Hurrah for my family tonight...it is International Waffle Day! We love waffles...all the buttery nooks and crannies filled with melted butter, fruit, cream, syrup...or your favorite spread. What isn't there to love about these sweet little bits of pastry?
Any waffle is good, right? But our family favorite is the Liege Waffle. They are a richer, sweeter and chewier waffle that have little bits of pearl sugar baked into them. I find my Larr's Pearl Sugar at our local grocery store, but if you can not find it, it is available on Amazon. These waffles different than batter waffles, in that they are made with proofed yeast before you add it to the other ingredients and then you let everything rise. Once it is risen you knead the pearl sugar in and cook it at a high temperature for only a minute or two. If you cook it too long the sugar caramelizes too much on the outside and you get a campfire burnt taste. Which could be a good thing if you like that taste!
We made hundreds of these a few months ago for our son's wedding and they so delish that our family won't eat any other kind of waffle! There are a lot of recipes out there for these little pastries...and after trying several of them, this one is our family's favorite...
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup softened butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups bread flour
2 cups belgian pearl sugar
Begin by adding the whole milk to a pan, scald and let it cool to warm. Add the warm water to the pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to the milk and water, add the yeast and lightly stir together. Allow the yeast to get foamy.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars. Add the egg, honey and vanilla. stir together and add the yeast mixture. Place in a mixer and using the dough hook, add 2 cups of flour. Mix until the dough is mixed thoroughly, add the remaining flour and cover.
Allow to rest for 4 hours or up to 24 hours. After it is risen, punch down and knead in the pearl sugar. Separate the dough into 8 to 10 balls and place on a hot, greased waffle iron. Cook until golden brown (about a minute and a half to two minutes. Serve your favorite toppings.