While I have been near the end of my third trimester twice prior, I nonetheless remain baffled by the lethargy and physical, um…difficulties of pregnancy. Typically I thrive on having too much to do in too little time. Throw in a few loaves of homemade bread, a batch of cookies, and a quick walk and I have a perfect day. Not right now folks. How did bending over to help clean up (read: threaten to throw away) my kids’ toys become as hard as doing squats? Why does climbing up a flight of stairs wind me more than a good swim workout? How did this baby get in here in the first place? Actually, no need to answer that one.
While I have certainly forgone–or at least tabled–some of my more elaborate recipe schemes, I simply will not stop relishing the magical moments with my two kiddos in their last few weeks of being just the two of them.
Particularly as those moments relate to food, we have been on fire over here; pistachio and vanilla macarons, chocolate-marshmallow bars, spinach and dal stews, pure durum wheat loaves, Valentine’s day sprinkle cookies, more preserved lemons, Meyer lemon curd, whole wheat cinnamon-raisin spiral bread, and brown butter Belgian waffles have sidled their way on our table amidst 5 minute boxed shells and cheese pastas, yogurt, radish-butter sandwiches, and a whole lot of simple salads.
I am hoping to post one of the more time-consuming of my creations alongside one of my simplest and favorite of pastas before this baby comes (which should not be too difficult considering my kids tend to incubate waaaay past due date). Until then, I offer you a new incredible breakfast treat.
This waffle, amongst the many in our rotation, is a yeasted waffle roughly based upon the breakfast queen, Marion Cunningham’s Belgian waffles. In addition to the seductive and frankly haunting flavor of brown butter, what never ceases to tickle me happy is the fact that I can make them the night before and flip out a quick batch of tremendously scrumptious waffles in the blink of an eye the following morning. I have a phenomenal (but work in progress) multigrain morning-of waffle that also incorporates brown butter, but I still need to tinker with the ratios of barley and whole wheat flour. More on that one another day…
For those of you who have never delighted in a Belgian waffle (!!), you must know that the slightly sour, complex flavor of the yeast, combined with the light, slightly crispy lacy crust and custardy, eggy middle of the waffle is an absolute treat. Now just add brown butter and you have breakfast nirvana.
I recommend that you either prepare surplus brown butter the night before or make some more in the morning to drizzle across the waffle with maple syrup or some homemade fruit preserves (or fresh fruit if berries, stone fruits, etc. are in season). Finally, if you still disbelieve how quick these are to pull off, note that these were our Valentine’s day breakfast before shuttling off kids to school by 8:30am.
Brown Butter Yeasted Waffles.
Notes: If you desire to serve these with more brown butter–something I highly recommend–make extra the night before and simply warm it up in the morning. These are best in a Belgian waffle maker, but I have also had success in a regular waffle iron. Just be sure to spread the batter out quickly after you pour it in so it distributes well.
1/2 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 cups warm milk (I have used all kinds)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter (plus more for drizzling the morning of)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or just more all-purpose, if you do not have it)
Add the morning of
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Optional for serving
Fresh fruit, fruit preserves, maple syrup, whipped cream
The night before, place butter in a pan and heat on medium low until the room smells fragrant, vaguely nutty, and the butter has turned a golden amber hue. Watch it so it does not burn. Remove from heat and let it cool. If you do not care for the dark specks from the milk solids, you can strain the butter over paper towels lain over a mesh sieve. I usually do not bother. Meanwhile, place the warm water in a very large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top to confirm that it is bubbling and active (about 5 minutes). Add slightly warm milk, 1 stick of butter worth of brown butter (keep in mind that it will be significantly less liquid than the 8 tablespoons you started with if you have made extra for drizzling the next day), flours, salt, and sugar and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set on a counter until the morning.
The morning of, your batter will have doubled. Add the two eggs and baking soda and whisk until smooth. Prepare whatever toppings you plan to use (including the warmed extra brown butter). Ladle the batter into a greased waffle iron according to the instructions. (Before each waffle, I usually brush some vegetable oil or baking spray to avoid sticking). These taste great medium-dark, not underdone or you do not get the fantastic textural differences between the middle and the crust of the waffle. Serve with syrup and (salted) brown butter or whatever toppings you choose.