Ingredient Choice, Process, and Technique
I’ve spent years obsessing over waffles, but not until I delved into this evolving Brussels waffle recipe have I so thoroughly been consumed with every element of the waffle.
Flour choice. Yeast selection and cultivation. Milk choice. Water choice. Egg, butter and salt selection. Ratios of them all. Fermentation times and temperatures. Cook time and temperatures. Depending on the ingredient, every gram, tenth of a gram, or hundredth of a gram can make a world of difference.
In a recipe with no sugar and no added flavors, every ingredient is crystal clear and must be tended to. The ideal end product is not just one where they taste delicious together but where they collaborate to create a texture that is a magical experience until itself.
My particularly fruitful experiments of the last couple days had me begin the fermentation as a poolish. The limited yeast and extended cold fermentation not only brought out much more flavor from the flour, but they so in a way that also virtually snuffed out any yeast scents. I’ve never had such a clean-tasting yeasted waffle before. And the taste of the flour was much more full-bodied and slightly bitter, in a very enjoyable way. It was my aim to coax out such flavors, knowing they could serve as a counterpoint to the sugar with which I like to dust the waffles.
By cutting back on liquids in the mix, I was also able to get more in the final rise. More loft means a lighter waffle. I just want to see how far I can push that, with further moisture reductions, although I think I am likely nearly the logical limit.
My final work is now mostly going to be around the butter quantity, as well as cook time and temperature. Those points aside, slight tweaks to egg and salt amounts are in the back of my mind. And who knows, by the time I get through those experiments, I slew of others may very well seem urgent.
All I can say is that the current incarnation of the Brussels waffles I’m working on is already delicious and bound to get much more so.