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Liege Waffles

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Liege Waffles

Serves 4 as Main Dish.

This recipe makes 4 - 290g round waffles in a square iron, each containing about 885 calories with ~203g calories from fat. They are very close to the real thing – as close to the waffles that are served on the streets of Brussels as I have ever come (and getting closer at every iteration - and this is Rev #17). The secret ingredient is pearl sugar or an adequate substitute. You will need a mixer that can handle a stiff dough (I use a Kitchen Aid 600 which I dislike intensely) and a Belgian Waffle iron. The one I have is a very old Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler, cast aluminum with a non-stick coating and little bi-metal thermometers built into each plate (I am told that the new ones don’t have the built-in thermometers). And even with the built-in thermometers I always use my Fluke 62 Mini IR thermometer to guarantee that they come out right every time.

The original recipe was found without attribution on the web in Dutch and the poster was asking for a translation from Danish. It has morphed somewhat with translation and adaptation. The following recipe is sized for 1 stick of butter, substitutes instant yeast for fresh yeast, substitutes vanilla extract for vanilla sugar, adds some sugar to substitute for the vanilla sugar as a yeast accelerator, and increases the liquid by a little to account for the moisture that would be in the fresh yeast and fractional eggs. I have increased the flour by 10% (from 426 g to 468 g) to produce a chewier product that more closely replicates what I remember of the Brussels street waffles. You may have to adjust the liquid/flour ratio to adapt to your specific flour. The original recipe called for butter or margarine and also a pinch of salt so the butter is intended to be salted butter (since margarine always comes salted) but it still needs just a little more salt. If you use unsalted butter increase the salt to 1 t.

You can substitute for the Pearl Sugar with equal weights of Billington's All Natural Sugar Crystals or C&H Washed Raw Sugar which is adequate but not totally satisfactory. I use 50% Pearl Sugar and 50% Billingtons when I have both.

  • 468 g high gluten flour
  • 164 g warm milk or water (110°F)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar (to feed the yeast)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 114 g (1 stick) room temperature salted butter or margarine cut into 8 to 10 pieces (for a higher fat version: use a whole stick of salted butter and delete the 1/4t salt)
  • 284 g pearl sugar (now available at some IKEA locations) or a substitute (Billington's All Natural Sugar Crystals - available at Whole Foods), or (C&H Washed Raw Sugar - available more widely)

Take eggs out of the refrigerator and bring to room temp in a small bowl of warm water.

Slice butter into 12 pieces and lay flat on a piece of waxed paper to soften.

Weigh sugar and set aside (284g of Pearl Sugar is a whole box). Dissolve yeast in the warm milk to which you have added 1t sugar. Let this sit for 10 minutes to get the yeast started. Put the flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, and yeast mixture into the KA600 bowl and mix with the dough hook at speed 2 until fully combined. It will be very stiff dough at this point.

Cover with plastic and let rest in a warm place (100°F) for 30 min (it will at least double).

Beat the butter in piece by piece (with dough hook and KA600) at speed 2; you do not have to wait for the prior piece to be fully incorporated before adding the next. If using high gluten flour, the dough will behave just like brioche (that is it will break and then come back together), just mix at medium speed until it cleans the bowl (about one minute).

Mix in the pearl sugar, or sugar crystals, or raw sugar just enough to get it evenly distributed.

It takes about 1 minute with the KA600 at speed 2 using the dough hook.

Using a little flour, divide into four 290g pieces and form into balls (for a full 4-square waffle use ~475g of dough but I have found that it is hard to get a square waffle to be uniformly brown).

Proof dough balls on a cookie sheet in a warm oven (100°F) for 15 min while you heat the waffle iron for about 9-12 min., flipping it over every 30 sec.

Wait for the IR thermometer to indicate that the exterior surface temp of the iron is 420°F when you flip it over.

Spray the cooking surfaces lightly with a non-stick spray about 30 sec before starting each waffle.

For 290g waffles, cook one proofed dough ball in a preheated waffle iron for 5 minutes centered on the burner, turning every 30 sec.

A waffle is done when the IR thermometer reads 350°F at the top center of the iron just after flipping the iron over.

For 475g waffles, increase the heat a little and cook until the IR thermometer reads 350°F.

Reheat the iron to 420°F (about 1 min) and re-spray between waffles.

A finished waffle should fall out of the iron. If it doesn’t, cook it a little longer.

Keywords: Breakfast, Waffle Iron, Dessert, Intermediate

( RG2126 )

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