Breakfast Tuesday: Liège Waffles

May 3, 2011

Some people go to hugantic everything furniture stores to pick up a new dresser or bed. Some go for the adventure, because the store is like a world unto itself. Some go to pick up furniture, have an amazingly awesome adventure with a good friend, AND pick up some super delectable goodies to use in the kitchen. Like pearl sugar. I squealed with delight upon seeing the little package on the shelf and couldn’t wait to make waffles.

Waffles? Pearl sugar? I’ve been reading a bit about all the different kinds of waffles, especially from Belgium, and one that always catches my attention is the Liège waffle. The texture is remarkably different from the waffles I’m used to eating and making in that they are chewy and the pearl sugar adds a sweet crunch to the outside of the waffle. And it’s not only the final product that’s different; it’s also the waffle preparation. Making a Liège waffle is almost like preparing brioche dough, letting it rise and rest just like you are making a loaf of bread.

I wasn’t sure about these waffles at first, because they were so different, but they grew on me. The best way I came up with to describe them was “brioche waffle candy” and I found the best way to eat them, believe it or not, was absolutely plain. The pearl sugar was glorious and totally worth the effort to procure. I’m in the process of some serious pearl sugar research, so stay tuned!

Liège Waffles

(Recipe adapted from Squidoo.com)

Yields 8-10 waffles

Ingredients:

1 package, or 2 ¼ teaspoons, active dry yeast

1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Belgian pearl sugar

Method:

1. In a small bowl, mix yeast, water, sugar, and salt and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. Place flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.  If using a stand mixer, use the bowl for the mixer.

3. Pour yeast mixture into flour well and mix until blended (with paddle attachment, on medium speed, if using a stand mixer).

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.

5. Slowly pour melted butter into batter, beating well after all the butter is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

6. Let dough sit until it doubles in volume (an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).

7. Fold in pearl sugar and let dough rest for another 15 minutes. While waiting for dough to rest, preheat waffle iron. I used the medium heat setting.

8. For each waffle, use a ball of dough about 2 inches in diameter and waffle according to manufacturer’s instruction, making sure to grease waffle iron between each waffle.

Serve immediately. Store up to a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer, toasting as needed!

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