Brusselse Wafels: Experiment #1
Now that I finally have the HVD A26, my Brussels waffle work is in full swing — so much so that this “experiment #1” is more like the 3rd or 4th variant of the recipe. But this will be the first time I’ve done it in the A26.
The earlier versions of the recipe were those taken directly from the purported 19th century “originals”. However, when I mixed up Dacher’s recipe, the egg whites barely leavened the batter at all, and Consael’s recipe was far too thin to support the expansion brought about by the yeast. I sincerely doubt either recipe is true to what those men were doing. If the recipes are accurate, then I’m not sure how either one left an enduring legacy.
Progressing from the lackluster work of Dacher and Consael, I’ve been refining the proportions so that there’s enough structure in the batter to hold the CO2 from the yeast. I also wanted to tamp down the too-buttery flavor that was coming through in their work. Last but not least, I wanted more character to the waffle. I vividly remember one I had in Antwerp, a few years back. It was bitter, yet incredibly delicious. Perhaps time will tell if that’s undesirable or, if it is wanted, how best to coax that from the flour and batter.
Yield: 1 waffle
62g unbleached white pastry flour
0.165g Safbrew T-58 ale yeast
50.5g whole milk (room temperature)
15.5g mineral water (room temperature)
35g mineral water (at 43ºC/110ºF)
25g egg (warmed in a water bath) and then lightly beaten
1.3g fine salt
28g melted European style butter (at 43ºC/110ºF)
2. Add the 50.5g milk and 15.5g water to the flour/yeast mixture. Stir to moisten all of the flour, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let is rest 3 hours at room temperature, and then place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours (or up to 48 hours).
3. Take the chilled batter from the fridge, and allow it to warm at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Then add the remaining 35g water, egg, salt and butter. Mix to blend completely, but do not overmix.
5. Transfer the batter to a 500ml or 2 cup measuring cup with volume markings. The batter should be almost exactly 200ml in volume.
6. Allow the batter to rise for ~2 hours, until it reaches 325ml in volume.
7. Pour your batter into a preheated iron at 196ºC/385ºF, and cook for 3 minutes 30 seconds.
Allow the cooked waffle to cool until it reaches 49ºC/120ºF, and then place it back on the iron to cook for 10 seconds. Dust the finished waffle liberally with powdered sugar and enjoy.