Recently Gourmet magazine published, by request, an incredible waffle recipe from Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland, California. Wow! Light and crispy as a cicada’s wing, these butterful squares (rounds at the restaurant), are frankly irresistible. Gourmet has not posted their adapted version of Brown Sugar Kitchen’s recipe online. In lieu of a link, then, I offer to you my own rendition of cornmeal waffles. Yeasty and yummy, a Sunday second breakfast worth sharing.
You’ll need to start this batter the night before your breakfasty ecstacy.
RAISED CORNMEAL WAFFLES
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled. I prefer Organic Valley. Check out their $1 OFF coupons.
- 1 Tablespoon regular yeast (not rapid rise,instant, or “bread machine”)
- 3/4 cup warm water–not hot
- 1 cup yogurt, preferably local, whole milk is best.
- 2 cups whole milk. I use goat milk from Swede Farm Dairy
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt. I like Real Salt.
- 3 eggs, local of course. Easy to find at our farmers markets, except in hottest and coldest weather.
- 1 cup cornmeal, organic, please. I use Arrowhead Mills yellow.
- 182 grams (1 1/2 cups) organic all-purpose flour. I’m using Whole Foods organic in the 5# bag. Only $4.69!
- 60 grams (scant 1/2 cup) organic white whole wheat flour. I buy King Arthur brand from WF in the 5# bag.
- 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. I never proof my yeast, as I keep it stored in the freezer and use it up regularly. If that’s not the case in your kitchen, check your yeast/water bowl for foaming after about 15 minutes. If you detect no foamy signs of life, begin again with fresh yeast.
In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt and the next four ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and flours. Whisk the yeast mixture into the wet ingredients, then whisk in the dry ingredients until smooth. Finally, whisk in the butter. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the batter overnight, at least 8 hours. In the morning, the mixture will sport an expanded mantle of bubbled-up batter. Before cooking the waffles, sprinkle the baking soda through a fine-meshed sieve onto the batter and whisk it in thoroughly.
Heat up your waffle iron. I spray mine first with Spectrum organic high heat sunflower oil cooking spray. Whole Foods sells this product. Your iron may accept anywhere from 2/3 cup to 1 cup batter, depending on its size. Read your instructions if you have them. Or wing it until you get your waffler figured out. My current iron uses 1 cup of batter (divided between two waffle squares) and bakes up toasty brown waffles in 4 minutes. You’ll have to experiment and calculate the perfect time for your idea of “toasty brown”.
If there’s no army of sleepyheads occupying your kitchen to greedily gobble each waffle as it’s baked, you can keep your batch warm on a baking sheet (layer of one, please) in a preheated 250º oven. We don’t need to go through all that around here. I’m still lactating so I keep that stream of cooked waffles in check. We lay them out on a cooling rack just long enough to get the plates and syrup.
Speaking of syrup, Newflower Market is still selling Shady Maple Farms organic maple syrup, grade A dark amber and grade B, 1 quart, for only $17.99. That’s a steal! I like local honey mixed with my syrup. …MMMMMaple!
If you have waffles leftover (this recipe makes a generous batch), you can wrap ’em and freeze ’em. Reheat them in the toaster oven under a watchful eye.
By the way, I haven’t bought a new (as in NIB) waffle iron in probably 20 years, since I purchased my Bugs Bunny waffle iron (the one that started all this waffle madness). I always find waffle irons at the thrift store, sometimes vintage specimens, other times contemporary equipment. For this recipe, and most of the other waffles I cook, I prefer the deep-divot Belgian-style waffle irons. You may come across square irons that bake either one large or two medium-sized waffles, or the round style, which seems to be made in a fairly standard size. For probably no more than $5 to $7, you can ascend to breakfast heaven, and save yourself a trip to the west coast.