These waffles are light and airy inside and crisp on the outside with beautiful deep pockets to hold whatever topping you like, be it simple maple syrup or fresh fruit with ice cream and whipped cream.
The texture of these waffles comes from using a yeast batter, which must rise for half an hour, and folding it with beaten egg whites. So, start the batter first thing in the morning and then relax while the magic happens.
Gauffre de Bruxelles: Brussels Waffles
Recipe courtesy of europeancuisines.com
Makes approximately eight to nine 4×4″ waffles.
*Note: You will need a kitchen scale, as all but three ingredients are measured by weight. I cut down the original recipe so that it would feed 2-4 people, which is why you’ll see so many 1/3 measurements.
Don’t forget to check out my Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions at the bottom of the recipe.
- 3/4 pound all-purpose flour
- 10 grams instant yeast
- 14 oz lukewarm water (use tepid, sparkling water, if possible)
- 8 1/3 grams brown sugar
- 83 1/3 grams powdered, nonfat dry milk
- 3 1/3 grams salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 133 1/3 grams melted butter
- 3 egg whites
*Note: All of your mixing should be done by hand. I recommend a nice sturdy wooden spoon.
Make the dough…
- Measure the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
- Add the yeast and 3 oz of the water.
- Add the brown sugar, powdered milk, salt, vanilla extract, and remaining water.
- Mix these ingredients together and then begin gradually mixing the flour into them.
- Make sure the dough is mixed well, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for at least 20-30 minutes.
- During this period, melt the butter and allow it to cool.
When the dough is finished proofing…
- Add the melted butter and mix well.
- Beat your egg whites to stiff peaks.
- You don’t want to do this until the very last minute because they’ll break down if left to wait!
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.
- At this point, it’s okay if your batter sits while you wait for the waffle iron to preheat and as you make multiple batches.
Cook the waffles…
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Heat your waffle iron per manufacturer’s instructions.
- Spoon the batter into the waffle iron using a large spoon, carefully pushing it around to cover the grid evenly.
- One 4×4″ waffle should use about 6-8 tbsp (or up to 1/2 cup) batter.
- Close the lid and cook per manufacturer instructions, until the waffle is cooked through and golden on the outside.
- Keep finished waffles warm in the oven.
- Simply cover with your favorite topping 🙂
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
Instant Yeast: Unlike active dry yeast, instant yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients. If you can’t find it, you can substitute “rapid rise yeast” or “quick rise yeast” using the same proportion, though they sometimes have additives to allow them to work as quickly as instant yeast.
If you can only find active dry, use 13 grams, as opposed to 10. It takes longer to rise, so using 25-33% more will prevent the dough from having to proof longer than 30 minutes. You will also have to dissolve the active dry yeast in the warm water for approximately 5 minutes before adding it to the flour. If it doesn’t bubble, the yeast is bad and the dough won’t rise.
Folding the Egg Whites: Folding is a completely different technique than stirring; it’s much gentler on the ingredients, which means the air pockets in the egg whites won’t get popped, causing the dough to become dense and tough. Don’t worry, this is a very easy process.
Simply scrape the spoon/spatula along the bottom of the bowl, bringing it up one side and over the middle. You’ll see that the dough is “folding” over onto itself. Repeat this, turning the bowl as necessary, until the egg whites are incorporated. Have some big mounds that just won’t incorporate? Cut them in half with your spoon and fold them in.
First off, can I say how proud I am of this photo? Really, all the photos I’ve taken lately, which should be getting up here SOON! We moved into our beautiful, beautiful new home, which has a huge front window with a large, white ledge where I can prop my creations with not only a wonderful white backdrop, but a lot of natural light. The shadowing can get tricky, but I’ve had some good luck with lighting, so far!
This delicious dish you see above was breakfast this morning…though, I suppose it was really more like brunch, considering how late I made it 🙂 B and I recently went on a shopping trip with my mother to take advantage of the ever-elusive thirty percent off coupon she had for Kohl’s, where I found a great, stainless steel, Belgian waffle iron by Food Network. HAD to have it!
The funny thing is, I’ve generally hated waffles all my life. When my parents would make them for breakfast, they had to make a separate batch of pancakes, just for me. Recently, though, I’ve learned to love the crisp outer crust of these beauties, and decided I needed a waffle iron so I could start making them.
Recalling that the only waffles I was willing to eat were Big Boy’s Belgian waffles, I thought it only fitting to purchase a Belgian waffle iron…and to begin my search for the most authentic recipe I could find! That’s where I discovered that the waffles we, in America, know as “Belgian” are actually Brussels waffles, specifically, as there are many more than one type of Belgian waffle, all with their own unique texture/flavor. The difference between these and a more traditional waffle you’d make at home is that Brussels waffles are made with yeast…which I found very exciting since I’ve been baking my own bread.
While I found the dough/batter quite easy to put together, cooking it scared the life out of me. With a more traditional batter, you simply pour it to cover the peaks of the bottom iron. The yeast dough, however, is much thicker and stickier, like a very, very wet bread dough. The issue that arose is I couldn’t simply pour it as needed…even spooning it with a ladle was a problem. I found the most foolproof way to fill the iron was to use a soup spoon, placing a dollop of doughy batter in each corner of each quadrant (the iron has four quadrants and I prefer to fill them separately so that I have four perfect, small waffles, rather than filling the entire bottom as one and having a giant waffle with four quarters that end up being cracked apart anyway). Therefore, I used four spoonfuls per quadrant/waffle. This method ended up working quite well for me and I was able to spread the batter quickly and get that baby closed for even cooking. I’m excited to do it again in the future!
Now, as far as I’ve seen, our restaurant Belgian waffles are always served with fruit, ice cream, and whipped cream…which I ADORE. However, I’ve been reading that, in Belgium, these waffles are actually served as snacks with simply powdered sugar! I find, of course, that you should eat them however you like 🙂 which is why I made myself a pair of waffles with a dusting of powdered sugar, two spoonfuls of Belgian chocolate spread, a few slices of banana, and a giant…GIANT scoop of toasted almond gelato. Scrumptious. Simply scrumptious 🙂
B had half his waffles with chocolate syrup and half with Golden Griddle, which I ended up copying with one of my waffles because I was feeling jealous by missing the simple flavor of pancake syrup. Eating two waffles each with a different topping was the best of both worlds! I highly recommend it 🙂