Liege Waffles

Liege Waffles

Liege waffles were probably the thing that seduced me most about Belgium. The smell, primarily. That glorious aroma of hot, yeasty waffles caramelizing on heavy iron grills at every corner. I remember my first one ever. I followed my nose like a pig on a truffle. I was served a piping hot Liege waffle in a little waxed paper square and I was a changed woman.

These are not waffles like we are accustomed to in North America – which are basically pancakes cooked in a waffle iron. No, Liege waffles are magical.

They are dense and quite bread-y; thick and chewy and studded with pearl sugar. Pearl sugar which gets pressed into the deep waffle pockets by a blazing hot, heavy iron waffle press – caramelizing it into pure magic.

The dough is heavily yeasted – 50 grams is a little more than 4 tablespoons. It sounds like a lot, but the flavour is incredible. Enriched with eggs and 14 tablespoons (just under a cup) of butter, these waffles are serious business. Seriously good business.

Liege Waffles Liege Waffles

Liege, for those who don’t know, is actually a city in Belgium. There is a second type of waffle possessed by this magical country, called the Brussels waffle. Unlike the dense, rich Liege waffle, Brussels waffles are light-as-a-cloud – crispy on the outside, but airy on the inside. You could eat about ten.

A feat that could certainly not be comfortably accomplished with Liege waffles…

Liege Waffles Liege Waffles

This recipe is highly authentic. Translated from Dutch by my lovely friend and waffle-making guide/companion Kristiana, it is straight from the heart of Belgium. The ingredients are all listed in grams – if you don’t have a kitchen scale, now is your moment to buy one!! Or else, you could use this awesome tool to convert to cups.

The pearl sugar is really key to the authenticity of Liege waffles, but if you can’t find it, substitute the coarsest sugar you can find and reduce the amount by about a third.

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If you haven’t checked it out yet, do! You don’t want to miss this!!

Liege Waffles Liege Waffles

Liege Waffles

Translated from Dutch from Kristiana’s Belgian friend’s recipe
Makes about 16 waffles.

  • 150 grams warm water
  • 50 grams yeast (no, this is not a typo)
  • 300 grams flour
  • 70 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 grams butter, melted
  • 200 grams butter, melted
  • 200 grams flour
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 300 grams pearl sugar

1. Combine the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl, and let sit for 10 minutes or until doubled in volume. Place the large bowl of a standing mixer on a kitchen scale and tare off. Weigh in 300 grams flour, sugar, eggs, and 15 grams melted butter. Mix with the dough hook attachment until a homogeneous dough is formed. With mixer speed on low, slowly pour in remaining 200 grams of melted butter, mixing until it combines and a thick paste is formed (this may take 5-10 minutes). Let rest 15 minutes.

2. Return bowl to the kitchen scale and tare off once again. Sift remaining 200 grams flour onto dough, and sprinkle with salt. Knead with mixer until combined. Slowly add pearl sugar and knead until combined (about 3 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat waffle iron on medium heat. Separate dough into balls of 100 grams each. Cook in waffle iron till pale golden brown, then remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cook waffles a second time until brown and caramelized. Waffles may be reheated in a warm oven, or in the toaster. They freeze beautifully.

 

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33 Comments

  1. Carly

    May 6, 2011 2:32 am - Reply

    These look outstanding! Do you know if this would be like the Luikse Waffles, also known as Street Waffles, we had in Belgium? Mmm, this makes me think of the heavy, sticky Medina waffles.

    • Anonymous

      November 9, 2011 4:59 pm - Reply

      Yes they are! I find they are even closer to the street waffles than cafe Medina’s waffles…

  2. Anonymous

    May 6, 2011 12:44 pm - Reply

    This looks INCREDIBLE. Oh my god. It makes me want to buy a waffle iron! I wish I was there for the waffle making party with Kristiana… sounds fun!

    • Anonymous

      May 6, 2011 6:35 pm - Reply

      Wish you were here too!! And you should totally buy a waffle iron…

  3. Anonymous

    May 6, 2011 6:36 pm - Reply

    Yes, try mine and let me know what you think! Thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Kim

    May 6, 2011 11:49 pm - Reply

    I have been waiting for this recipe for the last 8 years. These waffles are going to bring back a flood of memories. I can’t wait to get a chance to make them. I don’t have a good waffle iron but I’m sure I can track one down. Thank you so much. Miss you, and miss your time in Belgium. Bisous

    • Anonymous

      May 7, 2011 10:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the message Kim! I know, the smell brings you right back. Let me know how yours turn out! Bisous bisous.

