Anger Burger

Waffle Battle Fight

Posted by Sunday on Jan 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

After years of pancake devotion, we’ve converted to Wafflism.

I’ll be brief about it, but my educated and learned conclusion is that yeasted waffles are the most superior variety, and that King Arthur Flour’s “Belgian Yeast Waffle” is a good starting point.  The batter can be mixed in its entirety¹ the night before, and I can find no fault with either flavor or texture.  Ha-ha!  I’m such a liar; I thought the batter had a lot of vanilla in it, but when cooked, the flavor was totally AWOL.  If you like a birthday-cakey, vanilla-y waffle, you’ll want to at least double the vanilla.

But let’s say you want waffles RIGHT NOW and you did not have the foresight of preparing a yeasted batter.  No fear!  I agree with the rest of the internet when I point you toward the “Waffle of Insane Greatness“.   It still begs a 30 minute rest before using, but is yeastless and has lots of buttermilk in it, which makes for a differently gnawesome waffle experience.

Of the two, the Viking and I prefer the yeasted waffle:

It’s just such a pretty waffle, on top of tasting so good.  The exterior crust is thin and crispy, but the insides are nicely puffy and creamy.  A solid player for very little effort.

Which brings me to the fabled Liège waffle.  I can best describe a Lèige waffle as a “waffled cinnamon-roll”.  The dough is yeasted and very buttery — nearly a brioche — and studded with crystals of pearl sugar.  The exterior gets quite crispy, while the interior is decidedly bready in texture.  Perhaps best of all, the sugar pieces melt and form molten, mouth-destroying globs of caramel.  I’ve had Liège waffles prepared commercially, but until now I’d never tried to make them myself.

I started with Not Martha’s recipe, and will be making some alterations. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, of course, don’t be silly.

It’s hard to really put my finger on how this recipe missed the mark by a hair, but I think the major issue was the pearl sugar.  I used small Swedish pearl sugar, whereas Not Martha uses Belgian style, which are much, much larger chunks.  Another website suggested hand-crushing good ol’ American sugar cubes into smaller pieces, and that even seems an improvement over what I used.

Because though the waffles were cooked through and everything else seemed pretty much on target, the sugar didn’t melt.  The pearls of sugar did what they are supposed to do on any other item, which is to remain intact during baking.  But I want them to melt.  I want them to blister my lips and elicit a string of profanities the likes of which no breakfast treat has ever heard before.

I also deviated from the recipe by kneading the dough in small quantity of flour, something that no one recommends doing but I figured was fine.  Which it may have been, but also my waffles turned out a smidge dry and this could be from the minuscule amount of added flour.  Though I doubt it.  But still.  Next time, I’ll suffer through a much wetter dough and see if they can’t loosen up a little.

I don’t mean to imply that anyone should avoid making these just because I found them slightly less than perfect.  You should make them.  They aren’t your sit-down-and-eat-a-bottle-of-maple-syrup variety waffles, they are standing around in the kitchen, drinking coffee and snatching bacon out of the pan, hand-snacking on some waffle waffles.  They are complex and filling, wanting for only a bit of whipped cream or fresh sugared strawberries.  And besides, you know, waffle experiment.  Those two words are like auditory cocaine for me.  EVERYONE OUT OF BED, IT’S WAFFLE EXPERIMENT TIME.  I KNOW ITS 4AM, DID YOU NOT JUST HEAR THE WORDS “WAFFLE EXPERIMENT”?!

¹ I say this specifically because most overnight yeast batters call for egg and/or butter to be added the next day – which, if you’re sleepy is a pretty mean prank to play on yourself.  My primary suggestion would be: let it sit for an hour at room temperature before refrigerating the night before, and before using the next day allow the batter to sit out for an additional 30 minutes.  That’s 30 minutes for you to make coffee, remember where your pants are and try to get some of the mascara off your face.

January 26th, 2011 | Food Rant

13 Responses to Waffle Battle Fight

  1. Kate says:

    OMG waffles. They are enough to pull me out of my Google Reader lurker status and make me comment. Thanks for posting an unyeasted recipe link for those of us not brave enough to try a yeasted.

    In summary: WAFFLES.

    • Sunday says:

      But still try the yeasted one! It’s not about braveness – it’s literally no more difficult than the non-yeasted one.

      WAFFLES.

  2. meg says:

    I spent a couple days in Brussels once. I could have eaten a lot of really great things there, but I mostly ate gauffres liegois. Not a waffle to be trifled with (although I bet they’d be incredible in a trifle).

    • Sunday says:

      I want to eat a for reals reals one pretty badly, now. I’ve heard there’s a place making very authentic ones in Seattle, maybe I’ll try and do some reconnaissance next time I’m there.

  3. Sophie says:

    hey btw it’s Liège and not Lèige :P

    I know I have nothing else to say, I prefer french crêpes to belgian waffles! With just a little sugar inside mmm.

    • Sunday says:

      D’oh!

      The Viking is a die-hard crepe-eater, too. I think if he were asked to eat only one batter-based breakfast item again, it’d be crepes with lemon and sugar. I’m going to stand by waffles with peanut butter, myself.

  4. those who do not love waffles do not have a place in my life.
    waffles trump pancakes, any day…
    yet, i don’t own an iron…alas

    • Sunday says:

      We didn’t have an iron either, until my mom gave the Viking one for Christmas. I’ve been struggling to keep from making them every day since.

  5. eileen says:

    waffle experiment!! awesome. I have never heard of this particular kind, but the whole molten sugar idea is clearly more than wortyh exploring.

    I got a waffle iron for christmas (YESS) and I must say that it RULES, even though I have only really made the standard joy of cooking recipe just yet. but soon…soon there will be buckwheat waffles and cornmeal blueberry waffles and perhaps even the elusive falafel waffle. MUAHAHAHA, etc.

  6. Josh Bomb says:

    oh man, WAFFLES. I’m on a super-yeast kick lately and look forward to trying a batch of yeasted waffles soon. Also, thought I’d share my family favorite, George Washington’s rice waffles. The secret is to let the rice soak in the milk overnight. NOM.

  7. meg says:

    laugh out loud funny. almost pissed my pants, but then was distracted by my growling tummy. i. need. waffles. NOW.

  8. kate says:

    thanks for the waffle review…my mom is currently on a waffle quest…i’ll get her to read your info!…i think 4am is a perfectly acceptable time to test out waffles…i think waffles are really a 24 hour business…

    p.s. i love the irregular shape of the second waffle…kind of a rustic look thing…so pretty!

  9. kate says:

    oh…waffles!!!! my mom is currently on a quest to find the perfect waffle…will have to show her your post…and 4am…a good time for waffle experimentation…waffles are a 24 hour business…

    p.s. i love the 2nd waffles rustic look…i would choose that solely on looks!

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