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Our Secret To Making the Best Liège Belgian Waffles

Liège Belgian Waffles are made with a kneaded yeast dough and pearl sugar making them transcend batter waffles in both flavor and texture. You need them in your life!
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Aren’t Liège Waffles… Belgian Waffles?

What’s the Difference Between Regular Belgian Waffles and Liège Belgian Waffles?

In truth, the pure meaning of the term “Belgian waffle” has changed over time. Originally, Belgian-style waffles referred to yeast-leavened waffles that are baked or cooked in a deeper-pocketed waffle iron style that is different from American-style waffles. It is common practice in American to call any waffle with deep pockets a “Belgian Waffle,” but that isn’t always accurate.

Batter and Dough Waffles

In Europe, some Belgian waffles are batter-based, like the Brussels-style Belgian waffles. They are made with a yeast-leavened batter and are very crisp and light. Liège, The French-speaking city and Belgium’s fourth-largest city, is in the hilly south of the country, and only an hour’s train journey from Brussels. Liège Belgian Waffles are very different. They are made with a kneaded yeast dough that incorporates pearl sugar.

Pearl sugar can be expensive, but it is worth the cost of completely transforming the texture of these amazing waffles. Where can you find this gem of a sugar? Pearl sugar can be purchased online, or in specialty gourmet sections of select grocery stores.

The sugar melts during the baking process, causing a crisp, caramelized accent to the finished brioche-style dough of the waffle, giving it a crispy crunch. Liège waffles are more decadent, puffier, and much chewier than Brussels-style waffles. Some say that they are a waffle that ridiculously transcends the batter waffles in flavor and superiority of texture. They are good warm or cold and are eaten as breakfast or dessert.

Liège Belgian Waffles

3/4 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp. quick-rise yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
1 ½ tsp. salt
4 ½ cups Panhandle Milling All-purpose Flour
3/4 cup Pearl sugar

Directions:

  • Warm the milk to about 110° F and mix the yeast into the milk in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla bean paste.
  • Add the flour and knead by hand for about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and cover.
  • Allow raising until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hour.
    Deflate the dough. Press the dough out onto a work surface and add the pearl sugar. Knead the pearl sugar into the dough until it is evenly distributed.
  • Divide the dough into nine even pieces and place on lightly oiled plastic wrap 3 inches apart ( or lightly floured counter-top). Cover with lightly oiled plastic for 30 minutes, allowing to raise well.
  • Heat the waffle iron to low. Find the lowest setting on the iron that will caramelize the sugar but not burn it.
  • Cook on well-oiled iron until golden brown. Be very cautious to start the waffle iron at a low temp until you find the setting that will caramelize. Cleaning burned sugar from the waffle iron is extremely difficult.
  • These waffles can be made ahead and stored in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. To refresh, heat in a 250° F (120 C) oven or toaster oven until warmed through.
  • Top these Liege waffles with any toppings, including fresh berries, Nutella, nuts, whip cream, salted caramel, cinnamon sugar, and more!

 

Want to find more delicious recipes? Visit Panhandle Milling and start baking!