Ok, so almost every time you order a Belgian waffle from a restaurant, what do you get? A pancake - in the shape of a waffle. But really, pancake batter and waffle batter should not be the same thing - (i.e. dumped out of the Krusteaz box).
So here are the BEST waffles ever.
Made with yeast, they are airy and soft on the inside while crisp on the outside, sort of like a doughnut...need I say more?
They are called "Good Night Waffles" because you make the batter the night before, and let it rise. It's very easy; it's just takes some forethought.
Here's the recipe: Makes 6 waffles
1/2 cup lukewarm (105 degree F) water
1 Tbl granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 yeast packet)
2 cups whole milk, warmed (about 105 degrees)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
The night before, or at least 8 hours before baking, combine the warm water, granulated sugar and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, until foamy. Stir in warm milk, melted butter and salt. Beat in the flour until smooth; (you can use a hand or stand mixer on low speed).
Wrap bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight (or for 8 hours) on counter top - do not refrigerate. (Note: make sure you use a large enough bowl - or the batter may end up all over your counter when it rises. I mix everything in my Kitchen Aid mixer and that works great.)
In the morning:
Preheat your waffle maker. While the waffle maker is heating, stir in eggs, vanilla extract and baking soda into the batter. Pour into waffle grids. (I use my cup measure and pour about 1/2 - 2/3 cups batter). Cook until golden brown. If your waffle maker does not have a timer, (mine doesn't) then watch the steam - the waffle should be done when the steam has stopped or has almost stopped coming out. Just take a peek to see how done it is.
Waffles can be kept warm in a slow (200 degree) oven. I just lay them directly on the rack to keep them crispy while the rest are cooking.
Serve with toppings of your choice!
And, really great: leftover batter can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just stir the batter in the morning, and have freshly baked waffles - again! (I double the recipe, so I can have enough batter to do this the next day, or next couple of days).
This recipe came with my aunt's Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Maker. It's the fancy kind that you flip halfway through baking. I just use our plain jane cheapo one, and it works just fine.
Let me know how you like them!