Liège Waffle Recipe / Gaufres de Liège
When I began working on my Liège waffle recipe, now 5 years ago, I just wanted to develop a solid recipe of my own — something I could enjoy at home, any time. As my work on the recipe continued, I got deeper into the history of the waffle, deeper into the technique, deeper into sourcing the finest pearl sugar and the most exquisite Mexican vanilla, and deeper into the equipment necessary to craft them to perfection. I became obsessed, not just with the Liège waffle, but with all waffles.
My recipe work eventually lead me to start a blog just for the Liège waffle, and it’s long been Google’s #1 Liège waffle recipe search result. People clearly enjoy it. The only problem with that recipe is that it’s not where my work stopped. It’s just where I realized people’s appetite for OCD would hit a wall.
The recipe that follows is the true culmination of my Liège waffle project. It marries modern techniques and equipment with ingredients and proportions as painstakingly period-correct as possible. The only great exception may be the use of dry ale yeast, versus a wet ale barm. It’s otherwise a near-perfect take on a mid-19th century Liège Waffle.
Liège Waffle Recipe / La Recette Gaufres de Liège
Makes 5 Gaufres de Liège. Please note: The recipe is a 2-day process.
These waffles are ideally prepared at standard room temperature ~21°C/70°F
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the above quantities of flour and yeast.
2. Add the egg and mineral water, and mix to blend.
3. Cover the flour/yeast/egg/water mixture with the above flours, but do not stir.
4. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 90 minutes
5. Add the egg, muscovado sugar, salt, and honey, along with the seed paste from the 5 Mexican vanilla pods (about 3.5 grams).
6. Affix the paddle attachment, and mix on speed #2 — scraping every few minutes — until the dough forms a ball on the paddle. This should take 9-11 minutes.
7. Begin adding the butter, 15-20g at a time, over the next 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl every few minutes.
8. 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, this mix will also take 9-11 minutes.
9. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming), cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
10. REFRIGERATE FOR 90 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING. This is essential. The yeast’s respiration must be slowed before continuing.
11. 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 lowest section of the refrigerator overnight. It can help to weight it down with two heavy pre-chilled dinner plates.
12. 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.
13. 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.