March 4, 2016 9:38 AM   Subscribe

If I make a jar of waffle batter and keep in in the fridge (for morning before-school hot waffles) will it a) kill us, and b) continue the chemical action necessary to make light, fluffy waffles?
posted by anastasiav to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I might store the dry ingredients separately from the wet ingredients. Then combine and serve.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:39 AM on March 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

There are many waffle recipes specifically suggesting or requiring sitting overnight, google "overnight waffles" for a fine selection.
posted by Perplexity at 9:43 AM on March 4, 2016 [10 favorites]

Overnight waffles are the best waffles available, so do those (any recipe will work, they're much the same). But I regularly make pancake batter and store it in the fridge for fresh pancakes for a few days and day 2 pancakes are just fine and day 2 waffle batter will also be fine.
posted by jeather at 9:45 AM on March 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

The thing that will change as you let it sit, if you use a standard waffle recipe, is the baking powder. When you put baking powder in water, the baking soda (a base) reacts with the cream of tartar (an acid) to make CO2, which puts bubbles in waffle and makes it nice and fluffy. However, as the batter sits, the CO2 will dissipate.

To compensate, many baking powders are double-acting, and will release a second quantity of acid upon heating. However, the waffles will still not be as fluffy as they would when made immediately. Perhaps you could make most of the batter overnight, then add just the baking powder at the end? Or, as Ruthless Bunny says, mix wet and dry ingredients at cook time.

The overnight waffles are very good, and are made with yeast rather than baking powder, which produces more and more CO2 over time, necessitating a long sit time. Of course, these waffles will taste of yeast, which may or may not be to your liking.
posted by Maecenas at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

Overnight waffles are tasty, but generally yeast-leavened, with all of the attendant timing stuff.

As discussed above, chemically leavened batters tend not to be quite as great the next day (I mean, I've done it, and they are "fine" but not as good as day 1).

A trick I learned from Alton Brown is just to cook up all of the waffles when the batter is fresh, then freeze them (lay 'em on parchment paper in a single layer). After they are frozen, package appropriately, and then when you want to use them you can just heat them up like Eggos. Alton likes to use his waffle iron to reheat them (and has some idiosyncratic system for notching them in just the right way because he is Alton), I get good results from popping them in my toaster oven, I'm sure a regular toaster would work too.

I'm pretty sure that this is the Good Eats episode with the waffle stuff, but it's paywalled.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:58 AM on March 4, 2016 [12 favorites]

Also, you can always make waffles ahead, freeze them, then warm them in the toaster. I got the idea from watching Good Eats, and it does work pretty well.
posted by PearlRose at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

It makes more dishes, but you can use small jars and premix the dry ingredients, then just pour the wet ingredients in and shake. I never kept with it because I didn't have a dishwasher and all the extra cleanup wasn't worth it.
posted by flimflam at 10:03 AM on March 4, 2016

FWIW, I find I can make waffle or pancake batter in about the time it takes to preheat the griddle or waffle iron. The recipes I use contain butter, so I start by microwaving the lump of butter in a large, heavy tumbler or liquid measuring cup. During the 40 seconds or so that that takes, I measure the flour, baking soda and/or baking powder, salt and sugar into a bowl. Grab a whisk and mix the dry ingredients together. Crack the egg(s) into the melted butter, and whisk those together. Add buttermilk and, if applicable, vanilla, to the egg/butter mixture, and whisk all of that together. Dump liquids into dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

If I'm on my game, I'll be drumming my fingers on the counter for a few minutes before water dances on the griddle the way it's supposed to.
posted by jon1270 at 10:08 AM on March 4, 2016

I've done this with pancakes, not waffles, but it's the same principle: instead of putting the batter in the fridge, put it in the freezer, in a plastic bag with the amount of batter you need for one day's worth of waffles. About 30 minutes before you want to make the waffles, take the bag out of the freezer and put it in a bowl of warm water to thaw. Give it a quick stir, then cut off the corner of the bag and pipe it right into your waffle maker.
posted by capricorn at 10:12 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I routinely leave waffle batter in the fridge, as waffle recipes tend to be designed for more than two people's breakfasts. Works fine.
posted by yarntheory at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I find I can make waffle or pancake batter in about the time it takes to preheat the griddle or waffle iron.

