This recipe uses dry yeast, which is often sold as “active dry” yeast. It’s different from instant yeast (often sold as “rapid rise”), so be careful not to confuse the two, even though the packaging often looks similar.
Most waffle recipes work in any kind of waffle maker, but I get the sense that this one is intended for use on a standard (not Belgian) waffle maker. Mine is Belgian-style, and the batter was a bit too thin to really fill it properly. It wasn’t a biggie – they still taste great, and they’re pretty on one side, at least – but just, you know, FYI.
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl. (The batter will rise to double its volume, so keep that in mind when you choose the bowl.) Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand to dissolve for 5 minutes.
Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour, and beat until well blended and smooth. (Electric beaters do a nice job of this.) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it stand overnight at room temperature.
Before cooking the waffles, preheat a waffle maker. Follow your waffle maker’s instruction manual for this, but my guess is that you’ll want to heat it on whatever setting is approximately medium-high. My waffle maker has a heat dial that runs from 1 to 7, and I turned it to 5. My waffle maker is nonstick, so I didn’t grease it, and Marion Cunningham doesn’t call for greasing it, either.
Just before cooking the waffles, add the eggs and baking soda, and stir to mix well. The batter will be very thin. Pour an appropriate amount of batter into your hot waffle maker: this amount will vary from machine to machine, and you should plan to use your first waffle as a test specimen. Cook until golden and crisp.
Yield: depends on the size and configuration of your waffle iron