- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups plus 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Waffle toppings (see below)
Make the brown butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Skim off any foam; set the brown butter aside.
Make the batter: Warm 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it reaches about 110 degrees F. Transfer to a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast (do not stir). Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/3 cup of the brown butter, reserving the rest for buttering the waffle iron. Whisk in the flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 cups milk. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Preheat a waffle iron; brush with the reserved brown butter. Stir the eggs and baking soda into the batter. Spoon 1/2 to 1/3 cup batter into the waffle iron and cook until golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest. Top as desired.
Bring 5 cups seedless grapes, 1 cup sugar, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a wide skillet over high heat. Cook, stirring, until syrupy, 30 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 cup chopped almonds; cool.
Heat 3/4 cup orange marmalade, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until warmed through. Remove from the heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons cold butter until smooth.
Cook 3 chopped peeled apples in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat, 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup cranberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup apple cider, 1 split vanilla bean and 1 strip orange zest. Simmer until syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Photograph by Anna Williams