Lauren Chattman

Lauren Chattman is a cookbook author, freelance writer and former professional pastry chef. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Cook’s Illustrated and The New York Times. She is the author of 14 books, most recently "Cake Keeper Cakes" (Taunton 2009) and "Cookie Swap!" (Workman, 2010). She has also co-authored several books with former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier, including Dessert University (Simon & Schuster, 2004). With artisan baking expert Daniel Leader, she is the co-author of the IACP award-winning "Local Breads" (Norton, 2007). With Susan Matheson, she is co-author of "The Gingerbread Architect" (Clarkson Potter, Fall 2008) Lauren lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and two daughters. She blogs about local food and small-town life at sagharbordays.blogspot.com. Show More

If you live on the East End, your summer calendar doesn’t vary from year to year. Just as surely as June brings a bumper crop of sweet local strawberries, it also delivers weekend visitors who enjoy Sunday brunch. Because I like to sleep as much as my guests do, I have a few make-ahead recipes that take just a few minutes to get on the table.

Overnight yeasted waffles, served with roasted strawberries, is one of the best.

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Local strawberries make a brief appearance on Long Island from mid-June to mid-July. The best berries are on the small side, shiny, firm, and deep red. Unlike supermarket berries, which have been bred to ripen while traveling across countries and continents, local berries are picked when ready to eat and won’t last long once you get them home. Buy berries that are small (indicating that they haven’t been pumped up by fertilizers), ruby red throughout, fragrant and slightly yielding. Once you get them home, don’t refrigerate them. They should be eaten within a day or two of purchase, before they start to over-ripen on your countertop.

Local strawberries are delicious eaten out of hand, but roasting them briefly concentrates their flavor and sweetness. Ten minutes in a very hot oven will do the trick. An added benefit to roasting berries is the dessert sauce created when the bubbling juices mix with a little bit of sugar and vanilla. If you’d like to vary the flavor of your sauce, substitute a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or Grand Marnier for the vanilla. You don’t have to use your roasted berries on waffles exclusively. They are also good as an ice cream topping, with granola and yogurt, or on top of slices of country bread that have been toasted and slathered with ricotta or cream cheese.

Waffles raised with yeast are not just convenient. They are lighter, crispier and tastier than waffles raised with a chemical leavening agent. (The baking soda in this recipe is there mostly to help with browning; yeast provides a powerful lift.) Make sure you mix your batter in a bowl big enough to allow it to double in volume without spilling onto the refrigerator shelves. And aim to cover no more than 60 percent of the waffle iron’s surface area with batter. Too much batter will result either in dense waffles or an explosion of molten batter onto the countertop.

If you and your houseguests aren’t morning people, you might serve these waffles for dessert. Simply mix the dough whenever you wake up, let it sit on the counter for a few hours or in the refrigerator all day, and then cook the waffles while you are doing the dinner dishes. Replace the yogurt with vanilla ice cream and enjoy while the fireflies are out.