Left to my own devises, I’m horribly boring. Take this long weekend for example: save for taking the car for an oil change, walking the dog, and getting a burrito, I haven’t left the house. John’s out of town helping his mom and sister prep their house for sale in Minneapolis (they’re moving cross country to Portland, OR the end of the month), leaving me with three whole days of long weekend to fill by myself.
Being that it’s 80 degrees in Boston and all, you’d think I’d make the most of it and maybe see friends, go to the beach, or whatever else it is normal people do on these holidays (I’m still adjusting to the concept.) But, you would be wrong. Instead I’ve spent most of my time putzing around in my P.J.s, drinking tea, reading library books, and making myself these amazing waffles:
Waffles are a new addition to my grown-up life, since they require the acquisition of an actual waffle maker, something which needs more storage space than my tiny apartment kitchens ever had to offer. Long and short, our new kitchen has more cupboards which have transformed so many of those previously frivolous objects of my kitchen desire into necessities. And so, to put an end to my waffle maker yammering this year, John broke down and bought me one for my birthday.
We’ve tried a few different waffle recipes so far – mostly buttermilk-baking powder mix and cook type things – all good, but none as blissful as this weekend’s yeast waffles from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book. I’m generally not a fan of breakfast foods that need to be started the night before because, as much as I obsess over food, for the most part I’m not thinking about Sunday breakfast on Saturday night. That said, it seems at least when it comes to waffles, a little forethought goes a long way.
Ms. Cunningham’s waffles are crisp-tender, with an amazingly open textured, bubbly, almost custardy, interior. Not sweet at all, they’re the perfect vehicle for maple syrup mopping and, in my case, a smear of awesome apple butter John made earlier this week. The yeast also brings a wonderful bread-like fermented flavor and aroma, leaving your kitchen deliciously steamy; perfect for whiling away a day at home in your P.J.s.
Makes about 12 waffles depending on the size of your waffle maker.
One Year Ago: Quick Pickled Dilly Beans
Slightly adapted from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book.
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick (1/2 cup or ¼ lb) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups milk (whole or 2%), warmed slightly
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ tsp baking soda
The Night Before:
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast becomes frothy. Add the flour and salt and butter and mix to combine. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking as you pour. Don’t worry about lumps – they will disappear as the batter sits. Cover well with plastic and let the batter sit out overnight to rise.
The Morning Of:
Add the eggs and baking soda to the batter and mix well to combine. Preheat your waffle maker to medium-high. I have a Cuisinart, and for me this is setting “4.” If your waffle maker is not non-stick, you’ll want to brush it lightly with butter. Once preheated, pour about 1/3 cup batter in the center of the waffle maker (you may have to adjust this amount depending on the size of your maker.) Close the waffle maker and cook approximately 2 minutes or until the waffle is nicely golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Slightly adapted from Carolina Braunschweig via The Wednesday Chef
Makes about 1 quart apple butter
- 4 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chunked
- ½ gallon unsweetened apple cider (or juice)
- 2 cups sugar (this amount makes a jam-like sweet apple butter; reduce if you like something less sweet.)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Juice of one lemon
Place the apples and the apple cider in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered until the apples are tender, 20-30 minutes. Skim off any foam that accumulates. Remove the apples from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. Alternately, this can be done in a food processor – be sure not to overfill!
Return the puree to medium heat and add the sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon juice. Cook the apple butter until it thickens, reduces by half, and darkens – this will take roughly 1 ½ to 2 hours. Be sure to keep the heat low enough that the butter does not burn. Stir occasionally.
Remove the cooked apple butter from the heat, cool to room temperature, and transfer to a sealed Tupperware container and refrigerate. Keeps well refrigerated up to 1 month (probably much more.)