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Yeasted Waffles and Pancakes

February 14, 2011 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food | Post comment

Yeasted Waffles and Pancakes

Yeasted Waffles

Raising pancakes and waffles with yeast is an old American tradition that predates the invention of baking powder.  Traditionally the first part of the batter is set up the night before and the last ingredients are added in the morning.  The overnight proofing develops the flavor of the flours and the yeast ensures lightness even for heavier grains.. Having tested them side by side, I can say that these cakes and waffles taste good made with either butter or canola oil.  These are marvellous cakes and the batter keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for several days.


1 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups lukewarm reduced fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat, quinoa, toasted barley, or other whole grain flour
2 tablespoons honey  
5 tablespoons canola oil or melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Sprinkle the yeast into water and stir in the sugar.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.  Put the warm milk and salt in a large bowl, then add the yeast and whisk in the flours.  Cover and refrigerate overnight if the weather is warm, or leave out on the counter if it’s cool.  Next morning, add the honey, oil, eggs and soda.  Cook on pre-heated waffle iron or griddle.

Blue Corn Waffles:  This is my favorite waffle, and in this I'm not alone.  Use toasted blue corn meal for the second flour, fine or slightly coarse.  Serve with maple syrup heated with a little butter, or with a more exotic accompaniment, such as prickly pear syrup or chokecherry jelly.

Yeasted Buckwheat Cakes

This batter makes superlative waffles that can be served with sweet or savory accompaniments.  If you’re planning ahead for a brunch, make little pancakes and freeze them, to reheat later.


1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water or reduced fat milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 whole eggs, beaten, or 2 eggs and 2 whites
2 tablespoons honey or sugar, if not for savory accompaniments


Sprinkle the yeast into warm water and stir in the sugar.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.  While it's proofing, warm the milk or water with the butter and stir until the butter melted.  Make sure it's only lukewarm before turning it into a large bowl, with the yeast.  Whisk in wheat flour, salt and enough buckwheat flour to make a thin batter.  Cover and proof 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, add the eggs.  If using egg whites, whisk them into soft peaks, then fold them into the batter.  The consistency should be like heavy cream.  If the batter has thickened too much, thin it with water.

To make blini, use about a tablespoon of batter for each cake.  Cook until holes dot the surface then  flip and cook the second side. Cook on pre-heated griddle.

Serving Suggestions:  For a winter dessert, serve cakes or waffles with dried apricots or figs poached in a ginger syrup and a spoonful of sour cream.  For savory accompaniments, serve them with sour cream, snipped chives or caramelized onions, or a mushroom stew.  For breakfast cakes and waffles, homemade applesauce or poached dried fruits with yogurt are excellent.