Gaufre de Bruxelles/Brusselse Wafel/Belgian (Brussels) Waffles

1 Jul

The vanilla, buttery smell of freshly baked waffles is a scent that brings the child out of us. That crispy outer crust, the soft but chewy center. Oftentimes, we top it off with maple syrup; some of us like to be more adventurous and top it off with whipped cream and fruit. Sometimes I like to eat them like a true Belgian, and top them off with either chocolate sauce or powdered sugar. Whatever route you decide to go, waffles are what we as humans lust to consume: sugar, carbs, and fat; it is no wonder why waffles and pancakes are a cornerstone at diners or restaurants that serve breakfast.

There are many different types of waffles. Frozen waffles are like commercial pizza: the toppings are what make the meal. Like commercial pizza crust, commercial waffles have the flavor and texture complexity of a mouse pad: bland and rubbery. The frozen waffle that sound alot like “egg”, is a different style of waffle. These waffles follow an old Dutch recipe that was adopted by the Pilgrims. Instead of them being leavened by yeast, they are leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda. While this waffle is delicious when prepared correctly (nothing like the “egg” brand), they lack the complexity of the Belgian waffle. They tend to be denser, and the crust is not as crispy. I am by no means frowning upon this particular waffle – I am just saying that I prefer the crisper, lighter yet chewy body of the Belgian waffle.

Later on in the blog, we will discover another hidden treasure of Belgian waffles. It is none other than the Gaufre Liège/Liege Wafel/Liege Waffles. This richer, sweeter, denser and chewier waffle was invented by the chef of a royal Belgian family in the 18th century. The inspiration of the Liege waffle was the rich, buttery Brioche bread. What makes this waffle so gosh darn delicious? The fact that it packs pearl sugar that is instantly caramelized when it hits the waffle iron. This creates a thin crunchy caramel coat on the outside, and a sweet, rich, melt in your mouth crumb on the inside. It is well worth the extra calories; and quite honestly, delicious by itself.

For this recipe, I am using a Waring Pro waffle maker. The model number is WMK300A; it has worked wonders for me.

When I make a batch of these delicious waffles, I like to freeze some for later enjoyment. I simply wait for the waffles to cool down on top of a counter lined with paper towels. Once cooled, I place them in gallon freezer bags. When I want to have one, I simply put them in the toaster under setting 2 in the frozen mode.

Take note that while the authentic shape of a Belgian waffle is square, the ones in the pictures are round. I do not have a square waffle iron. If this bothers you, buy yourself a square one – it’s just a shape.

Right, so onto the recipe!

Belgian Waffles

Ingredients:

1 cup water, room temperature
1 cup warm milk
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (a.k.a. rapid rise)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Combine the water, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, yeast, salt, egg yolks and melted butter in a medium bowl until well combined.
  2. Add the flour, in one step whisk until it comes together. Do not over-mix, a few lumps here and there is fine.
  3. Allow the batter to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. Using a whisk, deflate the batter.
  5. Turn your waffle iron on.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until you have achieved soft peaks.
  7. Using a balloon whisk or spatula, fold in the beaten egg whites into the waffle batter.
  8. Once the waffle iron is done pre-heating, spread the recommended amount of batter onto the waffle iron, and using a heat-proof silicone spatula, quickly spread the batter to cover the entire plate. Follow your waffle iron’s manufacturers instructions and bake the waffle to the recommended amount of time; I usually bake mine for 6 minutes at setting number 4 out of 6.
  9. Should you want to freeze some of them for later enjoyment, simply line a counter top with enough paper towels to accommodate all of the waffles. Place the waffles on top of the paper towels, taking care not to double stack or overlap them. Allow them to cool thoroughly, and then place them in gallon size freezer bags. When you wish to have one, simply put them in your toaster on setting 2 under the “frozen” mode.*

*Keep in mind that all toasters are different, this is simply the setting that best works for me. Test it out, and play around with the toaster if this does not work for you.

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2 Responses to “Gaufre de Bruxelles/Brusselse Wafel/Belgian (Brussels) Waffles”

  1. aree March 18, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Joe, thank you so much for teaching us how to make The Baguettes and the Waffles. I really appreciated. I’ll try to make some.I’ll visit your site more often to learn more from you.

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