Yogurt (Recipe: lemon-yogurt waffles)
Every story about the origin of yogurt involves a nomad and a camel.
Was it Mongol villagers, trying to poison Genghis Khan, who first left milk to sour inside a drinking gourd?
Or was it a Turkish traveler carrying milk inside a goatskin pouch on camel-back in the desert, where the heat and agitation caused the milk to thicken?
We may never know the truth, but we know a lot about yogurt.
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product made by adding bacterial cultures to milk, which causes the transformation of the milk's sugar, lactose, into lactic acid.
The process of making yogurt today is more science than happenstance. Commercially made yogurt is made by introducing two cultures -- Lactobacillus acidophilus or L. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilis -- to milk. The bacteria ingest the milk sugars and expel lactic acid as a waste product; and the increased acidity causes the milk proteins to form a solid curd. Depending on the proportions of milk and bacteria used, the same basic process creates yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, mascarpone, creme fraiche or cottage cheese.
Be sure to check the sell-by date stamped on each container, and read labels carefully:
- Contains active yogurt cultures means that the yogurt has not been heat-treated. Check to see that it does not contain starch or gelatin, which are used as stabilizers. Best choice if you want to get the full benefit of eating yogurt cultures.
- Made with active cultures means that the yogurt was probably heat-treated, thereby killing the active cultures that produced it. Usually done to prolong shelf-life.
One of the world's healthiest foods, yogurt is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin-vitamin B2 and iodine, with beneficial effects on bone health, cholesterol, weight loss and the immune system. Yogurt adds tang, but also acts as a tenderizer in marinades.
A staple in the diets of many Mediterranean cultures, it features in sweet and savory dishes, including tzatziki, cole slaw, scones, and of course, frozen yogurt.
Would Genghis Khan have loved a yogurt smoothie? I think so. After all, he was the adventurous type.
From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, baking powder, kosher salt, plain yogurt, granulated sugar, eggs, lemon, pure vanilla extract.
Adapted from the lemon-yogurt cake in Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten, this recipe serves 8-10; leftover waffles can be frozen, and reheated in a toaster.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat a waffle iron.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated.
Place 2-3 Tbsp batter in the center of the waffle iron (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer), and cook for 3-4 minutes, until waffle is lightly browned (the high sugar content in the batter will cause the waffles to burn faster than a less-sugary batter). Remove with a fork, and repeat until all batter is used.
Top each waffle with vanilla frozen yogurt, and serve warm.
More waffles for breakfast or brunch:
Pumpkin banana waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Cranberry, orange and walnut buttermilk ricotta waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Zucchini waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Savory cornmeal and chive waffles with salsa and eggs, from Joy the Baker
Blackberry cobbler waffles, from How Sweet It is
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.
I love seeing all the hugs for Barbara, and I bet she would love these.
Being lactose-intolerant (yogurt generally has no lactose, it gets destroyed in the process that turns milk into yogurt), I tend to do a lot of milk dishes with yogurt - I'm proudest of my scrambled eggs/omelettes, which with a good sharp Greek yogurt are quite wonderful. Very smooth, interesting flavor; paler color than normal eggs, but very good.
That's my culinary contribution to the world....
So yogurt just happens. Did you ever see those hanging butter churns from the stone or iron age in the MIddle East? I bet they made some yogurt there -- with or without a camel.
Lemon waffles sound great!
Mmmmm... I'd like a plate of these for breakfast! Yum.
These waffles with a warm blueberry nutmeg sauce - OH, YUM.
What a super day-brightener! Awesome!
I've always been fascinated by yogurt - my brother once worked for a yogurt company, so I often saw the process in action. Those waffles sure beat the breakfast I had this morning!
Lydia - Apartment 31, see you soon. I'll set the table. These look wonderful and I'm just about to have breakfast. Thank you for your virtual hug and I'm sending one right back at you.
These sound so fabulous and I'd probably eat them for breakfas, lunch, AND dinner. I try to include yogurt in my diet but sometimes have a hard time with it. This should help!
You and Sandie (at Inn Cuisine) will drive me to get a waffle maker yet00these look delicious! I never took to eating yogurt directly very much, but cooking/baking with it is a definite must and I love the sound of these waffles
Kalyn, I surely hope so. I wish I could deliver a hug in person.
Paul, I'm intrigued -- I've never tried scrambled eggs with Greek yogurt but I surely will. (I have, however, tried them with mayonnaise -- a trick I learned from Ted's Uncle Donald years ago.)
Mae, so you're suggesting that a camel didn't have to be involved?! These waffles were amazing, by the way. Do try them.
Michelle, they're rich enough to be a dessert, too.
Pauline, I can just imagine the color combination, too. Fantastic!
Paz, they were really a beautiful golden yellow color, too.
TW, these would be a great Sunday brunch dish -- more rich than tart. Delicious!
Sues, same here, I don't really eat much plain yogurt but love it in sauces (like curries) and in baked things.
Mike, I'm actually afraid to own a waffle maker, because I think I'd be making waffles every day. I borrowed one for this recipe.
Another cultured milk product, kefir, is very close to yogurt, but is more liquid -- so for those who substitute yogurt for milk, it might be an alternate trial substitute. I love kefir as a drink, anyway.
When I tried these cold the next morning - they were just as good!
your blog is very good...
Lemon and yogurt - in waffles this must be delicious moist. I have used quark in waffles which gave it a tangy flavor too. i love the simplicity here bit the full flavor
I love the sound of these, I'm about to make Raspberry & white chocolate waffle pudding, I might change my mind now!
Yum! These are going to my to make list! Sounds awesome!
Whoa- that looks like an incredible breakfast! Beautiful picture, Lydia.
Yogurt is something that is a definite staple in my kitchen- used in so many different ways in Indian cuisine. After years of buying pre-made yogurt, I have started making my own using Yogourmet starter cultures and I love it!
Mae, I'm embarrassed to say that I've never tasted kefir. Must remedy that.
Rupert, I'll have to make these again!
Meeta, all credit goes to my friend Cindy who suggested making this cake batter into waffles. We couldn't stop eating them.
Lesley, the color combination (and flavors, too) would be amazing!
Stef, please enjoy them.
Nupur, it's been many years since I made my own yogurt in the little yogurt machine we had in our college dorm. These waffles really were delicious -- not too sweet, but sweet enough.
I bet these have a nice tang to them between the yogurt and the lemon. Sounds very tasty.
Peabody, they are tangy, but balanced by the sugar. Really delicious.
These look delicious and I like tangy lemony pancake/waffles with honey butter. It is divine!