Well, this was a revelation.
I apparantly like waffles…as long as they’re yeasted and covered with little caramelized bits of sugar. Gah.
If we were to have a waffle conversation a week ago, I’d tell you they were ok. I’d tell you that most waffles are either a little too crispy, or a little too soggy. I’d tell you that I try reallllly hard to like them, but just can’t ever find anything to get excited about.
But these…THESE you can get excited about. It’s not shocking, really, that I love these, because they are like little griddled pieces of sugared bread dough. I picture them as sweet street food in Belgium. Cause these are, from what I’ve cobbled together in my limited research, the actual waffle they eat there, and nothing like Belgian Waffles we know here.
They are chewy, where others are either crispy or soft. They are sweet, where most are typically just a bland vehicle for syrup. They are small, where “Belgian” waffles are usually huge and intimidating. And, they are meant to be eaten out of hand, not with a fork and knife.
Or atleast that’s how I eat ’em.
Spend a Saturday morning making these…you won’t regret it!
1/4 c + 2 Tbs warm milk (between 100 and 110°F)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 c bread flour, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool.
Scant 3/4 c turbinado sugar
Stir the sugar into the warm milk until dissolved. Mix in yeast and cover. Let sit for five minutes until yeast has foamed up at the top.
In the bowl of your standmixer, combine flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add in vanilla and mix, then pour in the yeast mixture. Add in egg and egg yolk, mixing until dough becomes cohesive. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen.
Return the bowl to the mixer, and begin beating in the butter. With the mixer on medium/high, add in one piece at a time, but work quickly. When butter begins to look incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat a little longer, until the dough looks smooth. Add the sugar, and mix briefly.
Divide the dough into about 1o equal balls, and let rest 10-15 minutes longer. While the dough rests, preheat your waffle iron to a medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Set a cooling rack nearby.
Place one ball of dough on the hot iron, close, and let cook for a few minutes. You may check to see how well it is browning…just keep in mind you want these darker than most waffles we are used to eating. There is sugar in these things that is caramelizing as you cook! Pure magic.
When golden brown, remove and place on a cooling rack. DO NOT skip this step. The waffles will be semi-soft when you pull them off the iron, but the exterior will crisp up as air curculates around them. More magic.
Then, avoid all temptation to add toppings, and enjoy as is. If you have a waffle iron like mine, the plates make these perfect quadrants that tear off into bite sized pieces.
My entire family loved these. Benj inhaled them, claiming they were better than donuts, and Ian tried to eat THREE! I only ate one, simply because I knew there was butter and sugar involved in making them so delicious, so I cut the little guy off at two.
Recipe adapted from, and with thanks to: The Kitchn