Crisp whole grain yeast waffles topped with roasted strawberries, rose water and violets, paired with stronger flavors like black pepper and salted peanuts for the perfect spring brunch.
In college there was a spot in one of our dining facilities that had a really cool waffle maker. There were little cups of batter pre-portioned that you would empty in and flip the waffle maker in a cradle to cook both sides. We were smitten. So we bought a waffle maker at some point, used it, forgot about it and then recently we asked ourselves... "Why are we not eating more waffles?".
So after a super deep cleaning (now I remember why I stopped making waffles: that waffle maker is TERRIBLE to clean), we broke out the good old waffle maker for an updated recipe. There are some pretty solid waffle recipes out there, but Chris and I both enjoy yeast-ier waffles as opposed to sweet waffles. Starting with a interesting, developed base to a recipe means you can explore more with toppings. A savory waffle will really hold its own. And as it's spring, we would be idiots not to go outside and see what's blooming. Enter: yard violets. Our backyard is absolutely covered with these cute little violets which are edible (do NOT eat your indoor African violet plant. It is not the same thing). And while roses aren't in bloom here in Virginia quite yet, roses are a nice, stronger floral pairing that also works with strawberries. That's where the rosewater comes in with the strawberry topping.
I know You're thinking "wait, just strawberries and flowers on a yeast waffle? That sounds almost too one note for Chris and Carlene.". And you would be correct. Yes, floral strawberries on a waffle is beautiful and fine. But we always go more than 'fine'. Unless you're letting thees yeast waffles REALLY develop, there's not enough balance in this recipe to work out the sweet and light. That's where the black pepper and peanuts come in. It so works. Even though it's only two additional ingredients, it's the boost this dish needs.
A reminder with edible flowers:
Be aware of any chemicals you may have used in your yard if you're picking them outside your house. Also, remember going into your grocery and picking up roses for edibles isn't necessarily a good idea (you have no idea what has been sprayed on the product!).
Before you get to the recipe, I want to warn you: yes...this recipe (at least the waffle recipe) is in grams If you don't have a kitchen scale or you're just not willing to weigh things, use your favorite waffle recipe for this and make the below toppings. As much as I used to hate recipes in grams, I love it now. It's far more precise, meaning you get the same results every time. Would I use grams in a salad? Not likely. That's more lenient..more based on feel for me. Baked goods? YES. Just remember to zero your scale with the bowl/container on it before you go adding ingredients.
SPRING ROASTED STRAWBERRY ROSE VIOLET YEAST WAFFLES
makes 4 large waffles: Waffles adapted from Chef Steps
/// Ingredients ///
- 350 g whole wheat pastry flour
- 7 grams active dry yeast
- 5 grams sugar
- 3.5 grams salt
- 2 grams baking soda
- 620 grams whole milk
- 115 grams butter (super close to 1, 4 oz stick)
- 100 grams egg (about 2 extra large, or 2.5 large)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups quartered strawberries
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 T contreau
- 1/4 teaspoon rose water
- 1/8 cup, chopped salted peanuts
- sweet violets
- black pepper
- whipped cream (heavy whipping cream + powdered sugar with a whisk attachment)
/// Directions /// Sift pastry flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a small pan on the stove melt butter and add whole milk. Bring to 104 F (this is our favorite thermometer) and do not let it get above 113 F. If your temperature starts to get too high, remove the pan from the burner to cool. Once the butter is melted and the milk is at the appropriate temperature, whisk in eggs. Pour into the well of dry ingredients and whisk together. Once ingredients are combined allow mix to sit between 10 minutes-2 hours for yeast to bloom. The longer you let it sit, the yeast-ier the waffles will taste and the more air pockets they will have. We let our mix sit 30 minutes.
Follow the directions to use your waffle maker to cook waffles. We find that the first waffle is usually a bust, or at best, the least pretty of the batch.
To make the strawberry topping, slice strawberries into quarters and add to a shallow pan on the stove with sugar, grated ginger and contreau (orange-flavored liqueur). Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the strawberries soften. Remove from heat and add 1/4 teaspoon rose water. Stir.
Add strawberry mix and whipped cream on top of waffles. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and violets. Top with freshly ground black pepper.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.