Hello, Bonjour, Gutentag, Hallo!
I’m feeling very multi-cultural today. For today, I bring you that most wondrous of Belgian goodies, the Liege Waffle. This is, hands down, my favourite-ever waffle. As of today, I don’t think I will ever know or love another waffle as I do this one.
The Liege waffle is a yeasted waffle, and it is not what you’d call an ‘everyday’ breakfast choice.
This slow-risen batter contains a hefty portion of butter, which results in the most fantastic texture. Super light and crispy on the outside with a pillowy soft interior, not unlike fresh brioche. Yes – these are like a brioche waffle. I’m glad you asked.
The masterstroke to the Liege waffle, is that the batter is pebbled throughout with pearl sugar. YOU HEARD RIGHT. Little nuggets of pearlised hard sugar, dotted throughout the dough to form pockets of caramelised goodness.
Three things to note when making these waffles;
1) you DO NOT need a Belgian Waffle Maker
2) you DO NOT need to locate Pearl Sugar
3) your waffle maker will end up HELLISHLY dirty
But WHO CARES about the cleanup? It’s like childbirth (it really isn’t), you forget the pain, once you see the beautiful product of your labour in your arms (nb: I have not been through childbirth).
And really, what is a little melted butter and sugar in a non-stick waffle iron between friends? Especially when we get Liege Waffles, without the inconvenience of having to buy an additional waffle maker, or tracking down pearl sugar. We’re making do, and making our own, sistahs and sahns!
If you do have a Belgian waffle maker, then power to you, these will work great. If not, do as I do, and power on anyway! The results were great (see pictures). And if you happen to track down pearl sugar, that’s good too, but I made homemade MAPLE PEARL SUGAR, and it took about 5 minutes. So I strongly suggest you give that a go first.
Either way, go forth my friends, and Waffle!
Liege Waffles Recipe
For the Maple Pearl Sugar:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
For the Waffle Batter:
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp caster sugar
220g (2 sticks, minus 2 tbsp) butter, melted
Firstly, the night before you want waffles (or days before) stir together the ingredients for the maple pearl sugar until they are the consistency of damp sand. Pack the sugar into a layer about 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick on a plate, and place uncovered in the fridge overnight. The next day, the mixture will be hard, like a sugar cube, and can be broken up into small pieces for use.
To make the waffles, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl or stand mixer. In another small bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and set aside for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, add the now-frothy yeast mix to flour and mix to incorporate. The mix will be very dry. Continue mixing and add the eggs one at a time, until a stiff dough is formed. Now, slowly add the butter, bit by bit, making sure it is well incorporated after each addition. Once all the butter is in, cover the dough and set aside to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Once the dough is doubled, stir through the broken up pearl sugar and leave for a further 15 minutes. Then, bake the waffles, as per your machine’s instructions! BOOM. Liege Waffles.