September has always seemed like a month filled with promise and new beginnings. I guess it goes back to my first days of elementary school and wondering who my teacher would be, if my best friend would be in my homeroom class, and deciding which new fall outfit I would wear on my very first day back at school. Back then summer seemed so endless, sleep-away camp a distant memory. Warm July days spent lounging near the swimming pool at my grandma’s condominium complex were a pleasant diversion from school, but I was ready for all that the school year had to hold. I was ready to read Where the Red Fern Grows, ready to learn long division.
So in honor of September, a New Year of sorts, I’ve decided this month will be all about breakfast, that first meal of the day, a meal that welcomes the prospect of new beginnings. I have always been a breakfast eater, although I must say that it is only in recent years that I have become a more adventurous morningtime diner. My early years were spent with bowl, a spoon, and a large box of breakfast cereal. I eventually branched out– the griddle became a friend as I consumed piles of pancakes, and tender-crisp, cinnamon-scented French toast. But never did I allow an egg to cross my lips. They were too rubbery, to sulfuric…but I have seen the error of my immature ways. Now I am an equal-opportunity breakfast eater and lover.
But in order to kick this month off right, I give you an old classic. What could be better than the waffle? Well, I’ll tell you– the raised waffle. Marion Cunningham’s recipe from Fannie Farmer, or The Breakfast Book, for crisp, ethereal, downright scrumptious waffles. Who knew that the addition of yeast would be so morning-changing?
They might look like the ordinary, but let me assure you, this is no “Leggo my Eggo.” One taste of these stellar waffles , and you will gladly leggo, you may even throw every other sort of waffle right out with them. I have tried many waffles, continually searching for just the right combination of lightness, crispness, and body. And these waffles stayed crisp as I ate them, allowing the sweet maple syrup to pool in the waffle squares, not to simply soak in, creating a floppy confection.
Here is the best waffle recipe I have come upon. Crisp, light, and endlessly edible, Marion Cunningham knows what she is talking about. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to make these. Although the recipe is not a difficult or testy one, the batter needs to rise overnight. These waffles tasted like one giant cake (plain) ice cream cone, an attribute that couldn’t have made me any happier. September is off to a good start, make ‘em!.
from The Breakfast Book
makes about 8 waffles
1/2 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Use a rather large mixing bowl, as the dough will double in size during the rising process. Put the water in the mixing bowl and stir in the yeast. Let stand and dissolve about 5 minutes.
Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave overnight at room temperature.
The next morning, just before cooking the waffles, beat in the eggs. Add the baking soda, stirring until well blended. The batter will be very thin. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of batter into a very hot waffle iron. Bake the waffles until crisp and golden.
Any unused batter will keep for several day in the refrigerator.