This waffle recipe has been sitting in my folder for 5 years, and I'm just now trying it out. A co-worker of mine, back when I was working on my undergraduate honor's thesis, recommended this recipe to me. He said it was one of the best recipes he's tried, and was his "go-to" recipe when guests were over. At the time, I had 4 roommates, and to be completely honest, I didn't trust a bowl full of batter sitting out on the counter when they (and all the people they had around) were in the house. So, my recipe got tucked away until now.
My husband & I finally exchanged a Christmas gift for a new Belgium waffle maker. It's one of those fancy hotel style machines that flips over. I can kind of pretend I'm on vacation while making them (except for knowing that I'm the one who has to clean up the mess). The waffle maker worked wonderfully - I would fully recommend it to anyone, and the recipe produced beautiful, light waffles. We made a double batch, and froze some of the waffles. They taste just as good after reheated in the oven for a few minutes.
(See my pretty new waffle maker in the background?)
OVERNIGHT WAFFLES ("How to Cook Everything" p745)
Makes 6-8 large round Belgium waffles
1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbls sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted & cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla (I always add more than called for)
Canola oil for brushing on waffle iron
Before going to bed, combine the dry ingredients and stir in the milk, then the butter and vanilla. The mixture will be loose. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight at room temperature.
In the morning, brush the waffle iron lightly with oil & preheat it. Separate the eggs and stir the yolks into the batter. Beat the whites until they hold soft peaks, then gently stir them into the batter.
Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3-5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.
Note: The book I got this recipe from highly recommends immediately serving the waffles as they are "delicate creatures" - keep them in a 200 degree oven for no more than 5 minutes prior to serving.
They do start to get soggy if not eaten within a few minutes. To keep them crisp prior to freezing, I put them onto cooling racks immediately until completely cool.