Monday, March 7, 2011

how we got here

sunday morning
this recipe for waffles,
prepared from a batter that has sat
at room temperature overnight,
has been all over the internet
for quite a while -
and before that, an intimate
member of many people's kitchens
for years.
waffle batter with eggs
so, when i made a batch,
um, six weeks ago, i didn't
plan to tell you about the waffles.
i really thought that instead,
i'd tell you about my experience
making them. about how, i really
wanted to make these. so
much so, that i ignored common
sense, like the fact that even though every
single time i read about the recipe
it said not to make them in a belgian
waffle maker, i realized that's all i had
and shrugged my shoulders, sure
that it wouldn't matter.

or, like the fact that we were
going to a party the night before
and i though it might be pretty late
when we got home. or this fact:
when larry and jenn and i returned
home from a party at lauren's house
it was clearly well past midnight,
both larry and jenn
were bordering on cranky (jenn,
certainly playing the part of the trooper;
larry, not so much) and neither one
of them were very interested in waiting
the five minutes it took
to melt the butter,
measure the ingredients and
whisk them all together.

or these facts:
i'm not sure that i'm
so in love with waffles,
i never make breakfast and
had to buy maple syrup just
for this meal, i bought completely
politically incorrect out of season,
crazy expensive (and super sweet)
blueberries to go on top and,
i insisted that we wait an extra hour
so that larry could go get orange juice
and large eggs when
we realized that we only had
x-large in the house.
blueberries and waffles
but, the thing is - it's been
six weeks. they were good.
really good. but, i almost forgot
about the whole waffle
experience until i finally got around
to downloading all the pictures from
my camera very recently (oh, hello,
super bowl) and at this point, i just
wanted to tell you i made them and
show you the pictures.

so, after all of that,
here's what i learned and what
i remember about these
yeasty, not so sweet, waffles.
-all those internet folks are correct:
they are thin squares, much more
interested in crisping delicately
than rising. this lead me to my next
-even though it turns out you can
flip waffles, it's still kind of weird
to do so.
flipped waffles
-they'll make your house smell
faintly of soft pretzels, in the best
possibly way.
-they taste delicious on their own,
but even better with said
fresh blueberries and maple syrup.
-they're good enough to uncrank
those who may have woken up still
a little bit cranky. if i do say so myself.
couple bites left
marion cunningham's raised waffles
adapted from about a million places
i can't prove this to you, but clearly i think it's better to make these waffles in a standard waffle maker. as i said, they're not very sweet, but if that's upsetting to you, it's nothing a little syrup, fruit or whipped cream couldn't fix. and, while some people i know may think otherwise, i feel it's important enough to highlight a great piece to this recipe - almost all of it is prepared the night before so that the morning of, all you have to do is add eggs and baking soda, whisk and pour into the hot machine.

also, if you can handle it, i recommend melting the butter, then sprinkling the yeast over the water and then warming the milk.

1/2 cup warm water
1 package (2.25 teaspoons) dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
fresh blueberries, if desired
maple syrup, if desired

place water in large mixing bowl; sprinkle yeast over water. let stand 5 minutes.

add flour, salt, sugar, warm milk and melted butter; whisk until smooth (you could also use electric beaters). cover tightly with plastic wrap; place on counter and let stand overnight.

the next morning, heat oven to 250˚f.

heat waffle maker according to the machine's instructions (my waffle iron doesn't seem to have a temperature setting, but i read around and most who made these waffles recommend a medium-high setting).

whisk the eggs and baking soda into batter. in batches, pour batter into hot waffle maker (note: i absolutely did not use enough the first time and adjusted upward from that point on. however, i think i became a little too comfortable by the fourth batch and there was a bit of overflow. oops.). cook according to the waffle maker's instructions.

as the waffles finish cooking, transfer to foil-lined baking sheet; place pan in oven. add waffles to the baking sheet as they come off the iron.

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