If you were to ask me which cookbook writer has had the greatest influence on me over the years, I’d answer without hesitation: Marion Cunningham. I have her revision of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, her Fanny Farmer Baking Book, and The Breakfast book. If ever I have a kitchen question, I look to one of these three books first.
It should not be surprising, then, that my favourite waffle recipe comes from a Marion Cunningham cookbook. Raised waffles are exactly what a waffle should be. They're easy to make and delicious; golden and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. They’re inexpensive, not overly sweet, and suitable for service with both sweet and savoury toppings. They freeze well and are easily reheated.
Raised waffles require some pre-planning. They need to rest for several hours but they don’t require supervision. There is, however, no quick way to cook waffles. They must be made one or two at a time, and waiting for the waffle iron can be a test of my patience.
Since waffle making requires an investment of my time, I usually make a double or triple batch and freeze several so that I have them for another meal. The batter needs to rest in a container with a lid so I mix the it in a large Rubbermaid container instead of a regular mixing bowl.
I freeze most of the waffles I cook. When I'm ready to serve them, I place them, still frozen, directly on the racks of a 350˚F oven for about 5 minutes. I can reheat a lot of waffles at once this way, making them a very convenient option for when we have guests.
The recipe provided here makes a single batch of waffles but, since I was cooking for the freezer, I made a double batch. The quantities shown in the photos are for that double batch. It yielded sixteen 8-inch diameter waffles, each of which break down into 4 small heart shaped pieces. Pretty, and tasty too!
To make Raised Waffles, you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
- 2 cups of milk, warmed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the sugar.
Wait for the yeast to dissolve and foam up (5 to 10 minutes).
Stir in the milk, melted butter, flour, and salt. Beat the batter until there are no lumps.
Cover the bowl and let the batter rest at room temperature for several hours. (If you’re making them for breakfast, mix them up after supper and let them sit overnight. If you’re making them for supper, mix up the batter first thing in the morning.) The batter will expand a lot (to more than double its volume) and then subside a little. It’ll still be really bubbly when you take off the lid.
Just before you’re ready to cook the waffles, beat the eggs and add them to the batter, along with the baking soda. Mix them in until they are thoroughly incorporated.
Cook the waffles until they’re golden brown. Serve them immediately, or allow them to cool completely on wire racks.
Stack the cooled waffles in airtight containers (I use cookie tins), between pieces of waxed paper.
Place the waffles, in their sealed containers, in the freezer. Reheat them from frozen, as described above.
Recipe source: "The Breakfast Book" by Marion Cunningham, pub. Alfred A. Knopf 1987