It’s really hard not to love waffles. We used to make them for special Sunday breakfasts with my family, especially when we had some friends and family over. The old waffle iron we had made heart-shaped waffle bits, six forming one large waffle, so it was really all about sharing and loving while tearing the whole bit apart.;) We used to make american style waffles and didn’t even know about the even more amazing Belgian ones. That was until I moved to Belgium for a few months and developed my new obsession. After having them for the first time I did a lot of research, got a proper deep waffle iron, discovered the key ingredient – Belgian pearl sugar, and well, here they were.
By far the best recipe is the one from http://www.waffle-recipes.com/liege-waffle-recipe-gaufres-de-liege/ – the page completely dedicated to the proper Liege waffles. And when you try them you’ll understand why someone would spend so much time making them and developing the recipe.
I use the recipe from the page above with a few alterations to make it a tad easier and a bit less sweet. You’ll need quite some time and a deep waffle iron for it. I recommend doubling the ingredients, as they take quite some time anyway.
As they’re so rich in flavour they’re perfect on their own, with some icing sugar or butter of course;) Fresh berries or other fruits, chocolate, nutella, nuts work amazing as well.
- 165 g unbleached white pastry flour
- 3 g instant yeast
- 50 g egg (heated in a very warm water bath to 43°C and then lightly beaten)
- 50 g egg (room temperature)
- 50 ml mineral water
- 35 g whole wheat pastry flour
- 15 g brown sugar
- 4 g fine sea salt
- 15 g orange blossom honey
- Seeds of a few vanilla pods, the more the better
- 150 g chilled butter
- 100 g Belgian pearl sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 80.0g of the white pastry flour and the yeast.
- Add the 50.0g of warm egg and mineral water. Mix to blend.
- Cover the flour/yeast/egg/water mixture with the remaining white pastry flour and whole wheat pastry flour, but do not stir.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 90 minutes
- Add the remaining egg, brown sugar, salt, and honey, along with the seed paste from the vanilla.
- Affix the paddle attachment, and mix on the lowest speed — scraping every few minutes — until the dough forms a ball on the paddle. This should take about 15-17 minutes.
- Begin adding the butter, 15-20 g at a time, over the next 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl every few minutes.
- Once all the butter is completely added, continue mixing, scraping occasionally, until the dough again balls on the paddle. From beginning the butter addition to the dough baling again, this mix will take 9-11 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
- REFRIGERATE FOR 90 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING. This is essential. The yeast’s respiration must be slowed before continuing.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap (about 60 g long) on your countertop, and scrape the dough from the bowl onto it. Press it into a long rectangle (about 30cm long), then fold it over in thirds, like a letter, before wrapping it tightly in the plastic wrap. Place it in the coldest section of your refrigerator overnight. It’s good to weight it down with two heavy pre-chilled dinner plates.
- The next day, take 100 g pieces of the dough and mix each with 15 g of pearl sugar. Shape them into oval balls (like a football without the pointy ends) and let them rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for 90 minutes.
- Cook each waffle at exactly 182°C/360°F for 2 minutes. Once off the iron, allow the waffle to cool for several minutes, and then enjoy.
*Note: if you can’t find Belgian pearl sugar in the stores nearby, you can easily make it yourself. Use like 200 g of sugar with 1 tbsp of water, put it on really low heat and heat for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. As the sugar will gently melt, large chunks will form.