I Tried Smitten Kitchen’s Raised Waffles and They Are Our New Stand-by Breakfast Treat

published Jan 16, 2022
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Growing up, every time my family went out to breakfast, my mom would order waffles and, every time, it was a hopeful waiting game to see whether the waffles would be crunchy or floppy. It didn’t matter if we were at a restaurant that had crispy waffles last time we were there; there was never a guarantee. I don’t know if it was the chef or a difference in the way the batter was prepared or the amount of time on the griddle or what. But most of the time, the waffles were a disappointment; after one bite, and sometimes even before, as my mother would cut that first piece and the waffle sponged, we knew we had another dud. 

For a long time, after I had my own home and my own waffle maker, the quest didn’t go differently for me either. I tried recipe after recipe in search of a perfectly crispy waffle that my mother would love. I tried ready-made mixes and so. any. from-scratch recipes with no consistent success. 

Until I happened upon Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Waffles recipe, which changed our waffle lives forever. 

These waffles are delightfully and reliably crispy on the outside. Their cragginess doesn’t mean they’re hard, though. Far from it. That first crunchy layer gives way to a tender middle that’s more tasty than you ever knew a waffle could be. 

These are our special occasion waffles, even if that occasion is a just-because Saturday morning without an early soccer game. These waffles make a special occasion. We serve them with butter, maple syrup, sliced strawberries, and dollops of fluffy homemade whipped cream. On winter mornings, when strawberries are out of season, I’ll make blueberry sauce from frozen berries or a bananas foster version.

Everyone has their job on waffle mornings: I’m on waffle duty, the little ones wash and cut the strawberries with help from an older sibling or two, and my oldest son makes bacon on the grill with Daddy’s supervision. It’s a family affair and one of our favorite breakfast traditions. 

How to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Raised Waffles

Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Waffles are adapted from a century-old recipe via Marion Cunningham’s classic, The Breakfast Book. The recipe is surprising, but not hard and — this is key — you have to allow enough time for proofing. 

To make the waffles, warm water is sprinkled with yeast before warm milk, melted and cooled butter, sugar, salt, and flour are added. You can alternate adding wet and dry ingredients as you’re mixing to help reduce lumps. Leave out overnight (or add a bit more yeast and leave out for up to two hours if you’re uncomfortable leaving milk out this long) and then mix in eggs and baking soda just before cooking. 

My Honest Review

We love these waffles. They’re everything I ever looked for in a waffle, texture-wise, and everything I never knew to expect in a waffle, flavor-wise. If you prefer not to roll the dice by leaving the batter out overnight, they come out just as well with a shorter rise. These waffles are so good even when served plain, and they’re light enough that you can easily pack a few away. We always double or triple the batch. 

3 Tips for Making Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Waffles

1. Don’t use a Belgian waffle maker. The batter for these waffles is thin and best suited for a “shallow” waffle maker, not a Belgian one. Pour the batter in the center of the waffle iron, because otherwise it will spread and spill over the sides. 

2. Keep waffles warm and crisp in the oven. Whatever you do, don’t stack cooked waffles on a platter because you’ll end up steaming them and losing all that wonderful crispiness. Instead, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and set cooked waffles in there. Serve the waffles straight onto plates, one at a time. 

3. Make enough batter for later. When you make these waffles, plan ahead for enough batter to have more than one meal. The batter keeps well in the fridge for a few days; or, cook the waffles and freeze them for later.