside. When the milk is close to the temperature of your body, add the yeast and a pinch of sugar, stir, and then wait until tiny bubbles appear on the milk’s surface. If this doesn’t happen, the yeast may not be alive, or the milk may have been too hot.
3. Combine the dry components.
Put the flour, cornmeal, or polenta in a big basin in the meantime if you’re using it. (Polenta is optional but will give the finished waffles extra crunch; it can frequently be found in the specialty or global food aisles of larger supermarkets; if you don’t plan to use it, add another tablespoon of flour.)
4 . Add the wet components to the dry after mixing them.
If you can’t find buttermilk, use 240 ml of extra milk and stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Then combine the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in a jug. When the yeast is ready, whisk the milk mixture into the same jug before gently incorporating it all into the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix to avoid tough waffles.
5 . Cover and rest
Place a tea towel or something similar over the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight (this can either be at room temperature or in the fridge if you prefer). Although they will still taste delicious if cooked the same day, I believe the prolonged rise gives them an even better flavor.
6. Lightly oil the waffle maker
Unless you have a crowd waiting to devour the waffles as quickly as you can prepare them, set the oven on low to keep them warm later. Waffle iron should be lightly greased and heated to a medium-high setting (or if using an electric one, whatever setting the manufacturer recommends). A hot iron should be used before adding any batter.
7. Make the initial waffle.
Once again, if using an electric waffle maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Pour just enough batter into the waffle maker to cover the base of the waffle plates, spreading it out with a spatula and keeping in mind that it will rise while cooking. Then, reduce the heat slightly and cover the waffle maker. Cook for about 45 to 60 seconds, or until the underside is browned.
8. Turn over and cook the opposite side.
With an electric waffle maker, you won’t need to flip the waffle iron; simply cook the waffles for up to four minutes or until the other side is golden and crisp. Serve right away or keep warm in the oven while completing the process with the remaining batter.
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