I’ll just put this out there right now – I love Eggo waffles. You can hate all you want but Eggo waffles with Log Cabin syrup is the shit. Part of the reason I think I like them so much is because homemade waffles have never done it for me. They just suck… too dry, no flavor, and just can’t compete with those frozen wonders of modern preservation.
I’ve had “Belgian waffles” in plenty of restaurants too. I always give them a try because there’s so much fuss about them but they just disappoint every time. The exception was in Amsterdam at these little snack shops that sell waffles… covered in icing and other good stuff, they’re basically desserts. They are amazing and I have dreamed about them for years. Turns out there are now joints selling that kind of waffles here and when I had one in Tahoe a few weeks back it took me right back. Good ness where have you been?
Well I did a bit of googling and it turns out these little beauties are actually called Liege waffles. Named after the city in Belgium where they got their start, these things are no joke and since I found that out I’d been pretty determined to bring them to my gut and make it possible to have them on a regular basis. Mission accomplished.
The trick is that the dough for these puppies is less like a normal waffle batter and more like a wet bready dough. The recipe and information come from a website full of waffle info, aptly titled Waffle-Recipe dot com.
adapted from Waffle-Recipe dot com
2 cups of flour
1 cup of pearl sugar (I didn’t have this so I substituted a mix of regular sugar and light brown sugar)
1 cup melted butter (this is ridiculous, I fully realize)
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle the 1.5 teaspoons of sugar and the yeast on top of the water in a small bowl and let it hydrate for a bit (15 minutes or so – let it get a little foamy). While that’s happening, melt your butter.
Put the flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle – pour in the yeasty water mixture. Add the eggs and butter and mix until you have a smooth dough – you might have to add some flour to thicken it up a little because of all that moisture. It should be thicker than regular waffle batter, but not as firm as a ball of bread dough – somewhere in between.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit for about 45 minutes to an hour until it has doubled in size.
Take about 3/4 of the cup of sugar and mix it in after the dough has risen. Let it sit again for about 15 minutes or so. Fire up your waffle iron.
At this point, tear or spoon off balls somewhere between a golf ball and a racquetball and roll them in a little bit of the leftover sugar. smash them into your waffle iron, spreading them out a bit with a wooden spoon or whatever you have. Close it and cook till they’re done.
Voila. Add syrup if you want but it’s really not necessary – the sugar you rolled them in will caramelize on the outside and makes from some pretty tasty coating. I think I was to do it again I’d cut back on the butter by a bit – a little too much for my taste, but otherwise they’re pretty perfect.