These Belgian waffles are just like the ones I had while in Brussels. They are bready, sugary, glazed, and absolutely appetite satisfying waffles. What makes them so special is that they are made from a yeast dough, and they use pearl sugar which provides an incredibly gratifying crunch. Ingredients you will need:
- 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (or 1 envelope)
- 3/4 cup warm Milk, about 110 degrees
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
- 1 package Belgian Pearl Sugar, about 1 cup
For the glaze:
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “what is Belgian pearl sugar?” – an excellent question indeed. Think sugar rocks. They are large, irregularly shaped sugar chunks that partially dissolve in your waffle doughs, but still retain a crunch. You can find them on Amazon or Walmart’s website. The most available brand is Lars Own, that is the brand that I will be using today.
So, to begin, pop your 3/4 cup of milk into the microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds to get it to a warm state. Once it’s around 110 degrees, add your yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar (regular cane sugar). 110 degrees will feel warm to the touch but not hot. Give it a good mix and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, or until frothy.
In a large bowl, or in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, add your flour, butter, eggs, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon if you’re using it.
Please note that we did not add our pearl sugar to the dough yet, this will come later.
Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or by hand for 3 or 4. At first you will think you added to much flour because it will appear very dry and shaggy. Then as it continues to mix, you will be worried you didn’t add enough flour! But do not worry, it is supposed to be a very wet dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and let double in volume, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Once your dough has doubled in volume, it’s time to add the pearl sugar. Dump the sugar in and give it a good stir with a large spoon. Now it’s time to dig through your cabinets (or buried in the back of the closet under a million different things if you’re me) and find your trusty old waffle maker.
I sometimes use a cooking spray for my waffle maker – I don’t think it does much since it’s a non-stick iron, but it makes me feel better.
Take a golf ball sized lump of dough and place on your waffle maker. These waffles are thick and delicious and need a little extra cooking time, so I recommend putting your waffle maker to its darkest setting. You don’t want these waffles to be pale, they should be a rich golden color.
Have a wire cooling rack at the ready. While your waffles are cooking, I highly recommend you make the glaze, because it adds an extra level of awesome. So, if you don’t like awesome things then you should avoid this glaze.
In a small bowl add your 1/2 stick of butter and microwave until melted. Add your 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla, give it a good stir. Once your waffles are done, take a pastry brush and give both sides a light coating and let dry for about 5 minutes. Your waffles will be a bit sticky, but so are the authentic Belgian ones. Sticky means sugary, buttery deliciousness!
Just keep going until the batter is gone and then go and share these amazing treats – you will become one popular person. These are best enjoyed the same day.