Buttermilk is an ingredient that you will not be able to find on Virgin Gorda. In my pre-island life, while I was living in the South, I had no idea what an important ingredient buttermilk was when it comes to baking. But as a part of adjusting to the island life, I had to learn ways to live without it.
And yes, I know I could substitute it with a mixture made with milk (or yogurt) and lemon, but unfortunately that mixture doesn’t always produce the result that I like when compared to the one made with the real thing.
Prior to living on Virgin Gorda, my favorite waffle recipe was one that was made with buttermilk. When I wanted to make it, I would go to the Publix next door, buy a bottle, come home, stir everything together, and enjoy my freshly made waffles in less than an hour. However, things have changed since we moved to Virgin Gorda. As has usually been the case, living on an island forced me to find an alternative to some of the things that I was used to making.
Though in this case, I have to admit- I am glad it did, because this overnight-yeasted waffle recipe is much better than my old recipe.
About the Recipe:
I love this recipe because (1) since you mix everything in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, in the morning all you have to do is to warm up the waffle iron and let it do its magic, (2) it provides crispier and lighter waffles than any waffle batter recipe I have tried in the past, and (3) you can always freeze the leftovers and enjoy them later. I usually use my toaster (on very low heat setting) to warm them up.
That being said, there are two things to pay attention to for the best results. The first thing is to make sure that the butter and milk mixture is cooled enough before you mix it with the dry ingredients. It doesn’t have to be at room temperature, but it should be warm to touch. If you skip this, step you’ll end up with really hard waffles. This is one of those things I had to learn the hard way.
And the second thing is to allow them to sit in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes before serving. That 10 minutes in the oven makes them crispier, which in my opinion is what makes this recipe extraordinary.
I made a quick banana-rum topping mixed with crunchy roasted pecans because I had a couple of ripe bananas at home, but any of your favorite toppings would work. The fact that they are not overly sweet also allows you to top them off with savory toppings. If and when you are ready for a change, feel free to try them with different cheese, cold cuts, and herbs. My favorite combo is the one made with goat cheese, smoked salmon, and chopped fresh chives.
Overnight Yeasted Waffles with Banana-Rum Topping
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 8 tablespoons 4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Banana-Rum topping
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 cup dark rum
- 2 ripe banana mashed
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoons of ground allspice
To make the waffles:
- Place milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool.*
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
- Gradually pour the milk and butter mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Add the egg & vanilla mixture to the batter and whisk until there are no lumps remaining. The batter must be a smooth mixture.
- Cover with stretch film. Place it in the fridge and let it sit overnight or 12 -24 hours.
- To make the banana rum topping: Place butter and sugar in a small skillet. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until simmering.
- Off the heat stir in the rum. Return it back to the stove and heat until it becomes syrupy, about a minute or two.
- Place it in a medium bowl. Add the mashed bananas, pecans, and all spice. Stir until combined.
- When ready to make the waffles, preheat the oven to 200 Degrees.
- Heat the waffle iron. Make the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Remove the cooked waffle and place on a baking sheet without stacking. Place in the oven to keep warm.
- When ready to serve, top each waffle with one or two tablespoons of banana-rum topping and chopped pecans.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.