The Liège waffle (or gaufre as we call them in Europe) is made with a yeast dough instead of batter and is dotted with bits of caramelized sugar, and is not, under any circumstance to be confused with Belgian waffles. Never, ever. That would make a whole lot of people angry. Everyone agrees they are absolutely delicious though.
In Belgium there are two types of waffles: the Brussels and the Liège waffle. The Brussels waffle is the most commonly seen. It’s rectangular with a golden-brown exterior, deep pockets and topped with a variety of toppings such as whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate or jam and is usually eaten with a knife and fork. The Liège waffle is golden-yellow, more dense in texture, rich, and the sugar chunks melt and create pockets of crunchy sweet on the inside and shiny, caramelized sugar spots on the outside, and it should be eaten with your hands. You’ll need to use pearl sugar to keep this authentic but it can easily be ordered online.
- Serves 4
Liège waffle dough:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/3 cup warm milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pearl sugar
For the Liège waffle dough:
- Combine the yeast, lukewarm milk and sugar in a bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a Kitchenaid and make a well in the center. Fit the kitchenaid with the paddle attachment.
- Pour the bubbly yeast mixture into the well and mix until combined. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs one at a time, melted butter, and the vanilla extract. The dough will be quite thick and sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 hours. Mix in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest a little longer.
- Heat the waffle iron to medium. Pinch 2-inches balls of dough and flatten them slightly. Place the balls of dough in the waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat.