Today is a good day. There was a blizzard here in New York so the world is covered in a beautiful white blanket. And my office is closed! I get to spend a wonderful day on the couch with my roommates, cooking, eating, and watching TV. At some point I’ll probably venture out. If I had snowpants I would already have made a snow angel. It’s times like these I miss having a yard. Regardless of whether or not I go outside, there will definitely be hot chocolate.
I’ve been thinking of making yeast waffles for a while now. When we got out of work early yesterday, I decided last night was the perfect time to prepare them. I knew they’d make the best snow day breakfast. You let the dough rise in the fridge overnight and in the morning you get doughy, bready waffles. One of my favorite bloggers, Molly Yeh of mynameisyeh.com, has a recipe for yeast waffles that I instantly needed to try. They aren’t any regular yeast waffles, these babies are CHALLAH WAFFLES! Yes, you heard me. The recipe for the dough is similar to challah dough, and you knead in pearl sugar before throwing them on the waffle iron.
I know I should have pearl sugar. All the most delicious looking waffle recipes call for it. But I’ve never actually gotten around to purchasing it. Internet to the rescue! I found a recipe for a DIY version of pearl sugar, which is basically just clumped white sugar that stays together to create little pockets of sweetness in Liège waffles. I think that’s what makes the Waffles and Dinges truck smell so good (New York specific reference, but if you live here you know what I mean)!
Challah Waffles with DIY Pearl Sugar
Based on this recipe from Molly Yeh’s column on the Jewish Daily Forward
Makes about 5 waffles, so if you’re trying to feed a bunch of people make sure to double the recipe!
1 packet (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
3/4 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing your waffle iron (I used Pam for that)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pearl sugar
DIY Pearl Sugar
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp plus 1/4 Tbsp water
For the waffles
In a small bowl or measuring cup, proof your yeast by adding it to 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. I gave it a gentle stir then left it alone for 5 minutes until it was bubbly. Isn’t yeast such a weird, magical thing?
While you’re waiting for the yeast, combine the 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients: the remaining 1/4 cup warm water, honey, 1/2 cup canola oil, eggs, and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture and the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon, the dough will be very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for two hours or in the fridge overnight.
Once the dough has risen, uncover and knead in the pearl sugar. Heat your waffle iron and brush or spray with oil. Cook a small handful of dough at a time until browned and cooked through. For my waffle iron it took 3-4 minutes, your time may vary.
Serve with maple syrup, fruit, or just grab it with your hand and take a bite. They’re so delicious!
For the pearl sugar
Based on this recipe from the Pancake Princess, she was making challah waffles too!
Put the sugar and water in a small pot over low heat. Stir until clumps of sugar begin to form. If the sugar isn’t clumping, you can add half a teaspoon more water, but make sure not to add too much or you will just get a pot of soggy sugar. Cook over low heat for 15-30 minutes. I got impatient after 15. If you’re having trouble getting clumps, you can turn the heat up to medium for about 30 seconds and then back down to low. Cool completely before using, so the clumps have a chance to harden.