Authentic Liege Waffles---Waffles from Belgium! with recipe
Having grown up in a small city in Belgium in the province of Liège or Lüttich as we called it the German speaking area called 'DreiLänder Eck' (meaning 3 countries corner) which was near the German border. Liège, is also a major city and the administrative capital of Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium.
Geography lesson set aside, when most think of Belgium, they seem to think of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. However there are a few other gastronomical delights that can be found there. The waffle is just one of those treasures.
Very few foods seem to actually come from what the name depicts... take the French Fry... they actually in all honesty should be renamed Belgium fries because that is where they were originally prepared... but I'm off on a tangent again.
international food arena
Belgian waffles are probably
one of the more popular foods that come from Belgium.
Did you know there are two different types of Belgian Waffles? The Brussels Waffle and the Liègeois Waffle. (gauffre (one) --- gauffres (many) as the Belgians call them)
The Brussels waffle: is a usually round thick waffle that is a dessert eaten with a fork off a plate with an assortment of fresh or canned fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, drizzled with melted chocolate, just plainly sprinkled with powder sugar or a combination of all of the above. The junk food vending machines also sell a version of the Brussels waffle thinly coated in chocolate...
The Liège or Liègeois waffle is a golden-yellow, thick, more dense in texture, coated with a burned sugar or caramelized sugar coating on the outside, finger lickin' perfect waffle... that can stand on its own. These are freshly made and sold by street vendors and supermarkets everywhere in Belgium and eaten, 'no fuss-no guff' by hand on the go. These usually come in plain, vanilla or cinnamon flavored. The caramelized sugar coating of the authentic liege waffle comes from sugar chunks being added to the batter better said dough and the special Belgium waffle makers. These unique waffle irons were only available in Belgium but are necessary for the waffles to get their signature crunchy-golden outside and fluffy inside.
Now you can buy these Belgium waffle makers most any places. The one I use used to be my Mom's and it came with us when we immigrated here to Canada in 1969 (it then already was a few years old) . It now is the ugliest thing you have ever seen and I'm quite embarrassed to take it out in front of company but it makes the best, tastiest and most beautiful golden brown waffles you could ask for. It is similar to the one pictured here except it makes two waffles at a time. Most of them come with a hefty price but it's worth it, considering that you probably will never have to buy another one of these heavy duty makers ever again.
(with great sorrow I have to report that after having been in service for almost 50 years my Mom's waffle iron has given up the ghost and has moved on to live in the great big blue yonder in the sky
makes 6 Gaufres Liège
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup scalded whole milk at 110-115 degrees
- 1/2 cup beer
- 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. of water at 110-115 degrees
- 3 cups Bread flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten @ room temperature
- 2Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 8 Tbsp. soft room temperature butter or margarine
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup Belgian Pearl Sugar(available at IKEA and bulk food stores)
- Place yeast, milk, and water and beer into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir for a few seconds to moisten the yeast.
- Add the eggs and 1/3 of the flour. Mix to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Sprinkle remaining flour over the mixture, but do not stir it in. Cover and let stand 75-90 minutes (at the end of that time, you’ll notice the batter bubbling up through the cover of flour).
- Add brown sugar an mix on low speed – just to blend.
- Add honey and vanilla.
- Then add butter Mix 4 minutes at medium-low speed; scrape down sides
once or twice in that period.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minute and then
continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
- Dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl then will ball-up on the paddle.
- Sprinkle dough lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours. This is a crucial step so do not cut corners on the resting time.
- Then REFRIGERATE FOR 30 MINUTES. This is essential. The yeast respiration must be slowed before continuing
- Stir the dough down
- Place add all of the pearl sugar to the cold dough
- Once mixed, divide the dough into 6 pieces of equal size.
- Shape each chunk into an oval ball let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours
- Bake at exactly 365-370 degrees in a professional waffle iron (the max temp before sugar begins to burn/decompose) for approximately 2.5 minutes.
The Liege waffle with crushed sugar.
Photos by clary, thank you.
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