Part of the issue is that I will end up with leftover batter (I'm only making waffles for one nine year old) and I hate the waste. Even cutting the recipe back I'll almost always end with leftover batter (plus pretty much every THIS IS THE BEST ONE A++++ recipe I've run across (here, here, here) calls for beating the egg whites until stiff, which is a whole set of tools I don't want to haul out at 645 in the morning. (There is no way I'm personally going to get stiff egg whites by hand.))
posted by anastasiav at 10:17 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

ya nthing make all the waffles you want. once the 9 year old is fed, just slightly undercook the rest. they heat up so amazingly well in the toaster or toaster oven.
posted by chasles at 10:23 AM on March 4, 2016

Beating the egg whites the day before is going to disappoint no matter what you do, short of precooking the waffles. All that extra fluffiness will break down overnight.
posted by jon1270 at 10:25 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

My husband's waffle recipe is too much for just two people, so we make them all and refrigerate/freeze the rest for eating the next day. Just pop them in the toaster.

What's easier than just sticking them in the toaster?
posted by lizbunny at 10:30 AM on March 4, 2016

What's easier than just sticking them in the toaster?

"Mamma, the waffles are SO MUCH BETTER when they're right out of the waffler. Can't you just make me waffles?"

(I'm currently freezing them. They're not nearly as good retoasted.)
posted by anastasiav at 10:32 AM on March 4, 2016

"Mamma, the waffles are SO MUCH BETTER when they're right out of the waffler. Can't you just make me waffles?"

In that case, I would say that the best answer to "what's easier than sticking them in the toaster" would be to say "you know what kid, I resign as waffle chef, if you want freshly-made waffles every day I'll teach you how to do it yourself and then you're on your own".

But to answer your question - I'd go with straight-up Bisquick, scaled down, and just leave out the egg and call it a day. No need to measure anything, you always make just the amount you need, boom.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2016 [19 favorites]

Yeast raised waffle batter will keep for a couple of days, I've found.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2016

I'm with you, day old pancake batter pancakes is MUCH better than reheated pancakes. (I hate cleaning my waffle iron, but same thing.) Just make the batter. Even food52 suggests that beating the egg whites isn't necessary, so just dump them in at the end.

(I know pancakes aren't waffles, but they're close enough, and especially for a weekday breakfast.)
posted by jeather at 10:42 AM on March 4, 2016

Yeah, fresh waffles made with fresh batter made with fresh fancy whipped egg whites is totally the best. I've realized that my life does not always accommodate "the best", and decided that my order of preference is:
(1) fancy fresh batter
(2) days-old fancy batter
(3) fresh bisquick batter (or any other baking mix)
(4) old bisquick batter (extra 1/4tsp of baking powder if I'm uncertain)
(5) old fancy waffles reheated carefully in the waffle iron
(6) anything in the toaster reheat is pretty much bunk, in my book.

But that's just me. Find out what your kid's order of preference is. Could be that kid doesn't actually care how stupidly easy the batter is so long as it's fresh and hot. Try a box of all-in-one pancake/waffle mix that you just add water to (powdered egg included) and reduce the recipe to a 1-waffle size.
Also play with the batter thickness - my favorite waffles in the world are the overnight waffles Maecenas linked above, really thin batter on a non-belgian waffle iron that come out crisp and light, therefore my favorite insta-waffles add extra liquid to the mix to get a really thin batter that cooks similarly.
posted by aimedwander at 11:10 AM on March 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

So I make the kid breakfast every morning.
We do pancakes or waffles often enough that we found an easier method than mixing up a batch every morning. I get leery of eggy things after the second day.

I also want the kid to eat more whole grains, so we adapted this recipe from King Arthur. It is a mix that stores in the fridge for months. The base is oats and flour that can be all purpose or a mix with whole wheat. To make it into crispy waffles, you add extra oil when mixing the batter. To make the batter in the morning, you just need to measure out a cup of mix, crack an egg into it and whisk it while adding liquid to make the desired thickness of batter. You can make it thinner and let it stand for 10-20 minutes to hydrate the grains, but I never have time for that.

Oatmeal Pancake and Waffle Mix
5 cups flour (up to 4 cups of it can be whole wheat flour)
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
1/4 cup malted milk powder or dried malt powder
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp dark rum

1 cup homemade mix
~1 cup buttermilk, milk, or a combination of plain yogurt and milk
1 large egg

1) To make the mix: Grind the oats and malt in a food processor until they're chopped fine, but not a powder.

2) Put the flour, oats, and all other dry ingredients into a mixer with a paddle. Mix on slow speed, and drizzle the vegetable oil, rum and vanilla into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running.

3) Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks at room temperature, or indefinitely in the refrigerator or freezer.

4) To make pancakes: Whisk together 1 cup of mix, 1 cup of buttermilk (or yogurt or enough milk to make a thick batter), 1 large egg. Don't worry if it seems thin at first: the oats will soak up the milk, and the mix will thicken a bit as it stands.

5) Let the batter stand for at least 10-20 minutes before cooking (or decrease the liquid content to cook sooner)

6) Heat a lightly greased griddle to 350°F (or when when water dances on the griddle, medium-hot will do).

7) Drop the batter onto it in 1/4-cupfuls to make a 4" diameter pancake.

8) When the edges look dry and the popped bubbles on the surface don't fill in, turn the pancake over to finish cooking on the second side, which will take about 2 minutes.

9) Serve pancakes immediately, or stack and hold in a warm oven.

Yield: a batch using 1 cup of the mix will make about 5 to 8 pancakes, depending on size.
To make waffles, add a tablespoon of oil per cup of mix when making the batter. One cup of batter makes a waffle and a half in my waffle press.
posted by Seamus at 11:24 AM on March 4, 2016 [9 favorites]

Any recipe involving eggs, assuming it's not about whipping egg whites separately, you can substitute egg powder, which then allows you to do daily mini-batches that are less than one-egg sized.
posted by aimedwander at 11:28 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I don't think the kid truly understands the amount of labor that's going into this. My mother would have gone the object lesson route: hauled me out of bed at 0600 and had me whipping up egg whites at her direction while she sipped at her tea.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:31 AM on March 4, 2016 [12 favorites]

I've done fridge-waffle-batter for morning breakfasts a bunch, with great success. Since I sometimes have vegans in my house this is my go-to waffle recipe; it's really easy to put together and I've never had any problems keeping it in the fridge for a week or so. (I also have the waffle maker mentioned in the recipe: A++)
posted by anotherthink at 11:40 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

+1 that yeast-raised waffles not only are intended to be made the night before and take about 5 minutes to throw together, but also the batter still works for at least the next day or two if you keep it in the fridge.
posted by town of cats at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2016

I have ate fresh, home-made waffles every morning for my entire life (frozen ones are not the same) and this is exactly what I do. I mix the dry and wet ingredients in a tupperware container, make waffles, stick container with remaining batter in fridge, and repeat the next day. It helps to keep it light and fluffy if you add in extra dry mix and water every morning, but YMMV.

It also decreases the amount of washing up I have to do. At least once a week, I wash out the tupperware and start over. If you smell the waffle mix, you can tell if it's not good to eat. I don't usually put milk or eggs in it (there's dry milk mixed in), so there's nothing that will spoil too quickly, but I have used milk and eggs in the past and if you do, just wash it out a little more frequently.
posted by raeka at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2016

The waffles will be fine for 1, 2, maybe 3 days depending on the pickiness of your eater. Sounds like a fun experiment for different recipes as well.

(I always wonder if even one of the people suggesting the 10 year old make their own waffles before school has a 10 year old? an any-year old? Nothing better than parenting advice not from parents /s especially since you didn't ask for parenting advice.)
posted by RoadScholar at 3:25 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeasted waffles are magically delicious, but whether a 9-year-old will agree, I don't know.

If I were you, I'd make the whole batter except for the baking powder. Quick wisk that stuff in, give it 30 seconds to hydrate, and then it can hit the waffle iron.

Texture might be different than you're used to, slightly, because flour's gluten formation depends on time and hydration as much as anything. But this probably won't be a dealbreaker. If you find they're tougher or chewy on day 3, swap out some (start at 25% or so) of the all purpose flour with low-protein flour (aka cake flour).

> "Mamma, the waffles are SO MUCH BETTER when they're right out of the waffler. Can't you just make me waffles?"

Well, yeah! There's aromatic volatiles in there that're set free by the heat-- some of them are so volatile that they leave after their first exposure, never to be smelled again. That's the same reason why there's really nothing quite like fresh-popped popcorn. Nature's kitchen means that all kinds of wonderful chemicals are released in tiny amounts based on how they respond to waffle-iron heat, but they are ephemeral and untameable. Good on ya for noticing, kid. Now get your bookbag.
posted by Sunburnt at 4:26 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Maybe the 9 year old could be charged with making batter and waffles and set the schedule herself, accordingly.
posted by Riverine at 7:30 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

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