I consider myself a pretty enthusiastic foodie, but one thing I have never done is create and maintain a sourdough starter.  My friend, Vicki, frequently offers me some of hers, and I always politely decline. For one thing, I don’t bake bread on a regular basis since the primary consumer left, and I don’t make pancakes or biscuits or anything else like that often enough to use the starter as it was intended.  On the other hand, I like the flavor of the long ferment– overnight-raised pizza dough, and waffle batter.  Recently I had a few folks over for “Breakfast for Dinner” (children were involved – it’s always a hit), and I couldn’t help but notice that the yeasted waffles were outselling the ricotta pancakes in a significant way.  Maybe it’s because waffles are just generally more appealing than pancakes, but I prefer to think the crispy exteriors, distinctly yeasty flavor and slight chewy texture had made the overnight-recipe-method very worthwhile.

Although you can easily cut it in half, I’m giving you the whole recipe, as these are good freezer-keepers (if you don’t have an active adult son who can make your stash disappear in an afternoon – you know who you are…).

If you’re a purist, then butter and syrup is for you.

I’m not a syrup person:  I like mine with a little Brie melted on top.

Cheddar and apples makes a nice change. I have a friend who prefers cream cheese and strawberries.

Nutella is always a good choice for breakfast on the run, with or without banana slices.  Even a picky-eater kid would probably eat this as a breakfast sandwich in the car.

When we ran the breakfast line at cooking school, the best seller was a “full meal deal” of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage.  Waffles can play that game too.

And of course, for those of you who like fruit, there’s fruit.

This recipe is perfect for “Chicken and Waffles”, if you have been seduced by this notion from constant exposure on Food TV.  Apparently, fried chicken used to feature as a breakfast item in the deep south. Use leftover rotisserie chicken or purchased fast-food or freezer chicken strips, drizzled with honey or maple syrup or sweet chili dipping sauce, and make a waffle sandwich. Waffles make a good bread alternative for any gravy-laden hot open-faced sandwich (like stew or pulled pork), taking leftovers to a whole new level.

Yeast-Raised Waffles — Overnight Method


I get about six 7-inch waffles from this recipe. You could make a 1/3 recipe for a lovely brunch for two – use 1 egg.

Don’t reduce the number of eggs or the amount of butter in the recipe — A rich batter yields crispy results.  Lean batter makes tough, dry waffles, or flabby, doughy waffles, or any combination that will be less than perfection.


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast (I like traditional, but fast-rising is perfectly fine)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups flour (you could use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (reduce to 1 Tbsp plus 1 – 2 tsp dried herbs for savory waffles)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups milk (2% and up gives the best results)
  • ½ tsp baking soda

When I made a batch of these waffles for a friend of mine who needed them to be gluten-free, I used a cup brown rice flour, ½ cup white rice flour, ½ cup potato starch (NOT potato flour), and 1 cup Red Mill gluten-free flour blend.  I also added 1 ½ teaspoons of xanthan gum.  Not all gluten-free flour blends are created equal – if you don’t care to keep a variety of flours on hand, choose a blend that is specifically good for bread-making.

If lactose is not your friend, and lactose-free milk products aren’t to your liking, I would suggest unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk as a substitute for best flavor.


Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in ½ cup warm water.  Stir in yeast.  Let it sit for 10 minutes to verify that the yeast is active – bubbling and foaming.  If you don’t bake bread all the time, buy your yeast in the little foil packets, and check the best-before date.  You just can’t get a rise out of dead yeast!

Measure the flour, salt, sugar and optional spices into a bowl. Stir to combine. Don’t add the baking soda at this point – it’s not time for it yet.

Make sure your melted butter isn’t hot enough to cook the eggs.  Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to completely combine.  Small lumps are not a problem.

Choose your batter container with care.  It should be able to accommodate at least twice the volume of the starter batter, or you may find yourself, as I did, cleaning a lava-flow of batter out of all the corners of your refrigerator when morning comes.  The bowl on the left is fine for mixing, but the bowl in the middle is needed for rising, as evidenced by the risen dough on the right.

Cover the batter and store it in the fridge.  All the source recipes state a resting time of 8 hours, or overnight.  I have made the batter at 7am, let it rise on the counter, and it has been ready by noon.  Many recipes don’t add the eggs until just before cooking; I think that is an overcautious food-safety precaution.  If you’re not holding the batter for more than 24 hours, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.  Keep an eye on the batter – it may need to be stirred down after the first hour or so, until it drops to refrigerator temperature, which will slow the action of the yeast somewhat.

Nest morning, or just before you iron those waffles, stir the baking soda into the batter.  It will ensure golden-brown results.  Stir it in through thoroughly, or the waffles will be spotty.

Pre-heat and lightly grease your waffle iron, and proceed following the manufacturer’s directions.  Lost those?  For a round waffler like mine, use about 1 cup of batter, and start checking at about the 3 minute mark (mine takes 5 minutes for perfect color).

It may take a few tries to determine exactly the perfect amount of batter, and the perfect timing.

Some people like their waffles very pale; others like “European Brown” (almost burned).   Too dark, though, and the waffles may have a slightly bitter flavor, so aim for perfection.

Practise makes perfect!
So much better than an Egg-O.

Waffles are absolutely best right out of the waffle iron.  If you’re feeding a crowd and don’t want to do so in stages, hold the waffles in a 200°F oven, uncovered, on a rack or a baking stone.  Don’t shingle them or tent them with foil – steam will build up and they’ll lose their crispness.  If you’re making a big batch for freezing, let them cool completely on a wire rack, just like a cookie, and then bag them up air-tight for storage.

Avoid re-heating in the microwave — they just get soggy.  Reheating can be done in the toaster, but you need to use the lowest setting or risk burning.  I opt for the oven or toaster-oven for reheating — 250°F until crispy and warm.