When I was in Salt Lake a few years ago, I met up with some friends at Bruges Waffles & Frites. It was the first time I had eaten a Liege Belgian waffle and I instantly fell in love. The sweetness and the texture come together to create waffle magic. (P.S. Bruges’ fries are amazing, too! Here is my post about our visit to Bruges if you’re interested.)
Not too long after that, my Aunt Sue posted a recipe for Liege waffles on our family Facebook page. I’ve had that recipe tucked away for two years waiting for the moment I finally got around to purchasing Belgian pearl sugar so I could make the waffles.
That still hasn’t happened, BUT…when we moved away from Menlo Park earlier this year, our Swedish friends the Montags gave us a box of Swedish pearl sugar as a going away gift. They know how obsessed I am with bulle and Swedish pearl sugar is what you traditionally top the bread with. It was such a great gift, they know me too well!
These waffles are a dream, best eaten at brunch or even as dessert. They are CRAZY sweet. As Sue points out in the recipe, you sort of feel like you had sugar shot straight into your veins! But in a good way, of course.
I highly recommend this recipe and Liege waffles in general. Such a delectable treat! And, yes, cleaning your waffle iron afterwards is a big pain, but it’s worth it!
Liege Waffle Recipe
From my Aunt Sue
- 2 C flour
- 1 C Belgian pearl sugar*
- 1 C melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 package yeast (2 T)
- 1/3 C lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 T granulated sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
- 1/8 t salt
1. Mix yeast, 1 1/2 T sugar and salt into the lukewarm water. Let yeast dissolve and sit for 15 minutes (it should get foamy). In the meantime, melt the butter.
2. Put flour in a large bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture. Whisk together the eggs and melted butter and add to the flour as well. Knead until you get a nice, even dough. Let it rest and rise until dough doubles.
3. Gently mix in the pearl sugar.
4. Let dough rest for another 15 minutes. Preheat Belgian waffle iron.
5. Place waffle dough into the waffle maker (see Sue’s notes below for a tip on this part) and bake for 3-5 minutes. Because the sugar was mixed into the dough later in the process, it will melt and caramelize and give you that special Liege waffle taste. Be careful when removing waffles from the iron as the sugar can be hot and sticky. Place on a cooling rack so the waffles can crisp up.
Sue’s notes: I can’t find the original website to credit the brilliant person who wrote this recipe. Also, you need to think of the batter as a ball, almost like picking up a blob and being able to chuck it at someone across the room. It does not pour AT ALL! You will press the iron down over the dough to flatten it out to bake. Also, when the waffles are cooked, they will need to be prodded out of the waffle iron. They seem kind of floppy when first baked. Place them on a cooling rack and as they cool a bit, they become crispy as the caramelized sugar needs to cool to get hard. They are crispy and amazingly delicious. I could only eat a quarter of a waffle without feeling like I had literally shot sugar straight into my veins. BEWARE OF SUGAR SHOCK! P.S. I only use the Waring Pro Waffle Baker that you flip once you place the batter in the baker.
Jane note: I don’t have a fancy Waring Pro Belgian waffle iron. Mine is a simple iron, but it IS a Belgian maker – you want the thicker waffle plates for this recipe.
*Here is a website where you can Belgian pearl sugar straight from a town called Tienen in Belgium. You can also get Belgian pearl sugar on Amazon. Sue has also used turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) and says you get a similar effect. Liege waffle purists don’t even like using the Swedish pearl sugar, but you can do whatever you want as far as I’m concerned!