Waffle Sundays are a thing in our family--a long running tradition. I'd tried so many different waffle recipes through the years in search of the perfect one. Once I started making this recipe, the search was over. This recipe is the one--a real keeper.
Belgian waffles are thicker and have a lighter, crispier texture than regular waffles. Some recipes use baking powder for the leavener, but this one uses yeast. Trust me, yeast is the way to go; especially since with this easy recipe you don't have to proof the yeast. Just mix it right in the bowl with the other ingredients. One bowl--everything mixed together. Did I mention EASY? This tried-and-true, family favorite recipe has evolved through the years and was originally inspired by King Arthur Flour's Belgian Style Yeast Waffles.
Make-ahead convenience! Along with the amazing flavor and texture of these waffles, another thing I love is that the batter is best made the day before. That means you can mix this easy batter in just a few minutes, let it rest on the counter for an hour, put in the fridge, and have it ready to cook when you get up in the morning. You can mix the batter up to 24 hours in advance--so convenient! It's an especially fun and special weekend breakfast. Waffle Sundays are a valued tradition in our home, that's for sure.
Here's how easy it is to make these scrumptious waffles.
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
Step 2. Cut butter into a few pieces, and combine it with the milk in a microwave-safe bowl. (I use a large Pyrex measuring cup to both measure and microwave the milk, so I don't have to dirty another bowl.) Microwave until the temperature is 105-110 degrees F. It's important not to overheat the mixture or it may kill the yeast in the batter.
Step 3. Add everything to a large bowl and whisk it together just until there are no more visible dry bits. It will have some tiny lumps, but there shouldn't be any big ones. (No need to proof the yeast; just stir it in with everything else.)
view on Amazon: mixing bowls (I use the largest one for this batter)
Watch the video below for a visual example of the desired consistency for your batter. If yours looks too thick, gradually add a little more milk until it's the right consistency. A spoonful of batter should flow in a thick stream when you tip it; if it falls off in clumps, it's too thick. I've learned from making a gazillion batches of this batter that if it's too thick the cooked waffles won't have the desired light texture.
Step 4. Cover the bowl of batter with plastic wrap or a lid, and let it rest on the counter at room temperature for 1 hour. You can go ahead and cook the waffles right away, but the flavor and texture are better if you refrigerate it overnight. I love the convenience of making the batter ahead so it's ready to go when I get up in the morning. Below on the left you can see that the batter rises and bubbles after an hour. The photo on the right shows what it looks like after it's been in the fridge overnight. The batter rises and falls some in the fridge--that's normal.
Step 5. Gently stir the batter to deflate it before starting to cook the waffles. Don't stir too much--just a few turns in the bowl. Like this:
As you can see in the video above, the batter thickens a bit during the overnight in the fridge.
Step 6. Heat the waffle iron and cook waffles according to your waffle maker's directions. I love my Belgian waffle maker! It's the kind that you flip over after you fill it--that helps create an airy texture. Mine is a double waffle maker, so I can cook 2 waffles at one time. This thing has gotten a lot of use on Waffle Sundays through the years. The combination of this batter recipe and the waffle maker result in waffle perfection--crispy on the outside and moist and airy on the inside. Yum!
view on Amazon: my awesome electric Belgian waffle maker (there are models for making 1 or 2 waffles at a time; this Cuisinart is the current version of the old Waring that is shown in my photos--it's the same appliance--Waring and Cuisinart are both Conair brands)
Watch me making a waffle in the video below. There's no need to grease this waffle maker--the waffles release perfectly every time:
Step 7. Serve the waffles hot out of the waffle maker (that's what we normally do, I continue to cook the waffles at or near the table as we eat); or keep them warm in a 200 degree F oven--no longer than 20 minutes so they don't dry out. Put the waffles on a rack set inside a baking sheet so the bottoms don't get soggy in the oven. Or, place them directly on the oven rack.
And now--eat! There are so many possible fruit and syrup toppings--suit your fancy. I'm a fan of berries on mine. And, I love fresh peaches on my waffles when they're in season. Bananas and pecans are always good. In the fall, applesauce and cinnamon are favorites. Maple syrup is always on the table, too.
These easy homemade fruit sauces make tasty waffle toppings, too:
You can't go wrong by adding some whipped cream.
Here's a close up where you can see those crispy edges and the light, airy, moist middle. In my book, that's how waffles are meant to be.
LEFTOVERS? REFRIGERATE or FREEZE THEM. I often cook for two these days, but I go ahead and make a full batch of waffles and refrigerate (for a few days) or freeze (for up to a month) the leftovers. I separate them with parchment paper squares and portion them into ziploc bags for the freezer.
view on Amazon: pre-cut parchment squares
Reheat waffles in a 400 degree F oven for 5 minutes if thawed, 10 minutes if frozen. They are darn close to as good as the ones that are freshly cooked--the outside crisps and the inside remains soft. If you prefer to reheat them in a toaster, but you may need to thaw them first. Frozen Belgian waffles are thicker than store-bought and may burn in a toaster before the inside is thawed and heated. They burn quickly in a toaster, so keep an eye on them. Toasters vary, so you'll need to experiment to see what works best in yours. (My preference is the oven method for reheating.)
FOR HEALTHIER WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES (they won't get as crispy, but the nuttier flavor is great):
SPICE IT UP! Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the batter.
It takes a tad bit more wait-time to make yeasted waffles, but the amazing flavor and texture are worth it. And now, time to dig in to waffle perfection. . .
Make it a Yummy day!