When I was a little kid, (I = Rita in this case) every once in a while I would spend the night at my grandmother’s house just down the street. It wasn’t very far but it always felt like an adventure. One reason for this is that Nanny (that was her name as far as I was concerned) used to make us pancakes for dinner. She lived alone so it was just the two of us and there seemed to me to be a conspiratorial air about this: pancakes for dinner? Why that was just blasphemy, wasn’t it? Like eating dessert first. Heck, pancakes were just like dessert, weren’t they? There was something so special about it to me. It wasn’t until later that I realized it was probably just easier for her to make pancakes than to cook an actual meal (and I was a particularly picky eater as a child). And I guess maybe she enjoyed it as much as I did.
I seem to remember this as an event that usually took place in the winter, which makes the memory seem even warmer and cozier than it may have actually been. But either way, these winter months are as good a time as any to have a little fun with dinner! Big fluffy buttermilk pancakes with some fresh fruit and pure maple syrup would be lovely but if you’re a purist and just have to have something savory in the dinner hour, then how about waffles?
We serve a lot of waffles here at the Brampton, and of course we top them with fruit and syrup. But there is only a trace amount of sugar in the batter we use, so if you wanted to top them with something savory it would work just fine. In fact, waffles with chicken and gravy is a staple southern dish that I had never heard of until I moved to Maryland! I can imagine them topped with salsa and guacamole, or any kind of stew. I think the possibilities here are truly endless. Whatever you like, you can put it on a waffle! But don’t just take my word for it; here is an article about waffles being re-invented by clever chefs all over the country.
So hopefully you’re inspired to try some breakfast for dinner tonight. If so, here is our trusty raised waffle recipe from scratch to get you started.
Light as air, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We have been serving this waffle to our guests for 20 years. It is best made with a Belgian type waffle maker.
Yields about 8 waffles depending on size of waffle maker.
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon ground corn meal
- 2 cups whole milk, lukewarm
- 4 oz. unsalted butter melted (1 stick)
- 2 large eggs
- Put the ¼ cup milk into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand 5 min. so yeast can dissolve and it will start to bubble.
- In a separate large bowl mix flour, corn meal, salt and sugar. Set aside.
- Add warmed milk (make sure milk is less than 110 degrees or it will kill the yeast), melted butter and eggs to bowl with the yeast and whisk until everything is well incorporated. Add flour mixture ½ cup at a time while whisking vigorously after each addition. The batter should be smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set bowl on a large rimmed cookie tray to catch the overflow if necessary as the dough will double in volume. Refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning preheat the waffle iron to high.
- Whisk batter, it will deflate, and let rest for 15 min. at room temperature.
- Pour about ¾ cup of batter per waffle onto a hot waffle iron. Bake until waffles are golden and edges are crisp.
The batter will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Whisk vigorously before each use.
Enjoy and let us know what kind of toppings you like best.