Welcome back to Persona Kitchen everyone! I hope 2019 has been treating you well. So far, I have been very busy with a position change at my job as well as packing for our move happening within the next couple of weeks. Since I’ve been so busy lately, I like to take one Sunday morning a month and make a good, fancy breakfast. It always calms me down and makes life feel a little less messy. A good, fancy breakfast doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg either. This weeks recipe, Liege Waffles, are extremely decadent and fairly inexpensive.
A Liege Waffle is essentially a modified brioche dough with chunks of Belgian sugar pearls that caramelize as the waffles cook. In America, most of our waffles are made using a thin wet batter, resulting in a very dense waffles that gets topped with butter, syrup, and various other toppings. These Liege Waffles are different in that they are made using a yeasted dough. This results in a buttery, dense, chewy, and sweet dough. The Belgian Pearl Sugar is incorporated into the dough, sweetening it and caramelizing on the surface as they cook, creating a slight crispiness to the waffles. These Liege Waffles are so good that you don’t even need to serve them with maple syrup.
I first had a Liege Waffle when a popular food truck, Waffle Luv, came to my high school. They served up fresh cooked Liege Waffles slathered in biscoff, nutella, strawberries, or just a big dollop of fresh whipped cream. My personal favorite every time the food truck came around was the one with nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream. The waffles were warm, dense, and perfectly sweet. The whipped cream and slightly tart strawberries balanced out the sweetness from the waffles and nutella perfectly. It took me four years but I finally made them myself!
This recipe is basically just a simple Brioche recipe and all you need is flour, yeast, butter, milk, and salt. The only ‘weird’ ingredient is the Belgian Pearl Sugar. You can buy these at most specialty grocery stores, kitchen supply stores, or on Amazon. I bought the Lars’ Own Belgian Pearl Sugar from Amazon and you get two (8 ounce) boxes for under $11! For this recipe, you will only use one box, so you’ll have one on hand for your next fancy Sunday breakfast!
If you want to made a fancy breakfast to reward yourself for all of the hard work you’ve already done this year, this recipe is for you! If you try this recipe please let me know how it turned out and share your photos with me, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting Persona Kitchen this week. Xx
Recipe adapted from Baking with Julia.
⅓ Cup Whole Milk, lukewarm
2 ¼ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (about one packet)
1 Large Egg
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
For the Dough
1 ½ Teaspoons Kosher Salt
4 Large Eggs, lightly whisked
1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
12 Tablespoons Butter, softened and cut into ½” cubes
One (8 ounce) Package of Lars’ Own Belgian Pearl Sugar
Make the Sponge:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the the milk, yeast, egg, and 1 cup of the flour and mix with a rubber spatula just until everything is evenly combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of flour over the dough and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes. You will see the the flour on top start to ‘crack’, which means that everything is working perfectly!
Make the Dough:
Add the salt, whisked eggs, and 1 cup of flour to the bowl. Attach the dough hook and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Stop the mixer and add in the remaining ½ cup flour. Turn the mixer back on to low speed and once the flour is incorporated turn the speed up to medium and allow the dough to knead for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready when it comes together into one ball and ‘slaps’ around the sides of the bowl.
After the dough is properly kneaded, turn the mixer down to low speed and add the softened butter, a few cubes at time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each addition. (At this point the dough will look very greasy and like it’s falling apart, don’t worry! It will come together.) Once you have added all of the butter, turn the mixer speed to medium and mix for another five minutes, or until the dough forms back into a solid ball again. If after five minutes the dough doesn’t come together, add a tablespoon of flour to dough and mix for a couple more minutes until it does together.
Now, transfer the dough to a very large lightly buttered bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 2 hours in a warm spot in your kitchen. This is the doughs first rise.
After the first rise, deflate the dough with your fist. Place the dough on a clean work surface dusted with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 12x12 inches. Sprinkle the Belgian Pearl Sugar over the dough. Roll the dough into a log and begin kneading the dough into itself, evenly distributing the pearl sugar throughout.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight. This is the second rise.
After the dough has chilled, take it out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces, shaping each piece into a ball and placing them on a sheet of parchment paper.
Preheat your waffle iron to the medium-high setting (Note: All waffle irons are different so you might have to mess around with the setting a bit— you want the waffles to cook but you don’t want the sugar pearls to burn) and cook each waffle for 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove the waffle from the waffle iron, taking great care not to let the waffle touch your skin as the sugar will be very hot. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
Top the waffles with any toppings you prefer, my favorite is a large dollop of fresh whipped cream, but it’s up to you. Nutella, Biscoff, and strawberries, are all good options.
These Liege Waffles are best served the day they are made. You can also portion out the dough into balls and freeze in a large ziplock bag for up to three months.