Liege Waffle Recipe

"Authentic Liège waffles (Gaufre de Liège) are one of life’s great indulgences : caramelized sugar glistening on the most delicious buttery-sweet treasure beneath. Unfortunately, they are nearly impossible to find oustide Belgium and, even in their homeland, the real Liège waffle is difficult to find, where chains have taken them so far afield from their 18th century brioche roots. In the United States, chains like Bonte don’t use the right sugar and others like Wafels & Dinges simply import mass-produced substandard pre-made frozen balls of dough from Europe.

To enjoy the real Liège waffle, you need to make one yourself. The recipe that follows is the traditional recipe, created more than two centuries ago. Baking these waffles takes patience, but the result is worth it. The good waffle iron’s tool and the right temperature are crucial in making an exceptional Liege waffle."

Recipe to make 5 Gaufres de Liège

1.  Stir together in a bowl the flour and yeast:

  • 80g all-purpose flour
  • 2,3g T-58 Belgian ale yeast

2. Add the egg and mineral water, and mix to blend:

  • 50g egg (heated in a very warm water bath to ~43°C or 110°F and then lightly beaten)
  • 50g mineral water at ~43°C or 110°F

3. Cover the flour/yeast/egg/water mixture with the following flours, but do not stir :

  • 45g all-purpose flour
  • 67g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4g dark rye flour

4. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 90 minutes.

5. Add the egg, muscovado sugar, salt, and honey, along with the seed paste from the 5 Mexican vanilla pods (about 3,5g) :

  • 47g egg (heated in a very warm water bath to ~43°C/110°F and then lightly beaten)
  • 25g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3,5g fine sea salt
  • 15g orange blossom honey
  • 5 Mexican vanilla pods

6. Affix the paddle attachment, and mix on speed #2 — scraping every few minutes — until the dough forms a ball on the paddle. This should take about ten minutes

7. Begin adding the butter, 15 to 20g at a time, over the next 5 minutes, scraping the bowl every few minutes :

  • 140g European-style butter at ~10°C/50°F

8. Once all the butter is completely added, continue mixing, scraping occasionally, until the dough again balls on the paddle. From beginning the butter addition, to the dough balling, this mix will also take about ten minutes.

9. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming), cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours.

10. Refrigerate for 90 minutes before proceeding: this is essential because the yeast’s respiration must be slowed before continuing.

11. Stir the dough down, and scrape it onto a lightly floured surface. Press it into a long rectangle, then fold it over in thirds, like a letter, before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap. Place it in the lowest section of the refrigerator overnight.

12. The next day, take 100g pieces of the dough and mix each with 27g of pearl sugar. Shape them into oval balls and let them rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for 90 minutes :

  • 135g Belgian pearl sugar

13. Cook each waffle at exactly 185°C/365°F for 2 minutes. Once off the iron, allow the waffle to cool for several minutes, and then enjoy.

Brussels Waffle Recipe

Brussels waffles are lighter, crisper and have larger pockets compared to other European waffle varieties, and are easy to differentiate from Liège Waffles by their rectangular sides.

In Belgium, most waffles are served warm by street vendors and dusted with confectioner's sugar, though in tourist areas they might be topped with whipped cream, soft fruit or chocolate spread.

Variants of the Brussels waffles – with whipped and folded egg whites cooked in large rectangular forms – date from the 18th century. But the oldest recognized reference to Gaufres de Bruxelles by name is attributed to Florian Dacher, a baker in Ghent, in 1842, who had previously worked under pastry chefs in central Brussels. Maximilien Consael, another Ghent chef, had claimed to have invented the waffles in 1839, though there's no written record of him either naming or selling the waffles until his participation in the 1856 Brussels Fair.

Recipe to make a dozen of Brussels waffles

Ingredients you will need :

  • 1 kg flour
  • 30 grams of yeast (one package of fast-action yeast)
  • 25 grams of brown sugar
  • 1250 ml of lukewarm water (use tepid sparkling water if possible)
  • 250 grams powdered nonfat dry milk (Carnation or similar)
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or one small packet vanilla sugar (about 2 teaspooons)
  • 400 to 500 grams of melted butter
  • 6 to 8 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

For the waffle batter:

Put the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the yeast and 250 ml of the lukewarm water.

Add the brown sugar, powdered milk, the vanilla extract or vanilla sugar, and the remainder of the water. Mix the dough well: allow to rise for at least 20 minutes - 1/2 hour. During this period, melt the butter. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Add the melted butter: mix well. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks,: fold carefully into the batter mixture until evenly mixed through.

Heat a large waffle iron. Spread each section with the batter, close and bake until done.

Serve dusted with comfectioners' / icing sugar, or topped with whipped cream and fruit, or with melted chocolate or Nutella.