Just in case you were wondering… yes. The rumors are true. Our Bee Sweet Bake Sale for Earth Day last week was a sweet success (probably one of our biggest in-office bake sales to date) with a menu consisting of such treats as:
Honey Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Banana Bread with Honeyed Cream Cheese
Chocolate-Honey Mini Cupcakes
Spicy Ginger Brownies (honey-free)
Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
Whole-Wheat Honey Fruit Squares
Honeyed Hot Masala Chai
…and an ambitious (and delicious) Spicy Caramelized Onion and Fontina Cheese Pizza on Wheat-Free Teff Crust with Kalamata Olive & Honey Glaze (it was delightful).
My contribution came in the form of Honey Sourdough Waffles with butter, powdered sugar and a homemade Honey-Berry Syrup. And I’m going to tell you right now, the waffles turned out to be light, crisp and quite tasty , but they scared the hell out of me.
Let me tell you a little waffle story, then I’ll give you the recipe to try… if you dare.
Based on the wild success of freshly cooked waffles at previous bake sales, I figured I’d bring out the waffle iron once again for this bake sale.
This time I thought I’d let the batter go overnight to give it extra flavor and y’know… personality. Well, this waffle batter had personality to spare.
When I woke up and opened the refrigerator door, there was a batter fountain flowing down the side of the refrigerator and across all the food below. Wow. That’s not the nicest way to wake up.
After a 25-minute clean-up job, the batter was still bubbling, still threatening to erupt across the kitchen… but it was all worth it, right? Delicious, no?
Actually, no. I had a little sample and it tasted terrible. Simply horrid. Like spoiled milk. I wanted to cry.
I took it to work anyway. What was I supposed to do? I had a bake sale to support. And I had this irrational thought that cooking it might make it taste better. In waffle form, maybe it’d shape up and taste tangy and delicious. But I really didn’t have much faith.
In any case, I stirred it up to keep the burbling growth at bay, put the lid back on it and carted it to work, terrified it would explode in a sticky, globby mess on the way.
Then at work, well… I wish you could have been there, because it was a waffle miracle. I fired up the iron. I ladled the batter. There was sizzling and steaming. And wonder of wonders — it tasted fine. Better than fine. It tasted terrific. Airy, crisp and full of yeasty flavor. A delight with melted butter.
Dozens and dozens of waffles were made. Money was donated. People were happy.
Would I do it again? Yes, but I’d either increase the size of the jar or halve the recipe.
And I’ll give you the warning I should’ve given myself: if you let the batter burble overnight, you must give it the opportunity to triple in size. My jar was 3/4 full when it went into the fridge and that was a big, dumb, messy mistake.
Honey “Sourdough” Waffles (Makes about 20)
2 packages active dry yeast
4 cups milk, warmed to 100°F
3 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1/2 cup honey
Pinch of salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
To Serve (choose one or more)
Fresh whipped cream
Berries or cut fruit
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in one cup of the milk.
- In a large, rooomy mixing bowl (the dough will double or triple in volume), whisk the egg yolks, melted butter, yeast mixture, honey and salt.
- Gradually sift the flour into the batter. Alternate additions of flour with the remaining milk, stirring the batter after each addition.
- Loosely cover and let the mixture develop overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next morning, stir the batter, adding a splash of water if it seems too thick.
- Beat the egg whites into soft peaks, then fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Heat the waffle iron and bake your waffles according to the manufacturers’ instructions. I use a ladle to portion the batter, but some recommend transferring the batter to a pitcher and pouring it into the waffle iron.
- Immediately serve baked waffles with butter and powdered sugar or whipped cream and fresh fruit. To store leftover waffles, make sure you cool them completely before wrapping well and freezing.