Waffles, for those who hold the syrup

Go ahead, syrup them if you must.

Go ahead, syrup them if you must.

I had been on the hunt for a perfect waffle recipe nearly forever. I narrowed in years ago on the perfect pancake recipe (never mind that yield—I make pancakes 4 to 5 inches in diameter, and the recipe seems to make more like 10,000 pancakes;  I freeze the extras to toast for my daughter, a pancake fiend, throughout the week). But waffle recipes were a puzzlement. There were ones that tasted too much of oil, ones that were soggy, and ones that required separating eggs and beating whites, which I think is a cruel thing to ask of someone who’s just woken up.

When I first heard of overnight yeasted waffles, I thought, “Where have you been all my life?” Adding yeast to anything is usually my idea of genius—yeasted donuts, yes please. Yeasted cake, a revelation. Even bread dough, I would be happy to  eat raw, with a spoon, right out of the bowl it’s rising in. So a legendary recipe for yeasted waffles, especially from one of my heroes, Marion Cunningham, had to be a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, though most people I know swear by this recipe, it just wasn’t my thing. It had a hint of that floury flavor that I associate with English muffins, which I have never really loved. I must mention that they are beautifully crisp, and pair nicely with syrup. So what’s the problem?! you’re wondering. Well, I am one of those people who likes my pancakes and waffles without syrup*, just as a vehicle for salted butter. Thus, they need to be able to stand on their own.

Though I found that I kept returning to the Sweet Milk Waffles in The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, for no other reason than their utter simplicity, they did tend to go a little limp after a few minutes off the irons. I made the happy discovery when I was running low on milk that a little extra fat, and the slight tang, provided by substituting sour cream for some of the milk, yielded just the waffle I was looking for: crisp, rich, golden, and delicious, just right with only a pat of butter, perfect for making the most decadent breakfast sandwiches every once in a blue moon (that would be egg and cheese or egg and bacon between two of them).

Sour cream waffles (adapted from The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook)

Yields about 10 to 11 thick waffles (I don’t know about those old-school thin waffle irons)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

1 cup milk

1/3 cup cooking oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions: Mix dry ingredients together, then add in wet, while your waffle iron heats up. Spoon batter in until plates are almost full, and cook until steam subsides and waffles are golden. Eat. Repeat.

*I do love syrup, but I save it for my bacon.


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