Monday, December 13, 2010

Belgian Waffles - SAMM

Before I get to this yummy recipe you have to read through two stories.

I have this cool cast iron Belgian Waffle iron that my Mom gave me, I traded it to her for my electric iron (Belgian waffles have much deeper holes).  You set it on the stove, when one side is cooked you flip it over and cook the other. (Please don't judge the sorry state of my filthy stove)

I like the waffle iron so occasionally I make waffles but every time I've been disappointed and wondered if I should have kept my crappy electric one.  My waffles have come out dense and really not good.  It was probably the recipe but when I thought of making waffles I'd end up making pancakes instead.

Story two... I went to London once and it was awesome.  I shopped and saw Broadway shows and ate some really delicious food and while I was there it was the coldest winter in 10 years (or something like that).  One of my favorite memories is of walking down a cold street on our way to shop and finding a Belgian waffle vendor.  I bought a waffle and it was so warm and crisp and sweet and awesome that it's stuck with me 6 years later.

I've always had it in the back of my mind that I should make real Belgian waffles (they have yeast in them and have to rise) but I finally got around to it and now I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner.  True, they have yeast so you have to let them rise for at least an hour but they bake up sweet, crisp and taste slightly like scones, they are delicious.  I've made them a couple times and we eat them for dinner since I'm not prepared enough to make them for breakfast, you could make the batter the night before though.

While we were eating these I asked Brad why he would want these instead of regular waffles and while he couldn't put his finger on it he was adamant that these were better.  They have a slight sourness that comes from the yeast that makes them feel a lot more substantial and delicious.

Belgian Waffles
3 cups warm milk
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

Whisk together yeast and milk and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Whisk in butter, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt.

Add flour in 3 additions, beating with a large spoon until smooth after each addition (I used my Kitchen aid).

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Stir to deflate batter.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and stir into batter.

Scoop onto waffle iron and cook until golden on each side.

Here's what your batter looks like when it's all ready (or in my case half gone)

And dropped onto my iron.  Belgian waffles are so big that I never fill up the entire iron, it means we don't end up with perfectly square waffles but I don't care.

And here's a waffle, cooked and ready to be eaten

Now it's bathed in syrup.

Ideally I think you'd eat this with whipped cream and strawberries but I have a crazy husband, it doesn't matter how many topping options you give him he'd still choose just plain syrup.  It never seems worth the effort to whip the cream for just me.

My Dad tried these in their regular waffle iron so even if you don't have a deeper holed Belgian iron you can still enjoy these

Linking to Share a Meal Monday