Monday, August 17, 2009

Yeast-Raised Whole Wheat Waffles

I have an inner core of thriftiness that can make me something of a killjoy. Yes, it helps in our personal home economics, when I can add a handful of something-or-other from our garden to a can from the pantry, and turn out a passable meal. But it backfires when we go out to eat. I'll try to enjoy our meal, both the food and the occasion, but inside I'm thinking: I'm paying good money for this? I could make this at home! Easily! Needless to say, remarks like this don't really enhance the quality of an evening.

This problem comes on especially strong at brunch. Every now and then we get a particularly interesting breakfast confection, or a greasy plate that seems like manna to our hung-over stomaches. But often, brunch is an overpriced combination of basic ingredients -- some eggs and flour -- thrown together by a line cook struggling to keep pace with a pile of orders. I could make this at home.

But while this inner broken record makes me lousy dining company, it also makes me a good breakfast cook. In an effort to avoid disappointing brunches out, I've spent a lot of time working out home-cooked options. This waffle recipe is one of the best.

These waffles are surprisingly easy. The batter is mixed up the night before, and left out on the counter. The yeast provides a light airiness, and the long fermentation gives a complex flavor. And, shh, these are actually vegan. And healthy. The ground flax provides a shot of those good omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to binding the batter. The whole wheat flour provides a nice whole-grain flavor, but thanks to the yeast, there's no heaviness. Now, those with sharp eyes may notice that I topped my serving with butter and syrup. But perhaps you're more virtuous than I am.

Yeast-Raised Whole Wheat Waffles

veganized from the Raised Waffles recipe in Marion Cunningham's The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
makes 4 8-inch round waffles (about 2 servings, depending on your waffle-eating ability)

1 1/2 cups milk alternative (or, alternatively, milk)
1/2 packet active dry yeast (1 1/8 tsp)
1/4 cup neutral oil (like canola)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup coarsely ground flax seeds (sold as "flax meal")

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl the night before you'd like your waffles. Cover the bowl with a dish towel, and let sit on the counter at room temperature overnight. The batter will rise and fall overnight (don't worry, it will still rise in the waffle iron). In the morning, mix again. The consistency will be somewhat thicker than a standard waffle batter. Heat a waffle iron, and grease well. Pour the batter into the hot iron (about 1/2-3/4 cup batter for a standard size iron), and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.


  1. I have this book and now I am absolutely, going to try your version with the flax...I love adding flax to baked good!

  2. If you can't eat that many at once, would it be better to refrigerate the remaining batter, or go ahead and cook it all up and then toast the leftover waffles? Any ideas?

  3. I'd be hesitant to refrigerate batter til the next morning, since the yeast is on its own biological timeline and might not have enough kick left by then. I've toasted left-over waffles from this recipe many times, and they're delicious.

  4. I would make them all right away and freeze the leftovers. Whenever we make pancakes or waffles I always make sure to have extra to freeze and toast. They are great with peanut butter on mornings when you are running out the door!

  5. I've kept the batter covered in the frig. for 24 hours, and it works very well, especially if you like a somewhat yeastier taste, as wel do. Bon apetit.

  6. What a great way to start your day! Gonna try your recipe tomorrow morning.

  7. What else you want in your morning. the creamlicious.