Liège Waffle Recipe: Experiment #1
It’s odd, after years of having a great Liège waffle recipe, that I’d want to revisit things, but I do.
The issue is that I have learned a lot more about 19th century flour, bread-making techniques, brioche, and more. It got to the point where I knew the recipe I’ve been using is not as perfect as it could be. So I’m going to go through a further round of experiments, until I get an even more perfect waffle.
- 165.0g unbleached white pastry flour
- 2.3g T-58 Belgian ale yeast
- 50.0g egg (heated in a very warm water bath to 43°C/110°F and then lightly beaten)
- 47.5g egg (room temperature)
- 49.7g mineral water at 43°C/110°F
- 27.0g whole wheat pastry flour
- 3.9g dark rye flour
- 27.3g cassonade (light brown sugar)
- 3.7g fine sea salt
- 13.6g orange blossom honey
- 4-7 Mexican vanilla pods (to yield 3.5g seed paste)
- 147.0g European-style butter (preferably beurre d’Isigny) at 10°C-/50°F
- 135.0g Belgian pearl sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 80.0g of the white pastry flour and the yeast.
- Add 50.0g of warm egg and the mineral water, and mix to blend.
- Cover the flour/yeast/egg/water mixture with the remaining 85.0g white pastry flour, whole wheat pastry flour and rye, but do not stir.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 90 minutes
- Add the remaining 47.5g egg, cassonade (light brown sugar), salt, and honey, along with the seed paste from the 4-7 Mexican vanilla pods (enough to get 3.5 grams of paste).
- Affix the paddle attachment, and mix on speed #1 (the "stir" setting) — scraping every few minutes — until the dough forms a ball on the paddle. This should take about 15-17 minutes.
- Begin adding the butter, 15-20g at a time, over the next 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl every few minutes.
- Once all the butter is completely added, continue mixing, scraping occasionally, until the dough again balls on the paddle. From beginning the butter addition, to the dough balling again, this mix will take 9-11 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
- REFRIGERATE FOR 90 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING. This is essential. The yeast’s respiration must be slowed before continuing.
- Stir the dough down, and scrape it onto a lightly floured surface. Press it into a long rectangle, then fold it over in thirds, like a letter, before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap. Place it in the coldest section of your refrigerator overnight. It can help to weight it down with two heavy pre-chilled dinner plates.
- The next day, take 100g pieces of the dough and mix each with 27g of pearl sugar. Shape them into oval balls (like a football without the pointy ends) and let them rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for 90 minutes.
- Cook each waffle at exactly 185°C/365°F for 2 minutes. Once off the iron, allow the waffle to cool for several minutes, and then enjoy.
- These waffles are ideally prepared at 21°C/70°F. Once the dough is refrigerated, it will keep for up to 5 days, although it's best if used within 3 days.