Edit: Before I say anything, I just realized...
Happy 100th post to us.
... That is all.
Way way back over half a decade ago, when I was still an uppity little teenybopper, I decided to adopt NuclearWaffle as my handle for all my internet goings-on. I can't remember why, but it probably had to do with an unhealthy fixation on blueberry Eggo waffles. Whatever the case, over the years that has translated to waffles being the general motif for all my screen names and such, and just a general nickname from old friends. Despite this, over the years I haven't actually eaten that many waffles. Eggos I stopped because I was too lazy to buy a toaster, and all others because I was too lazy to buy a waffle iron. However, now I have both. And since I hope nobody needs my help in properly preparing Eggo waffles, I turn to my other favorite, the Liège waffle. I mean, what kind of blog would I be running if I couldn't devote some time to my namesake?
As a note, it IS Liège, with an accent. For some reason WP refuses to put accented letters in the title. Now that that's out of the way... This waffle is a variation out of Belgium, using yeasted dough and a special pearl sugar. Once cooked, it is topped usually with more sugar, along with (depending on tastes) whipped cream, caramel sauce, or any number of things. As you may have deduced by now, this thing is diabetes city. A fully loaded waffle with caramel sauce, nutella, strawberries, and powdered sugar? The perfect discreet way to end at that crabby old man across the street who always kept the tennis balls that got lost in his yard.
The type of waffle iron doesn't really matter here; the differences will mostly be in crunchiness and thickness. Just about any iron will do, but I personally favor the ones explicitly labelled "Belgian waffle", even if they are referring to another type of Belgian waffle. That being said, the pearl sugar is an important part of this waffle. The heat from the iron changes the composition of the sugar and melts it slightly as well, resulting in warm crunchy pockets of sweet deliciousness. Sure, you can go without it or substitute for regular sugar, but then you just have a sweet bread waffle, and where's the fun in that? And now for the nitty gritty...
Ingredients (4 waffles)
- 200g flour
- 1 egg
- 80g butter
- 100g milk
- 4g yeast
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- 4g vanilla extract (to taste)
- 65g pearl sugar
- Melt the butter and warm up the milk. If your yeast requires that it be "activated", dissolve it in warm milk--just make sure it's not so hot that it dies.
- Combine the flour, egg, yeast, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the warmed milk and melted butter, and mix until a doughy consistency.
- Let the dough rest until it doubles in size, approximately 30 minutes to an hour depending on temperature.
- After the dough has risen, mix in the pearl sugar.
- Heat up the waffle iron, and cook. Yes, the lumps of sugar will not melt into the dough; this is a good thing.
- Top with powdered sugar and whatever else you feel like.
- There's really not much that can go wrong here. But for the optimal rise, a little trick I like to use is to put the dough (covered!) with a pot of boiling water in a deactivated oven. That way, you can maintain a predictable warm temp optimal for rising, without it being so hot it kills the yeast. I use this whenever it's winter and I need something to rise in a punctual fashion. Of course you can just give the dough more time, but that's pretty much dependent on preference and degree of boredom.
- Likewise for the timing on the cooking, I don't really have advice here. Following the waffle maker is a pretty safe bet, but even that not might be accurate since it may not be designed to handle dense sugary dough like this one. The best bet is waiting 4-5 minutes, and then just going by instinct--the color is a good indication of degree of cooked-ness here.
- Yes, the waffle iron is going to look like a mess with lumps and melted sugar and butter all over the place. But luckily, it's fairly easy to clean. Once you let it cool down, the melted sugar and sugar should solidify and lift right off the iron with a bit of vigorous wiping with a dry paper towel--if they don't, then you need a new nonstick coating. A few minutes and the iron should be good as new.