Over the past few years Belgian Liege waffle trucks and restaurants have showed up everywhere. My Dad was obsessed with them and asked me to figure out how to make them! It’s so rare that he really LOVES a food item enough to request it that I got RIGHT on it! I scoured the internet and found quite a few recipes. It seems like there were two camps, the traditional overnight recipe (developing flavor and texture) and the quicker few hour version.
You guys KNOW I’m all about getting the best possible flavor and not cutting corners when it comes to… well anything, but esp GOOD food. So I went for the authentic overnight version and WOW sooooo good. I’m all about preping the night before for a big meal anyway, then the day of everything is ready to go and serve to my guests! So the time it takes doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve TRIED quicker versions and they are OKAY, but still lacking that quality that makes these waffles amazing.
The two things you need to make sure you have is the right Belgian sugar pearls (not Swedish) and a good waffle iron. I ordered a large 5 lbs bag of sugar pearls from Amazon knowing I’d make these many many times! AND I did some experimenting with the waffle irons
Sugar burns at 375, so you want to cook your waffles at 365-370 degrees (you don’t want those big sugar chunks to start burning, trust me, nasty to eat and nasty to clean). Regular home waffle irons heat anywhere from 420-550, which is a problem. So to make what I had work what I did was heat it up, put the dough in for 1 min then unplug the machine for 3 mins. Depending on how hot your machine gets you might have to play with the time a bit (make an extra large batch the first time so you have extra dough to play with).
The professional liege waffle irons are cast iron, weigh over 20 pounds and cook at exactly 365-370 degrees. But I DOUBT any of you have one at home, I don’t. So being annoyed with my regular electric waffle iron I bought this stove top waffle iron, to see if I could control the temperature better on the stove top.
Stove top temperate range from 200 – 500, so I went just above the middle, trying to achieve 360. I found mine cooked best 1 1/2 min on the first side (where the side was already hot) and then 2 1/2 on the other side (started cooler). OR I would put the dough in and immediately flip, cook 2 mins, flip again and cook another 2 mins. BEST purchase EVER, and it made a HUGE difference in my waffles.
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 C warm whole milk (110-115 degrees)
- 2 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 C Bread flour (first mix)
- 2 1/2 C Bread flour (second mix)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 C softened butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 C belgian pearl sugar (not Swedish pearl sugar)
- Place yeast, sugar and milk into your mixer and proof yeast 5-10 mins
- Add the egg and 1 1/2 C of the flour, mix until it's smooth
- Sprinkle remaining 2 1/2 C flour over the mixture, to keep the dough from getting crusty. cover the bowl and let rise 90 mins
- Add brown sugar and salt and blend on low to medium-low speed. While mixing add the honey and vanilla.
- add butter 2 Tbsp at a time.
- Mix 4 minutes at medium-low speed, let the dough rest for 1 minute and then continue to mix for 2 minutes, then rest, repeat until the dough balls up on the hook.
- Cover and let rise for 4 hours.
- Then knock the dough down, I just use my dough hook to quickly get the dough down.
- wrap the dough in plastic wrap, 2-3 times around
- place in a bowl or pan and weigh it down a bit and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, place the cold dough (it will be quite firm) on a slightly floured surface and knead in ALL the Belgian sugar (a little bit at a time).
- Once mixed, divide the dough into 13 pieces of equal size.
- squeeze each chunk into an ball and let it rise for 90 minutes.
- Cook in a waffle iron for about 4 mins at 360 degrees (see note for regular waffle iron)
- Give each waffle a few minutes to cool slightly before eating. that sugar melted on the outside is HOT!!!! I serve mine with fresh whipped cream and strawberries, but they are also good stuffed with dark chocolate, or served with with bananas, blue berries, nutella, cookie butter, ice cream, or plain with some powdered sugar!
Stove top waffle iron - Stove top temperates range from 200 - 500, so I went just above the middle, trying to achieve 360. I found mine cooked best 1 1/2 min on the first side (where the side was already hot) and then 2 1/2 on the other side (started cooler). OR I would put the dough in and immediately flip, cook 2 mins, flip again and cook another 2 mins.
Traditional home waffle irons - because they tend to be so hot they will burn the sugar without some tweaking - when they are at full heat put the waffle dough ball in the iron, leave for 1 min, then turn off the waffle iron for the last 3. Then plug it back and and bring back to full heat for the next batch.
And DONE! Seriously SO amazing and while it’s time consuming not hard at all! I’m working on a few other flavors (Coconut liege waffles anyone?) what other flavors would YOU like to see?
more liege waffles