“You should eat a waffle, you can’t be sad when you eat a waffle”
― Lauren Myracle,
In Belgium, they call it « gaufre au sucre » (sugar waffle, referring to the pearl sugar), and it is enjoyed warm and fresh from one of the waffle stalls. Brussels is over three hours from my city in France and I enjoy going there where I rush to eat a warm waffle! it is nothing compared to what you can taste from the store-bought ones! I am sure you are familiar with the Brussels waffles; more soft and quicker to make. Belgium is an amazing multicultural country, clustered between France, Germany and The Nehterlands and the concept of Belgian waffles does not exist there! Instead, they are named after two broad regional subcategories that have existed for hundreds of years: the Brussels waffle and the Liège waffle.
The Liège waffles are made of a rich, buttery, brioche-like dough, laced with caramelized sugar pearls that come to tickle your taste buds like a sweet dream. You will feel that the texture and the flavors are unique and the toppings endless. It is an amazing treat that is widely found if you have the chance to visit Belgium. If it is not the case (well yes, we are locked down for some time I am afraid) you can always make them at home; it is ridiculously easy, considering that you have a waffle maker of course!
How to make them?
The ingredients are easy to find;
- Fresh yeast (or dry depending on what you find )
- Good European quality butter
- Sugar and sugar pearls (I buy mine from France (I saw them on Amazon and Ubuy, but you can always try to make your own)
- The original waffles include cinnamon but it is optional
I suggest you use a stand mixer for that recipe because it requires some long kneading; 10 minutes! I used dry yeast as the fresh one is hard to find where I live, so I activated it in lukewarm milk and added the egg. Place the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl, making sure to bear in mind that salt retards the yeast growth so it is better to mix all the dry ingredients to combine and quickly add the milk/egg/yeast mixture. A ball should for at this stage, you can add the butter gradually; it will bring the moist and buttery taste.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour and then you can add the sugar pearls. You will have a very moist and dense dough that needs to be shaped into balls. I filled my waffles with homemade hazelnut spread, it is really optional. The dough balls must rest for another 20 minutes before transforming them into waffles thanks to the waffles maker! Cook for 3-5 minutes, and remove from the iron using a waffle fork or a regular fork, wooden spatula.
And now, the magic happens; you will have golden, soft and crusty cute waffles that you won’t resist to try straight away!
The waffles are best enjoyed the same day; you can let them cool down completely and place them in an airtight container, at room temperature for several days (if you can resist not eat them all!). You can also freeze them once completely cooled for up to a month, when you want to eat some, just place them in a 150 degrees Celsius oven and enjoy!
As I always say, the creativity, toppings and fillings are your choice! And kids can also help they will love it!
Did you enjoy the recipe and tried it? Gimme a shout on Instagram @feirouzbakes
Let’s discover the recipe, HAPPY BAKING!
Preparation: 25 minutes
Baking: 15 minutes
Resting time for the dough: 1h20
Yield: 8-10 waffles
- 250g all purpose flour
- 55g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 100g lukewarm half skimmed milk
- 1 medium beaten egg
- 3g dry yeat (10g fresh one)
- 85g cold unsalted butter cubed
- 70g sugar pearls (see note above for homemade version)
- Mix the dry yeast with the lukewarm milk to activate it for 5 min. Set aside. If you are using fresh yeast, no need to let the yeast activate nor to have the milk warm, just mix them together and go to the next step. See the video linked here to see how to activate yeast.
- Once the yeast is activated, add in the beaten egg to combine.
- Using the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attachment, place the flour, caster sugar, salt and give it quick mix.
- Set your stand mixer to medium speed and pour slowly the egg/milk/yeast mixture on the dry ingredients. Knead until a ball forms.
- Then, add in the butter, staying on medium speed, and knead for at least 10 minutes; the dough will be shiny, moist and should be a little sticky.
- Shape the dough into a nice ball and let it rise for an hour at room temperature; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.
- Deflate the dough down with your fist and add in the sugar pearls. Shape into balls of 75g each and let them rise for another 20 minutes; covered with plastic paper and kitchen towel.
- Preheat the waffles maker (grease it too) and cook for 3-5 minutes, following your waffles maker’s instructions.
- Serve right away, it’s better eaten warm!