Overnight waffles are one of my favorite kinds of waffles. In fact, I consider them the Cadillac of the waffle world … pure luxury!
So, why do I love overnight waffles so much? First, you mix the dough the night before, saving a bit of time in the morning. But that’s actually not why the overnight aspect of this recipe is so great. The batter is made with yeast that needs to sit overnight, making for a really wonderful waffle batter with more complex flavor and texture.
These waffles have a bit of a sour or tangy flavor that is just plain delicious, and are reminiscent of yeast bread. This can only be a good thing in my book. As they cook, the kitchen fills with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
The texture of the waffles is the perfect combination of light and airy without being fragile. The inside is filled with air pockets, thanks to the yeast, and is stretchy and soft. The outside still crisps up, though, and has good structure.
They are the perfect canvas for a thick fruit-based compote. I decided to try cranberry apple compote on our yeast waffles, and the result was beyond delicious. The sweet-yet-tart flavor of the Granny Smith apples and the cranberries is perfect on an overnight waffle. And, if you want to go totally crazy, the compote tastes great side-by-side with maple syrup.
Worried that this sophisticated breakfast isn’t kid-friendly? Think again! My kids loved the waffles and the compote. Success!
Overnight Yeast Waffles
Prep Time: 10 mins
Makes: 10 4-inch square Belgian waffles
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
8 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. The night before: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup very warm water with the yeast. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. While yeast sits, place butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high in microwave for 30 seconds, partially melting butter. Add milk and cook for about 1 more minute, until butter is completely melted and milk is warmed, but not too warm.
3. Add the following to the yeast: milk-butter mixture, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk together, then add the flour and whisk until well combined.
4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.
5. The morning of: Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls. Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Quickly beat the egg yolks in their separate bowl. You can skip this step and just lightly beat the eggs whole, but separating the eggs and beating the egg whites makes for a truly fabulous waffle and only adds 1 minute to the prep time!
6. Add the egg yolks and baking soda to the waffle batter and stir well.
7. Add the egg whites and fold them into the batter. The batter is a little stretchy since it is yeast-based, so you’ll need to do a little more stirring to get the whites incorporated. The goal is to get the whites evenly and fully incorporated into the batter without over stirring.
8. Cook waffles according to your waffle iron’s directions.
Cranberry Apple Compote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: Approximately 3 cups
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1. Peel and dice apples to 1/2-inch cubes (it doesn’t have to be exact, but apple cubes should be uniform in size).
2. In a large, deep skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add diced apples and sauté for about 5 minutes.
3. Add apple juice, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, maple syrup, and brown sugar to the pan. Stir well and cover pan with lid. Reduce heat to medium-low, making sure it’s hot enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, removing lid for last 5 minutes. Apples should be darker than when they started cooking and pierce easily with a knife. You want the apples cooked through but not too mushy — a few apples may start to “mush” as you stir, that’s okay, but not too many!
4. Add cranberry sauce and final 1 tablespoon lemon juice, stirring well. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.