Breakfast makes me happy in a lot of ways. I can think of few things better than waking up to the smell of bacon and syrup and chatter in the kitchen. It's quite unfortunate that we don't get to spend more time together and even more unfortunate that I almost never wake up to the haze of bacon grease hovering over the stove. A more appropriate scenario would be me waking up alone, trying not to make a huge racket with the pots and pans, wishing the icy linoleum would warm up, and then dragging everyone out of bed by the ankles to the tune of, "I'm not hungry...I'll just eat cereal." It's a friendly group!
I've seen these waffles on a few blogs and am always intrigued by the recipe, but it falls under the breakfast category and in case you haven't checked, that section of my recipe index is quite sparse. I'm always pressed for time in the morning and a granola bar or a bowl of cereal seems much more practical at seven o'clock, but my stomach reminds me that it wasn't nearly enough food at nine when it starts rumbling like the belly of Mount St. Helen. I tried screaming, "Shutup! Just shutup!" at it, but my efforts are in vain.
This recipe is perfect for that sort of predicament, you start the batter the night before and it takes very little work in the morning to get it going. As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of all things banana bread, I was skeptical that a waffle could replicate the homey flavor I so adore, and I was right. These are delicious in their own way, and they do taste of banana, but not in the same way a slice of banana bread does. If I was forced to choose between the two, I'd go with the banana bread, slightly toasted and smeared with soft butter. Don't tell the waffle.
Secondly, the waffle maker. I've rarely used the thing and after making these, I remembered why. It produces something looks like a waffle, but the buck stops there. It is soft the entire way through, lacking the crunchy outside and creamy interior of a college waffle (oh how I miss that two-iron station in the dining hall, tucked in a steamy cloud of flour and fat and syrup, a perfect alternative to that mystery meat or a cold sandwich). If you want that impressively round and crunchy waffle, you'll have to invest in a real waffle iron. As someone who can't make time for breakfast, that's just not something I'm prepared to do.
Banana Bread Waffles
Adapted from Honey and Jam
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground clove
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup mashed ripe banana, about 3 whole
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, milk and vanilla. Set aside, the mixture should be warm but not hot.
In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and spices. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until smooth. Stir in the beaten eggs. Cover the bowl loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but up to 24.
About 30 minutes before you want to make waffles, take the batter out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature slightly. It should be doubled in size and the surface will be covered in bubbles.
When ready to begin, stir the sour cream into the mashed bananas and then mix the fruit into the batter. It will deflate, but use a light, quick hand to thoroughly combine.
Heat your waffle iron and bake the waffles as per the manufacturer's instruction.