Brusselse Wafels: Experiment #7
Every single day, I work on waffles. And while I’ve worked out a great Brussels waffle recipe, I keep wanting to make it even better. So while I have this labelled as experiment #7, it’s probably more like experiment #20, since I worked out the original recipe, months ago.
I had two issues with the original. The first is that I wanted an even lighter waffle. I had my ingredient ratios down, so making a lighter version with the same proportions was going to have to be almost entirely about times and techniques. The second issue was that I very much wanted to cut down the amount of timing the milk would be at room temperature. While there were no flavor or real food safety concerns there, it just seemed sloppy.
The recipe below has me far closer than ever to what I’ve wanted to achieve. I did double the yeast amount, to cut down proofing times, but it’s still 0.5% of the flour weight, so it’s not coming through on the palate. What is a big deal is that a tighter control of yeast distribution, ingredient temperature and proofing times now has the batter getting to fuller volume in less time + staying stable (not separating at all). Added to that is that milk is now refrigerated until the final proof, with only a short time at room temperature in step #3. So it’s a cleaner process.
Once I hammer out the precise times and yeast quantity, I’m going to try and increase the hydration. Every experiment I’ve yet done seems to say the ratios below are the limit, before added moisture starts to weigh the batter down significantly. But per the above technical improvements, the process might now move fast enough and with a stable & vigorous enough batter to take on another 5 or 10 grams of liquid. I still think there is no way to do recipes in the fashion of the recorded 19th century versions. Their ratios might work now because of better flour quality, but with the pastry flour (soft white wheat flour) the old bakers used, there’s only so far things can go.
0.33g T-58 yeast
45.5g warm water
62.0g pastry flour
45.5 cold milk
25.0g warm egg
28.0 warm butter
1. In a medium bowl, place the yeast and then add 45.5g of warm water. Swirl to dissolve the yeast, and allow it to stand for a minute or two.
2. Sift 31.0g of flour into the yeast. Stir and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1 hour.
3. Add 45.5 of cold milk and then remaining 31.0g of flour. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate immediately.
4. Leave the batter in the fridge for 8 hours.
5. Take the batter out of the fridge, and let it rest for 75 minutes.
6. Then add the warm egg, salt and warm butter. Stir thoroughly.
7. Place the batter in a 500ml measuring cup. It should come to 190ml in volume.
8. Allow the batter to rise for about 3 hours, until it reaches 400ml in volume. Then pour your batter into a preheated iron at 202ºC/396ºF, and cook for 3 minutes 25 seconds.