There are two types of waffles. Those that rely on baking powder and the quick chemical reaction that ensues. Those waffles, for the most part, are clunky and a bit too sweet for my taste.
Then there are raised waffles (yeasted) that have tang, crispness and are impossibly light.
The former I continued to make after I gave up dairy but the latter I thought were lost as they take an impossible amount of eggs. Last summer I pulled out my trusty Fanny Farmer cookbook and began experimenting with vegan-izing Marion Cunningham’s recipe for yeasted waffles. The waffles I came up with, after trial and error, are crisp, golden and lighter than air. Seriously these are as magical as the ones I remember.
Why can’t you fly now, mother?”
“Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way.”
“Why do they forget the way?”
“Because they are no longer gay and innocent and heartless. It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly.”
A late summer breeze drifted lazily through the bathroom window as my 4 year old niece and I conversed where girls converse best.
I gathered tendrils of humidity damp hair from my neck and pinned them into a bun while Zoe stared intently into the mirror copying my gestures with her pudgy little hands.
“Do you love me best?”
“Zoe, I love you to the moon and back. I love you more than all the grains of golden sand on all of the golden beaches.”
“Yes, but Auntie Hanne, I asked if you love me best.”
“Zoe you are stars and moon and sun to me.” (Yes we actually speak that way to each other.)
Zoe cleared her throat and gazing at me with her delphinium blue eyes sternly asked:
“Do you love me BEST? Do you love me more than Aylam (my son) and Livy (my daughter)? Best Auntie Hanne.”
“Zoe you are my favorite Niece. I love you in a way I have never loved anyone before, Never! You fill my heart when I think about you, I love no one more than I love you”
Her tiny nostrils flared. He hands formed sweaty little fists. She glared at her formerly favorite Auntie, her ever so dim witted Auntie. One hand shot out and grabbed the bodice of my flowered dress. She pulled me down to her eye level. One hand held me fast and the other poked me for emphasis with each word
“Say it! Say it, Auntie Hanne, Say you love me best!”
Gulp. “Yes Zoe, I love you best.”
Don’t forget the happy thoughts
All you need is happy thoughts
The past tense, past bed time
Way back then when everything we read was real
And everything we said rhymed
Wide eyed kids being kids
Why did you stop?
What did you do to your hair?
Where did you go to end up right back here?
When did you start to forget how to fly?
-Chance the Rapper
Crisp beyond belief, airy and light these waffles are the whole package. You can make them the night before and let the batter have a long slow rise (for extra flavor) or allow only a 1 hour rise and still have incredible golden waffles. These freeze a dream and the recipe can be easily double or even tripled.
- 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups warm, non dairy, milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or margarine
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 6 tbsp well reduced aquafaba* from butterbeans or chickpeas.
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
Place the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Allow to rest in a warm place 8-10 minutes
Whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients except for the aquafaba. Your aquafaba should be thick. Reduce aquafaba from a can by about 25% to get the correct viscosity.
Once the wet ingredients are incorporated whisk in the flour, sugar and salt. You will have a very runny batter. Cover and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
If you are letting it rise over night then place it in the fridge after it has risen for one hour. If you are making waffles the same day then leave the batter out.
The next day remove the batter from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature about an hour.
Instructions for finishing the batter whether you are making the same day or have waited overnight.
Plug in your waffle iron.
Reduce aquafaba from a can by about 25% to get the correct viscosity. Whisk the aquafaba until frothy (about 3-4 minutes) and stir it gently into the batter. Sift the baking soda over the top of the batter and mix gently but thoroughly.
Cook according to your Waffle irons instructions. I use 1/2 cup of batter in each square of my iron. The recipe makes 2 1/2 batches or 10 individual waffles. I find these are best when cooked till dark golden brown.
Freeze any extras and reheat them in the oven.
**Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking legumes. It was first discovered a french tenor named Joël Roessel. An american (at least I think he is american) named Goose Wohlt picked up the torch and furthered investigations into this magical liquid. It is seriously magical, the holy grail for vegans as they could suddenly whip up meringues and macaroons and use it in all sorts of innovative ways. There is a marvelous Facebook Group called Aquafaba (Vegan Meringues Hits and Misses). They are an amazing inclusive helpful innovative bunch of people. I highly recommend you check them out.