Earl Grey Waffles
Waffles are the quintessential brunch food. They’re the highlight of a meal out, but they’re also easier to make at home than you think. (Check out our tutorial here.) That includes this recipe, with all its complex flavors and luxe presentation. It’s straightforward to make while still having “special occasion” written all over it. It’s a great recipe when you’re in the mood to dazzle some guests, or just to satisfy your urge for sweet and savory at the same time.
It is a yeasted waffle, so it’s more whole-wheaty than its buttermilk counterparts, and Earl Grey tea contributes a subtly floral, bergamot bitterness that tones down the sweetness. The savory taste of the waffle contrasts beautifully with the toppings: lightly sweetened whipped cream along with tart lemon curd and zest. The berries add another pop of freshness. It’s a sweet breakfast but not syrup-drenched. (If you’re craving a fully savory experience that still plays to both columns of a brunch menu, check out our recipe for waffles with ricotta and grilled onions, which is just as refined as this one.)
A couple tips from our test kitchen: Be sure to use bagged tea rather than loose leaf, as the grind is finer and won’t leave any twiggy bits in the batter to interfere with the texture. Also, the batter takes at least two hours to rise, so you’ll want to plan ahead. But, it can also sit for up to 12 hours in the refrigerator, so feel free to make it the night before to simplify your prep.
2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (3 to 4 tea bags)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 large Gelson’s eggs
½ tsp baking soda
For the toppings:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
3 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
½ Tbsp vanilla extract
Lemon curd, for serving
1 cup blackberries, for serving
1 cup blueberries, for serving
Zest of 1 lemon, for garnish
To make the waffles: In a small saucepan, warm the whole milk and Earl Grey tea leaves over medium heat until warm to the touch (about 110°), 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and active dry yeast.
Whisk the melted butter, vanilla extract, and warm milk mixture into the dry ingredients until fully combined.
Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size and bubbly, about 2 hours. Note: at this point, you can use the batter immediately or pop it in the fridge for up to 12 hours to make waffles the next day.
Whisk the eggs and baking soda into the yeasted batter until fully combined.
Preheat your waffle iron to medium heat.
Meanwhile, make the whipped cream: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray. Pour about 1 cup of waffle batter into the iron and cook until golden brown and crispy on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Top the waffles with whipped cream, lemon curd, blackberries, and blueberries. Garnish with a little lemon zest, and serve immediately.