Easy Belgian Yeast Waffles - A one-bowl, make-ahead batter for the best waffles ever!







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-by-step photos for making
Belgian Waffles
 

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
flour instant yeast salt butter milk (2% or whole) maple syrup (you can substitute a different sweetener, although I think maple syrup adds great flavor to these waffles) vanilla


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 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.
HEATING TIP: Use an instant-read thermometer to test the temperature. Microwave butter and milk for 1 1/2 minutes, stir and test temperature; continue to microwave in 10 second intervals until desired temperature. (Small pieces of butter may not be completely melted, but they will melt in when you stir it.) Record the total time it takes to reach the correct temperature, so in the future there's no need to use a thermometer. In my microwave, it takes about 2 minutes. If you accidentally overheat it, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it to the correct temperature. The temperature can vary throughout the mixture, so whisk it to combine for an accurate temperature reading.
My Thermapen instant-read thermometer is the cream-of-the-crop but pricey (it's the one celebrity chefs use on TV); OR here's a more economical instant read thermometer (an Amazon best seller) 

also on Amazon: 1 qt. Pyrex mix and measure,  10" wire whisk

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.


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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:


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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 toyour 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:


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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.

view on Amazon:  13x18 baking sheet (half sheet),  wire cooling rack -- this fits perfectly inside the baking sheet

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.
view on Amazon:  syrup dispenser with retractable spout--Just like restaurants use! I keep syrup stored in this dispenser the fridge.


These easy homemade fruit sauces make tasty waffle toppings, too:


Blender Peach Sauce Microwave Raspberry Sauce Microwave Blueberry Sauce Fruit and Spice Applesauce Blends
You can't go wrong by adding some whipped cream. 

KID APPROVED! My grandkids enthusiastically embrace Waffle Sunday (or any waffle day, for that matter) when they come to visit. Mallory and Wesley gave these waffles rave reviews last time they were here--both asked for seconds. Wes says, "Bring on the whipped cream, Grammo!" We're big on food traditions in our family, and this is an especially fun one to share with them.

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? FREEZE THEM. I often cook for two these days, but I go ahead and make a full batch of waffles and freeze the leftovers. I separate them with parchment paper squares and portion them into ziploc freezer bags. 

view on Amazon:  pre-cut parchment squares

Reheat frozen waffles in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. They are darn close to as good as the ones that are freshly cooked. If you prefer to reheat them in a toaster, they need to be thawed first. Frozen Belgian waffles are thicker than store-bought and will burn in a toaster before the inside is thawed and heated.

FOR HEALTHIER WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES (they won't get as crispy, but the nuttier flavor is great): 
Substitute 1 to 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour. Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground flax seed, oat bran, or wheat germ to batter. Stir additional milk into batter if it's too thick after resting on counter or in fridge. (The whole grains and other grains/seeds are likely to absorb more liquid than white flour.)
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!
Monica

Belgian-Style Yeast Waffles By Monica              Servings: 7-8 Belgian 7" round Ingredients 2-1/2 cups milk (2% or whole) 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into 8 slices 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons maple syrup 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs Directions Place milk and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until temperature is 105-110 degrees F. (TIP: Use an instant-read thermometer to test temperature. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stir and test temperature; continue to microwave in 10 second intervals until desired temperature. Record the total time it takes to reach the correct temperature, so in the future there's no need to use a thermometer. If you accidentally overheat it, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it to the correct temperature.)

Use a large mixing bowl (at least 3.5 qt.) so there is ample room for the batter to expand. Whisk together flour, yeast, and salt. Add warm milk mixture, maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs to bowl at once; whisk just until combined with no visible dry spots. Batter may have small lumps. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature for 1 hour. (Batter may be refrigerated at this point--see make-ahead instructions below.*) Batter will have expanded and bubbled; gently stir to deflate it before adding to hot waffle iron. Cook waffles according to your waffle iron instructions.  (For my 7" Belgian waffle maker, I use 3/4 cup batter per waffle; each one takes 4 minutes to cook.)

KEEP WARM:  Hold cooked, hot waffles in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve (no longer than 20 minutes or they will begin to dry out). Place waffles on a wire rack inside a baking sheet or directly on oven rack so waffles can breath from both sides; this prevents sogginess.

Top waffles with your choice of syrup, fruit, and/or whipped cream.

*MAKE AHEAD BATTER INSTRUCTIONS:  Mix the batter, cover and rest on counter at room temperature for 1 hour. Move to refrigerator and chill overnight. The next morning the batter is ready to use straight from the fridge.  Batter may be mixed up to 24 hours in advance.

REFRIGERATE OR FREEZE AND REHEAT LEFTOVER COOKED WAFFLES: Leftover waffles may be refrigerated (for a few days) or frozen (for up to a month). For freezing, wrap waffles individually or stack with parchment paper squares between them, and placed inside a freezer Ziploc bag.
---To reheat waffles, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place waffles on a wire rack inside a baking sheet or directly on oven rack. Bake for 10 minutes if frozen, 5 minutes if thawed. To reheat in a toaster, they should be thawed, not frozen. Frozen Belgian waffles are thicker than store-bought and will burn in a toaster before the inside is thawed and heated through.

SMALLER BATCH. For three to four 7" round waffles, use these ingredient amounts:
--1-1/4 cups milk
--4 tablespoons butter
--1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
--1 teaspoon instant yeast
--1/4 teaspoon salt
--2 tablespoons maple syrup
--3/4 teaspoon vanilla
--1 egg

HEALTHIER WHOLE GRAIN WAFFLES:
--Substitute 1 to 1-1/2 cups  whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour.
--Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground flax seed, oat bran, or wheat germ to batter.
--Stir addiitonal milk into batter if too thick after resting on counter or in fridge. (The whole grains and other grains/seeds are likely to absorb more liquid than plain white flour.)

SPICE IT UP! Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the batter.

This batter recipe was inspired by King Arthur Flour Belgian-Style Yeast Waffle recipe.  



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