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Belgian waffles at Patisserie LeBeau and Chambar


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If you succeed with using something besides a Belgian Waffler, I would be very interested in your exact technique (dough weight, waffle size, time, temp, non-stick spray or not, tender or crisp, etc.)

Hi Doc, you'll be happy to know that your waffle works great on even the most basic equipment--in my case, a $10 electric waffle iron. Nothing to describe really in terms of technique, I used about two tablespoons of dough for each grid and cooked until steam was mostly gone, then flipped over and cooked for another 2-3 minutes. This produced a chewy waffle with crisp outside, close enough much to what I remember having the one time I visited Belgium

I did modify the recipe, adding more egg and reducing the yeast a bit, and switching to 50/50 bread/AP flour. The great thing is that this is a very forgiving recipe, so I will continue to play with the recipe. I also simplified the technique based on my experience with bread doughs, and the results were still great.

Thanks again for the recipe!

Now I'm out of pearl sugar and need to find an affordable source...

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 1 month later...
Now I'm out of pearl sugar and need to find an affordable source...

Try C&H Pure Cane Sugar (Washed Raw) - available in almost any grocery store. It has big crystals which provide some crunch, but for a little bit more ($ and crunch) look at Whole Foods for Billington's Sugar Crystals (also available on the web at Billington Sugar Crystals). And if you have an IKEA store near by, some of them have pearl sugar in their retail food shop - but more expensive than Billington's.

Doc

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  • 8 months later...

Hi Doc,

First of all, thanks for your recipe. I’ve tried it out several times and all the results have been tasty, but I think that I may be doing something wrong.

Specifically, I’m having trouble incorporating the butter into the dough. I’ve tried the butter at different temperatures – room temp, a little below, and a little above – but no matter what temperature, the butter doesn’t seem to want to meld with the dough within a minute or two. If I leave the mixer going for more than 3 minutes, the butter will eventually get incorporated into the dough, but by this point the dough is really sticky – not smooth or cleaning the bowl.

Strangely enough, I get better results when I make the recipe by hand – I’ll knead in the butter piece by piece, and even though the dough ends up being a bit clumpy because the starter dough hasn’t completely melded with the butter, the resulting waffle is chewier and crispier than when I make it with the stand mixer.

Any suggestions from Doc or anyone else as to what I could be doing differently?

Thanks a lot!

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Specifically, I’m having trouble incorporating the butter into the dough.  I’ve tried the butter at different temperatures – room temp, a little below, and a little above – but no matter what temperature, the butter doesn’t seem to want to meld with the dough within a minute or two.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong. I wouldn't expect to incorporate 67 grams of butter into a dough within a minute. It usually takes longer, especially if the dough is stiff.

As far as dough stiffness, flours behave differently so you may need to adjust the flour quantity. At some point, you will reach a consistency that you like in the end product.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Hmmm...well, I'll try and play around with the flour content. Currently I'm using bread flour, which I like b/c of the chewiness. I've noticed, though, that the softer and stickier the resulting dough gets, the less chewy the waffle is in the end. I don't know - maybe that's why I've had good results with hand incorporation - since I'm not entirely mixing the butter into the dough, the dough is firmer as a result.

Anybody had success with just incorporating the butter at the same time as the flour and eggs, and then letting it rise all at once? I might give that a try too.

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I’m having trouble incorporating the butter into the dough.  I’ve tried the butter at different temperatures – room temp, a little below, and a little above – but no matter what temperature, the butter doesn’t seem to want to meld with the dough within a minute or two.  If I leave the mixer going for more than 3 minutes, the butter will eventually get incorporated into the dough, but by this point the dough is really sticky – not smooth or cleaning the bowl. 

Strangely enough, I get better results when I make the recipe by hand – I’ll knead in the butter piece by piece, and even though the dough ends up being a bit clumpy because the starter dough hasn’t completely melded with the butter, the resulting waffle is chewier and crispier than when I make it with the stand mixer.

Chichi,

It sounds like your starter dough is too stiff, so I would suggest perhaps experimenting with a little less flour or a little more milk or perhaps a little longer initial fermentation. I am assuming that you are using a strong bread flour, warm liquid, and letting the initial dough ferment for at least 30 min in a warm place to develop (mine more than doubles in that time because there is so much yeast). I have made them with both a KitchenAid K45 and a Pro-600 but it takes a heavy duty machine to handle the stiff dough (as an aside I will note that the Pro-600 is not my favorite and -in my opinion- not a well designed machine since the cooling fan is directly driven by the motor and supplies insufficient air to keep it cool at low speed and high torque).

The incorporation of the butter into the waffle dough is very similar making brioche. As the butter goes in, the dough will break and it will also become quite soft. Just let it mix for another minute or two until it comes back together and then another minute or two to fully develop the gluten. Only then should you add the sugar. And when I use a high gluten flour I find that the dough is so stiff that I must incorporate the sugar by hand kneading. And don't overmix the sugar as it will dissolve and fail to deliver the crunchiness that makes this recipe so good.

Since I originally posted the recipe I have discovered that I can make a whole (4 small squares) waffle by heating the iron to 420F (according to my IR thermometer), using about 420g of dough, keeping the heat up, and baking for about 5 min, but it is more difficult than making smaller waffles at slightly lower temperatures.

Hope this helps. Trial and success is a wonderful way to learn.

Doc

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I tried the recipe from DocDougherty. It was more effort than I preferred but they turned out great. I used all-purpose flour and still had to knead the dough in the first step. I bought all the pearl sugar from my local gourmet store and will make them as gifts.

Thanks for the recipe and tips from everyone.

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Because they have so much fat in them they freeze really well and can be reheated in a microwave. It works better if they get some dry heat from an oven, but I have been known to nuke a small one for 45 sec and be out the door. Pearl sugar will remain crunchy; Billingtons too; the C&H raw sugar wants to hydrate so the surface can get sticky (thus a little time in a 250°F oven to dry it out). I don't know how long they will keep at room temperature. I do know that you can leave one out overnight and it is still good with a cup of coffee in the AM.

Doc

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