Because I have dishes to scrub, bags to pack, and all sorts of people to see before we leave, I’m going to let the pictures speak for now.
Bittman’s overnight waffles (from How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food) are friggin’ excellent, for lack of a more eloquent expression. They’re light, fluffy, and incredibly simple to prepare, especially if you aren’t really interested in greeting the day with cheer without a giant cup of coffee and adequate time to adjust to the idea of being awake. And as it turns out, they can be transformed into something sort of healthy. Out of sheer forgetfulness, I have discovered that they’re just fine without a whole stick of butter. I also much prefer to substitute at least half of the all purpose flour with whole grains — I think the decrease in gluten structure that comes with this particular switch works well for waffles. Spelt is an especially good choice — it adds a sweet, slightly more interesting flavor to the dish, and complements the sourdough-like taste really nicely.
The best part about these? They freeze really well. Make some extras for the week, and just put them in the toaster directly from the freezer to reheat.
Liz’s lazy / low fat take on Bittman’s Overnight Waffles
- 2 c. flour — preferably 1 c. all purpose, 1 c. spelt (whole wheat is fine, too)
- 3/4 t. active dry or 1/2 t. instant yeast
- 2 c. milk
- 1 T. sugar or honey (leave this out if you want savory waffles)
- 1/2 t. salt (I left this out. I could tell it wasn’t there, and I missed it)
- 1 t. olive oil (yes, olive oil is delicious in sweet stuff, too)
- 1 t. vanilla extract (or make vanilla sugar by putting a vanilla pod in your sugar bag)
- 2 eggs
The night before, or 8 hours before you want waffles:
Mix all ingredients EXCEPT for the eggs into a smooth batter. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 8 hours.
Right before serving:
Mix in the eggs. Oil the waffle iron and make waffles as usual.
I have been craving cinnamon rolls for years. YEARS. And I resisted up until now. Why, I have no idea — I’m just silly like that sometimes. I finally made them over the holidays, in one of my, “Damn it, James, I’m not going to work this morning” moods. They were our Christmas morning breakfast, post-hike lunch, pre-dinner snack, and …
Hey, don’t judge me.
This recipe (or formula, if you’re as pretentious as Peter Reinhart occasionally is, which I fully forgive every time I make another one of his recipes) makes light, warm, and not-too-sweet cinnamon rolls, with a little bit inspirational filling from their slightly stickier relation and a slight nod toward the warm spiciness of hot cross buns. If there’s one thing I’d change, it’s probably the glaze. I really wanted cream cheese frosting on these, but I’m indulgent like that, so you might disagree. The icing isn’t bad — after all, we scraped it off the plate once the cinnamon rolls were gone, like rabid, sugar-crazed fiends — but it wasn’t oh-my-god-I-need-MORE good. Next time, I intend to do better.
Recipe after the jump.
Hot cross buns (or hot x buns, as I call them, in honor of my rudimentary decorating skills and slightly twisted Catholic school girl days) are delicious breakfast food, full of warm spices, juicy raisins, and whatever else you happen to want to throw in with the dough. They’re a relatively quick yeast bread, though they would do well with a little rest in the fridge. Fresh-baked breakfast treat, anyone? They also happen to be ubiquitous in Australia, especially around Easter-time.
This is my first go at making hot cross buns, after years of hearing James suggest we should try and make them. Clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing. My Easter memories are limited to cheap chocolate and countless hardboiled eggs, carefully decorated and gathered in the morning dew. But trying out new traditions is kind of fun, especially when I have to ask James to translate the ingredient list for me. Caster sugar? Sultanas? You get the picture.
This one’s a new one for me, so it’s not quite right yet. It’s good, but it’s not “correct,” as James would say. But I did get to taste an authentic (and delicious) version of these just this morning, thanks to some friends of ours. So I’m kind of hoping I can help you skip this initial awkward phase and get straight to the good stuff.
So, Happy Easter, even if your celebration is limited to a Cadbury creme egg or two. And since I’m in a curious mood, I’ll leave you with a question: what are your favorite holiday foods?