Sunday, August 3, 2014

Belgium Waffles (yeast waffles)

Belgium waffles have always been one of my favorite breakfasts.  I have never eaten them in Belgium, so I had no idea that they were so different.  I actually ate these in winter from one of the many food trucks that now abound everywhere.  They were so good that I had to figure out how to make them at home.  One word of warning, though is that while you can make them in a regular, electric waffle maker (a deep one), that you will spend a long time cleaning it as the sugar in this dough sticks and makes a mess in the iron.  I recommend buying a stove top waffle iron.  These also take a bit of time to make in comparison to the regular buttermilk waffles, but they are worth the wait.  This recipe makes 4 full waffles or 12 sections.  They are sweet so I didn't even add a topping to them.

Belgium Yeast Waffles (Gaufres de Liege)
6 tablespoons warm milk (105-115 F)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 cup turbinado sugar

Dissolve the vanilla sugar in the warm milk and then add the yeast in a small bowl.  Cover while the yeast is activating. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until activated.  It should have bubbles formed along the edges.  Mix the flour with the cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl for a mixer.  Pour in the yeast mixture.  Add the egg and the additional egg yolk.  Mix on medium speed until combined.  The dough should be yellow (due to the two egg yolks) and stiff.  It will yield slightly to the touch.  Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Mix in the butter until all the butter pieces are mixed in.  Turn the mixer up to medium-high to incorporate all the butter until the dough is smooth and more yielding.  Knead in the turbinado sugar gently.  Don't let the butter melt.   Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces making them into rough balls.  Place in a warm place to rise for an additional 15 minutes.   Preheat your waffle iron during this time.  Spray the waffles iron with cooking spray and place each ball in a square of the waffles iron.  Cook until golden brown.  Remove from iron and cool on a baking rake to crisp up the exterior.
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