Monday, April 11, 2016

Liege Waffles

So, I've seen liege waffles.  Heard about the goodness and decadence that surrounds them.  That they truly are the waffle of all waffles.  Magical, even.  But.... there was one problem.  I've never tasted one.

Until now.  And well, it was better than anything I could have imagined.

My friends, it truly doesn't get any better than these waffles right here.  Promise.

These aren't your average waffles, these little jewels are true Belgian waffles.  Made with sweet, yeast dough (don't run away, it's super easy, promise) and a secret ingredient.  Aside from the sweet yeast dough, pearl sugar is the key to true liege waffles.  It's gently folded in the dough right before going onto the hot plates of the waffle maker.

The end result is nothing short of life changing.  Fluffy, soft inside, a slightly crispy outside and then there's those chunks of pearl sugar caramelize and create little pockets of sugary heaven that will truly make you weak in the knees.  
There are countless ways to enjoy this delectable breakfast treat.  Fresh from the waffle iron with a dollop of butter or sprinkle of powdered sugar truly is hard to beat.  A schmear of nutella and a sprinkle of fruit, a dollop cookie butter, peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese.  I mean the list truly does go on and on.

These waffles make an amazing and indulgent breakfast treat, perfect for a special occasion, holiday meal, for guests or just an occasional splurge.  They are also perfect for dessert.  Add a scoop or two of ice cream, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel syrup and a dollop of fresh whipped cream and viola!
So whether you'vse been to the little town of Liege, Belgium or just want to be transported away for a few minutes, these waffles will certainly do the trick...as well as spoil you on waffles from this point on!

Liege Waffles
Ingredients:

1 Package dry yeast
1/3 Cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 Tsp salt
2 Cups plain flour
3 Eggs
1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup pearl sugar, store bought or homemade*

Directions:

Combine the dry yeast, water, sugar and salt in a bowl, gently mix then set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes.  This allows the mixture to develop and the yeast to bloom (get foamy).

Pour flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour the yeast mixture in the well.  Knead using hands or dough hook.  While kneading, add the eggs, one at a time.  Once the eggs are mixed in then add the butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time until all of it is incorporated.  Once all the ingredients are completely mixed in, the final dough should look like a cross between a cake batter and bread dough.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

About 15 minutes before making the waffles, add the pearl sugar and gently mix in the dough.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes, while the waffle iron is heating.
Once the waffle iron is hot and the dough has rested, scoop a couple of tablespoons of dough on the center of the waffle plate.  Close the iron and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown, crunchy outsides and caramelized sugar.

Serve warm.

Yields about 12 medium waffles.

Lynsey's Notes-
*Pearl sugar, or chunks of sugar, are crucial for this recipe.  It helps to yield a caramelized dough full of melted sugar pockets.  You can buy pearl sugar, make your own use sugar cubes.  If you use sugar cubes, place them in a bag, seal the bag and use a meat mallet to break them up.  You still want fairly large chunks of sugar, so be sure not to beat them too much.

*The dough does require some resting time, so if you are going to make these waffles for breakfast the dough can be made the night before.  When you get to the rising stage in the direction, simply cover the dough with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and allow to rise overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator the next morning, allow to rest for a few minutes then add the pearl sugar and continue with the cooking process.

Recipe source: Butter Baking

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