  5. Beverly Steele

    May 8, 2011 12:30 am - Reply

    Love love love! I also was seduced by the smell…particularly of the cinnamon, or, heaven, the CHOCOLATE-covered gauffre liegeoise! Dorothy might have clicked her heels and returned to Kansas, but I would click mine and find myself in Place Denis:-)

  6. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    May 8, 2011 11:20 am - Reply

    I had these in NYC and was immediately addicted! Thanks for posting an authentic recipe. I gotta try this sometime! Is it ok if I don’t have a belgian waffle iron? It’s the more shallow regular kind…

    • Anonymous

      May 9, 2011 12:09 am - Reply

      The cast iron or cast aluminum waffle irons are really incredible at distributing the heat and getting that great caramelizing of the pearl sugar. I don’t know if the electric kind will give you the same results, but I’m sure they will still be tasty!!

  7. Carol Browne

    May 9, 2011 2:45 am - Reply

    Yum! I must try this! I have some pearl sugar and a waffle iron. It looks delicious!

    • Anonymous

      May 9, 2011 2:47 pm - Reply

      If you just happen to have both on hand, then I think it is a must!! Let me know how they turn out :-)

  8. Daubioulle chantal

    May 10, 2011 6:08 pm - Reply

    oups t’as pas mis le nombre de calories hi hi …….

    • Anonymous

      May 12, 2011 7:55 pm - Reply

      Mais je croyais que toute la bouffe belge etait hypocalorique? Pas juste? ;-)

  9. Katie

    May 10, 2011 9:23 pm - Reply

    I would reallllllllllly like to eat some of these!

    • Anonymous

      May 12, 2011 7:53 pm - Reply

      I’m considering lugging home my 30 lb waffle iron just so I can make them for you!!

  10. Jo

    May 11, 2011 7:58 am - Reply

    I’ve been wanting to make Liege Waffles ever since I went to Belgium. These look so delicious! If only I knew where to find pearl sugar…

    • Anonymous

      May 12, 2011 7:49 pm - Reply

      You can order it off of Amazon! Or if you are in Vancouver, I got mine at the Gourmet Warehouse!

  11. foodjules

    May 12, 2011 1:41 pm - Reply

    These look absolutely delish! I have to try and make them…. I wish I could just order them from you :)

    • Liz

      May 12, 2011 1:41 pm - Reply

      by the way, how do I subscribe to your posts? i want to get them via email.

      • Anonymous

        May 12, 2011 7:48 pm - Reply

        You can click on RSS at the very bottom of the webpage, or else go to the contact tab – just under the contact form there’s a link that says “To keep updated, subscribe to my RSS feeds…”

  12. Anthony StClair

    May 15, 2011 7:31 pm - Reply

    Liege waffles are amazing! I live in Eugene, OR, and we have this restaurant called Off the Waffle that specializes in these. I’d never had them before going there, and am now a devotee. The caramelized sugar and the texture of the waffles is unbeatable.

    • Anonymous

      May 16, 2011 10:35 pm - Reply

      I know, right? They are unreal. I think you want to buy a waffle iron and make them yourself…

  13. No_Paradise

    May 22, 2011 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hey this recipe looks great.. I have a mixer however dont have a dough hook could I use my beater attachment instead of a dough hook?

    Thanks Colm  

    • Anonymous

      May 26, 2011 8:08 pm - Reply

      Hi Colm – the beaters won’t really work with a stiff dough – but you can certainly knead it by hand instead for the same amount of time!

  14. Lana

    September 10, 2011 2:07 pm - Reply

    Where can I buy waffle iron that weighs more than 20 pounds and is not outrageously expensive? 

    • Anonymous

      February 29, 2012 4:01 pm - Reply

      Don’t know where you live… try Amazon or even eBay! I got mine at a Vancouver store called Ming Wo’s – I think it was around $50.  Totally worth it.

  15. Daniel Chun

    November 9, 2011 8:29 am - Reply

    I ask you how much flour you use.
    According to your recipe, the total quanity of flour is 700g. Is it right?

    • foodess

      November 9, 2011 8:53 am - Reply

      TYPO! Thank you for catching that, the “200 grams of flour” should not be listed twice… fixed now.

    • Anonymous

      November 9, 2011 4:55 pm - Reply

      No, 500 grams! Thanks for catching that. 

  16. Sultan

    March 26, 2012 8:37 pm - Reply

    It look nice, I want to try it.

  17. eden

    July 13, 2013 3:37 am - Reply

    hi, do you have a measurement conversion in cups and tbsps? ;)

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