Thursday, January 6, 2011

Overnight Waffles

These waffles have been the biggest hit in my Breakfast Initiative.  Every time that I make them, the girls both get so excited - and so does my husband!  The big advantage to this recipe is that instead of having to whip up some egg whites to fold into the batter (like just about every waffle recipe out there), it uses yeast.  The only disadvantage is that the batter has to be made at least 12 hours before cooking - I'm not used to planning out breakfast the evening before, so I have to make a conscious effort to remember to get these done when I'm making dinner.

Overnight Waffles

1 3/4 cups milk (any kind - I've used skim, 1%, and whole)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat the milk and butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Let cool until just slightly warm.

Whisk together the flours, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk in the warm milk until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Heat the waffle iron.  Remove the batter from the fridge (it should have about doubled in size) and whisk to recombine and deflate.  Make waffles according to your waffle maker's instructions.  
If there are leftovers, they heat up excellently in the toaster the next day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

English Muffins

My goal for this school year has been to accustom Abby to eating a real breakfast.  If it were up to Abby, she would have a single slice of toast and a glass of water in the morning.  Over the summer, I let that go - after all, we were home, I could feed her as needed.  But now that she's one year away from kindergarten, and in preschool now, I want her to get used to anchoring her stomach and her brain with a real breakfast.  This has forced both of us to change our habits - her to try some new things, and me to actually make something besides toast or cold cereal!

I've been really happy with how the first few months of this school year have gone.  One easy change has been to introduce Abby to homemade English muffins.  They are a little heartier than toast, and they make an excellent base for breakfast sandwiches.

English Muffins

1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast (a.k.a., rapid rise yeast)

cornmeal (for dusting the work surface)

Pull out those bread machines!  Mine now sits out in my kitchen full-time.  I love that thing.

Place all ingredients (except for the cornmeal) in the bread pan and program for the dough cycle.

When the cycle is finished, turn the dough ball out onto a work surface dusted lightly with cornmeal.  Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Using a 3- or 4-inch biscuit cutter, cut out muffins.  Roll the trimmings and repeat.  (If you try to re-roll a second time, the muffins get pretty tough - but if you don't to waste any dough, go for it!).  

I use a lightly greased electric griddle heated to 350F to cook them.  If you don't have a griddle, use whatever you use when you make pancakes.  Place several muffins on the griddle and cook for about 8 minutes.  Turn them and cook about 8 minutes more - until they are quite brown on both sides.  They will swell and be very puffy while baking!  Let them cool on a rack.

To eat them, puncture the perimeter with the tines of a fork and pull them apart.