Liege Waffles

January 1st, 2012 :: 8 comments

Breakfast is definitely Dustin’s strong suit. He’s made the usual pancakes, crepes, and an odd looking, but tasty Dutch Baby. Out of all of his breakfast creations I’ve most enjoyed his infatuation with making the perfect waffle. He says he is getting closer and closer. Lately he has been experimenting with a recipe for a specific type of Belgian waffle he read about on a few blogs. We usually make a large quantity of these on a Saturday or Sunday and they come in handy during the week when we are crunched for time. All we have to do is toast them and they are sweet enough to eat without a topping. On weekends I go a little crazy and top mine with powdered sugar, syrup, and homemade whipped cream.

Ingredients

2 cups bread flour (we used King Arthur brand)
1½ teaspoon of active dry yeast
¼ cup whole milk scalded
2 tablespoon of water + 2 teaspoons of water
1 large room temperature egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
8 ½ tablespoon soft room temperature unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup Belgian Pearl Sugar (can buy this for amazon)

Directions

Notes: Start this around 3-4pm the day before you want to enjoy the waffles. You won’t have to work the whole time, but the dough has to be allowed to go through several rises, including one that lasts all night. Also, this can be done by hand (without a mixer) if your arms are willing to do the work.

Begin.

Place the yeast, milk and water into a bowl or a stand mixer with the mixer’s dough hook attached. Stir for a few seconds to combine everything.

Add the egg and 1/3 of the total flour. Mix to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl.

Sprinkle remaining flour over the mixture, but do NOT stir it in. Cover and let stand for 90 minutes in the mixing bowl. The batter should start to bubble up through the cover of flour during this time.

Add brown sugar, salt, honey, and vanilla to the bowl. Mix around 4 minutes at a medium-low setting while adding the butter 2 Tbsp at a time. The dough will become goopy and you’ll think you’ve messed the whole thing up.  Keep at it though. Let the dough rest for a minute, then mix for another 2 minutes or so.  If you’ve done everything correctly, the dough should ball up on the mixer’s dough hook. Then you can move on.

Move the dough ball into a new bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 4 hours.

Here we start to deviate from the original recipe…

Deflate the dough in the bowl by pressing it with a spatula or your hand.  Don’t knead it too much. The waffles tend to have more even consistency if the dough hasn’t been folded or stretched a lot.

Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap (the dough will expand).  Weigh the dough down with stacked saucers, plates, or whatever works too keep it under a small amount of pressure.  Place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, remove the dough from the bowl.  It will be very firm. Let it sit for about 30 minutes so it warms closer to room temperature and softens.

Split the dough into 5-6 equal portions. More portions if you have an especially shallow waffle iron.

Add the pearl sugar.  This part is something we’re still experimenting with.  Ideally the sugar is worked into the dough, but we have found it nearly impossible to do this without folding and kneading, so in the future we’re going to try rolling each portion in the sugar so the chunks stick to the outside of each ball of dough.

Cover the portioned dough for a final 90 minute rise at room temperature.

Heat up your waffle iron.  The recipe states your waffle iron should be around 370 degrees F for cooking but we haven’t purchased a thermometer yet, so we follow the recipe’s recommendation for “regular” waffle irons (ours is good, but not the right type for this kind of waffle).

We place the individual dough balls onto the iron (we recommend starting with just one so if you mess up the timing, you don’t lose a lot of your dough), close the lid, and let them cook for a minute or so.

Then we unplug the iron and let them continue cooking by residual heat for another 5 minutes or so. You’ll have to feel this one out with your own equipment to get the timing right.  The waffles are done when they are golden brown.

When removing the waffles from the iron, be extremely careful of the melted sugar.  It is dangerously hot and will cause burns as it sticks to your fingers. Something to be avoided.

We dust our waffles with powdered sugar. I like mine with syrup. Dustin just dips his in whipped cream.

The recipe is intimidating, but gets easier after you go through it once. Give it a shot. You’ve probably never had a waffle like this before…

 

Based on a recipe found here.

 

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