Overnight Banana Waffles

On Sunday mornings, I like to make something a little special for breakfast.  During the week I maintain a fairly regimented breakfast diet of hot oat bran cereal with milk, honey, and organic blueberries, along with my vitamins and Emergen-C drink.  Thus, the weekend presents a welcome opportunity for a bit of breakfast variety (and, let’s be honest, a little splurge in the calorie department!).  Foodgawker presented me with several recipes for yeasted waffles that rise overnight in the fridge.  As the only waffles I’ve made before use the power of baking powder/soda to rise, I was intrigued by the use of yeast.  Annie’s Eats recently posted a “Banana Bread Waffles” recipe that looked delicious, so this weekend I set out to try my first batch of yeasted waffles.

The recipe consists of a basic yeasted batter that you make the night before.  The next day, after allowing the batter to come to room temperature, you add in the bananas.  Thus, I consider this really a basic yeasted waffle recipe, into which you could probably add anything (other fruits, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.) the next day before baking them.

The waffles turned out scrumptious!  Crunchy outside, soft inside, with a distinctive yeast flavor note that added a lot of depth.  The texture, also, was pleasantly more yeasty and less cakey than waffles made with a quick-bread style batter relying on baking power or baking soda for rise.  Initially, I was slightly disappointed with the banana flavor…I wanted a more in-your-face banana waffle, but that was easily remedied by serving them topped with loads of sliced bananas, melted butter, and honey.  In hindsight, I’m glad now that the batter was not overwhelmingly banana-flavored, because I can see myself adding all kinds of delicious goodies to make different flavor variations.  The quantity made by the recipe will vary with your waffle iron.  Mine is a rectangle iron made up of two squares around 4 inches.  The recipe made 12 squares.  I served 2 per person, for 6 servings.  A side note, I had 3 servings left over, so I froze them.  I know from previous experience with this waffle maker that the squares fit perfectly into my toaster!  Some busy day later this week my husband and I will have homemade toaster waffles for breakfast. 

Don’t be daunted by the planning ahead required to make these waffles.  I came home from movie night at 10:30p last night, and started making my batter then.  By 10:40p, the batter was mixed, covered, and sitting in the fridge to rise overnight.  Really, these waffles require almost as little effort as using a packaged mix, but the results are exponentially more delicious!  Do try them, and let me know if you come up with any new flavor variations.  

Banana Bread Waffles
Adapted from Annie’s Eats, who adapted from Honey & Jam, originally from Seven Spoons

Ingredients:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. warm milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1½ tsp. yeast
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup mashed)

2 tbsp. light sour cream

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, warm milk and vanilla extract.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices.   Whisk together to blend.  Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk just until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs until incorporated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 hours, and up to 24 hours.

When you are ready to make the waffles, remove the batter from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  It should be about doubled in size and there should be small bubbles on the surface.

Add the mashed bananas and sour cream or yogurt to the batter.  Whisk lightly to incorporate into the batter.  Cook in a preheated waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Serve immediately, with maple syrup or honey, and sliced bananas.

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