Decadent Liége Waffles Recipe

Dec 2018

Sweet. Hot. Buttery. Rich. Doughy. Soft. Crunchy. Decadent Liége Waffles

Waffles

Liége waffles are indeed one of life’s great indulgences and they are certainly one of my family’s and mine. I tried my first one during college in Belgium of all places, the birthplace of Liége waffles. I didn’t even think to try to recreate them at home till years later and have been making them since.

Do not confuse them with the typical breakfast-y waffle batter. They are made with buttery-yeasted dough speckled with its trademark Belgium pearl sugar. They are delicious and best eaten hot and plain as a sweet treat, as they need no additional adornment. I personally think it would be a sacrilegious to put anything else on top!

Pearl sugar is an important component for authentic Liége waffles. Due to the compacted structure of the sugar crystals, the pearl sugar won’t completely dissolve inside the waffles. When the waffles are perfectly cooked in the waffle iron, the pearl sugar creates pockets of sweet and crunchy sugar on the inside and a caramelized and glossy sugar coating on the outside. Lars Belgian Pearl Sugar is the most common brand and generally found at most grocery stores or on Amazon.  

waffle ingredients

Waffle time! Pull out your stand mixer fitted with a paddle. They can be made without one but be prepared to give your arm a little workout. 

Melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Set aside to cool slightly. Yes, 2 sticks of butter, which are why they are an indulgence!

In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it stand until it becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk the salt in the flour and add the flour to the yeast bowl. Mix until shaggy for about a minute on low speed.

With the mixer still running on medium speed, add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

With the stand mixture running on low-medium speed, slowly and gradually pour the melted butter in a steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Let it continue to mix for about 5 minutes until all the butter is incorporated and the dough looks thick and glossy. This dough will be very sticky which is normal. It will firm up a bit once it proofs.

Scrape dough together to form a loose ball in the middle. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area until it doubles in volume. It can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. I have a proof setting in my oven so it takes about 45 minutes for my dough to double.

When it has doubled, fold in the pearl sugar into the dough gently. The pearl sugar may look too much for the dough but that is what makes it so delicious! Cover the bowl again and let it rest for 15 more minutes.

A Belgian waffle iron is essential to make the Liége waffles because of the deeper pocket holes. Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. You will have to play with temperature of your waffle iron to hit the right spot of golden waffle without burning the sugar. I typically cook my Liége waffles at the medium 4 setting for about 3-4 minutes. Plop about a big golf ball sized dough on each grid of the waffle iron. It will yield roughly 3-4” waffles.

Cook on medium setting until they’re golden. Remove with tongs and place on a cooling rack. You can also place them in a preheated 250F oven to keep them warm while you finish the rest. The more you make them, the glossier they become due to the left over melted sugar.

Helpful Tip:

The only thing I disliked about making these was the clean up of all the melted/hardened sugar at the end. After doing extensive research, I discovered there is a trick from someone who makes Liége waffles for a living. Make slurry with cornstarch with water – not too thin or too thick. While the waffle iron is still hot (turn off first), pour a little bit of the cornstarch slurry to completely cover the grids. The cornstarch will immediately harden and then you can peel off. The cornstarch will lift up the melted sugar. I’ve included pictures show you Cleaning waffle maker


If you have any additional questions during your search for the perfect copper, fireclay farmhouse sink or granite sink, our Sinkologists are here to help. Contact us or follow us on FacebookHouzzPinterest, or Instagram for more helpful tips and design ideas.

 

Liége Waffles

Do not confuse them with the typical breakfast-y waffle batter. They are made with buttery-yeasted dough speckled with its trademark Belgium pearl sugar. They are delicious and best eaten hot and plain as a sweet treat, as they need no additional adornment. I personally think it would be a sacrilegious to put anything else on top! 

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Belgium
Keyword waffle
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 package 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. granulated or brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup 2 sticks melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pearl sugar*

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let it stand for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. Whisk salt into the flour then add to the yeast mixture. With the paddle attached, mix until shaggy on medium speed, 1 minute.
  3. With the mixer still running, add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  4. Whisk the vanilla extract in the melted butter. With the mixer running on low-medium speed, gradually pour the melted butter in a slow and steady stream. Mix for 5 minutes until glossy and thick and all the butter has been incorporated. The dough will be very sticky which is normal.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a draft-free and warm place until it doubles in volume, about one hour and 30 minutes.
  6. After the dough has doubled in volume, gently fold in 1 cup of pearl sugar. Let the dough rest covered for 15 more minutes.
  7. While the dough is resting, heat the waffle iron to medium heat.
  8. Spoon about 2” ball (golf ball size) of dough into each center of waffle iron grid. No need to spray the waffle iron if it is non-stick. Cook until golden and crisp according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Mine takes 3-4 minutes.
  9. Carefully transfer the hot waffles with tongs to a cooling rack. Since they are loaded with molten sugar, it is very easy to burn your fingers!
  10. 10. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, adjusting the temperature of the waffle iron as needed to get the color you want. I find I need to lower the temperature slightly for the next batch. Remember, the waffles will get more caramelized and glossier as you go on from all those delicious bits of melted sugar that get left behind.

Recipe Notes

Indulge as soon as you can handle the waffle – preferably while still very warm without burning your mouth! *Belgian pearl sugar can be found at most specialty grocery stores or Amazon. Most common brand is Lars Belgian Pearl Sugar. Do not use Swedish pearl sugar, as they aren’t the same.