Liège-Style Waffle

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Ingredients:

(Serves 12)

For the sourdough:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast

For the batter:

  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup tepid milk 
  • scant tsp salt
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup pearl sugar 
 

Although the waffle is arguably one of Belgium's best known culinary exports here in the US, Belgian waffles are often misunderstood this side of the Atlantic. Typically served at breakfast time, the waffles we have come to know are airy and often flavorless vehicles for piles and piles of sweet accoutrements.

The authentic waffle? Well, it's really a different story! In Belgium, you'll find waffles, or gaufres, served as a street food - most often the Liège style, whose yeasted brioche-like dough is mixed with crunchy pearl sugar.

The resulting waffle is noticeably denser, sweeter and chewier. Pearl sugar melts and caramelizes as they cook, making for an intensely delicious bite each time. In honor of Belgian National Day later this month and in homage to the country where we first opened our doors 25 years ago, we hope you enjoy this extra buttery and very authentic Belgian waffle. Allons-y! 

Instructions:

For the sourdough (prepare 12 hours in advance):

Mix together all the ingredients to produce a well combined dough. Put in a bowl, cover with plastic film and leave to rest at room temperature (i.e. at least 68°F) for 12 hours.

For the batter:

Put the flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and sourdough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead with the dough hook at low speed. Mix the yeast in with the tepid milk and add to the mixer. Blend for 1 minute, then add the salt and sugar. Knead at high speed until the batter becomes detached from the bowl (5-7 mins).

Add the pearl sugar. Mix quickly for 30 seconds, then let batter rest for 20 minutes. Divide into 1⁄2 cup pieces of dough. Put them on a lightly greased sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Leave the dough to rise at room temperature (at least 68°F) for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the waffle-maker. Grease with a neutral oil and cook the waffles for 2-3 minutes, or until nicely colored. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Don’t forget to add toppings, like classic maple syrup, fruity jams or chocolate spreads! For more recipes, check out the Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook by Alain Coumont.

Liege Waffle Spreads

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Liège-Style Waffle Recipe

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