Before tackling Belgian Waffles, I read as much as I could from other bakers and waffle-lovers. Most recipes used active dry yeast for the waffles, which is usually my preference as well. However, stupid me was out of active dry, but I had a bucket load of rapid rise yeast because I don’t use it as often. I was determined to make tasty liège waffles with what I had around the house since I’m flying out of the country on Sunday (in TWO DAYS!). So, I double checked my sources on the different yeasts and felt good about moving forward with rapid rise. If you prefer using active, just make sure to give the waffles a second, longer proofing. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, leave in the refrigerator and proof overnight. The waffles will be ready first thing in the morning.
This recipe also includes instructions on making the secret weapon – pearl sugar! Pearl sugar is in larger chunks and when those gorgeous chunks hit the waffle iron, they caramelize into crispy, gorgeous, waffle heaven.
The secret for these Belgian, or liège, waffles is in the pearl sugar in this recipe for Belgian waffles. The sugar caramelizes making for the crispiest, fluffiest waffles of your lifetime.
- 300 grams sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 envelop rapid rise yeast
- 60 milliliters warm water 105-115 F
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar heaping
- 120 milliliters whole milk warm
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
- 8 ounces butter melted
- 460 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
To make pearl sugar, add sugar and water to a saucepan and stir until water is absorbed and sugar is in clumps. Cook over low heat 25 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure sugar cooks evenly. The sugar should dry out, not caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside.
While sugar is on the stove, in a large bowl, add warm water, brown sugar, and yeast. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
Sift flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk warm milk, eggs, and coffee liqueur into yeast. Using a wooden spoon, mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture. Add melted butter and continue mixing. Add remaining flour and mix until dough is fully incorporated and glossy, 5 - 10 minutes.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in warm place. Let dough rise for 2 hours.
After rise, heat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.
Fold pearl sugar into dough until evenly distributed.
Place about 1/4 cup of dough in middle of waffle maker and close. Cook until deep golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes. Continue until all batter is used.
Feel free to substitute vanilla extract or other flavoring for the coffee liqueur.