Liege waffles vs Belgian waffles
It is time to tell the truth! You know I am French right? I have been born and raised in France and lived at the Belgian border for years – like 20 minutes from Belgian by car ! So trust me, if there is someone who knows a LOT about how taste a Liege waffles vs Belgian waffles it is me. They are not the same! To make things simple remember that Belgian waffles are light, large and fluffy made quickly with a basic waffle dough and no yeast. However, the LIEGE WAFFLES recipe – the one I am sharing today – is
- made of a raised dough with instant yeast
- a tiny round dense waffle – not square or rectangle waffle
- moist buttery waffle with vanilla caramel flavor
- loaded with tiny pieces of Belgian Pearl Sugar
If you are a keen baker, you can see liege waffles as a sort of French dough brioche that has been cooked in a waffle iron. Well, almost ! Because the particularity of a liege waffle is the tiny pieces of Belgian Pearl Sugar inside the dough. See below. Pearl sugar are tiny bites of sugar that has been shaped in small balls – think sugar cubes broken in pieces but round. When they melt inside the dough they half-melt adding this lovely caramel flavor while keeping their sugar crunch.
So now, that you know the difference between those two popular waffle recipe, let’s talk a bit more about my liege waffle recipe. I saw lots of recipes around and I am not sure why but some people add water in the recipe. Trust me, there is no water in a authentic liege waffle recipe ! Only whole milk. That is the extra fat from the milk that provide the moisture of the waffles. In Europe, we commonly eat those liege waffles in the street as a on-the-go comforting snack. You can also serve them as a decadent dessert topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate and whipped cream.
But the most common way people eat them is with icing sugar on top or dipped in chocolate to create a hard shell. Below I shared many waffle toppings ideas. This one is a very fancy one made of salted caramel sauce and sweet buttery pop corn! Heavenly delicious.
My husband favorite are the one with a drizzle of chocolate on top . Below I made one with a drizzle of dark and white chocolate and one with a drizzle f melted white chocolate and fresh raspberries.
Finally, on the left you can see one of the popular liege waffles we commonly buy in France in the supermarket. A liege waffle dipped in milk chocolate with shredded coconut on top. This is my favorite one! Sugar rush for sure ! hahah
Traditional Liege Waffle are moist buttery waffles with a sweet vanilla flavor and pieces of crunchy caramelized sugar - pearl Belgian sugar - melted all over the waffle. It is a very comforting Belgian recipe for dessert that you can serve with any sweet topping of your choice.
- 3 2/3 cup all purpose white wheat flour (460g)
- 1/2 + 1/4 cup cup whole milk (180 ml) - lukewarm
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried instant yeast + 2 tbsp. lukewarm water to reactivate (7 g)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/3 cup belgian pearl sugar (225 g) or sugar cubes broken in tiny pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7.5 ounces unsalted diced butter (215g), soft, at room temperature (not melted)
In a small mixing bowl, place the dried instant yeast with 2 tablespoon of lukewarm water Stir. Set aside until it forms a yeast paste -about 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds.
In the bowl of an electric mixer using the dough hook, combine the flour, lukewarm whole milk, instant dried yeast, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla essence and salt. Knead until well combined.
Add the diced butter at room temperature and knead again until the butter is well incorporated.
Transfer the waffle dough into a slightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and a towel on top to keep everything dark and warm. Let raise et room temperature for about 1 hour or until it double in size.
After it raises, punch the dough down with your hand to remove the air/gas. Add the pearl sugar or sugar cubes pieces, and knead the dough again with your hands to incorporate.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll into balls. Store each ball on a tray covered with parchment paper to avoid them to stick.
Warm a waffle iron, grease the waffle iron with butter or vegetable oil and place the ball of dough on the grid. Cook following your waffle iron instructions. Mine required about 3-4 minutes cooking time to be ready. You know it is cooked when it is golden and crispy on the outside but still moist in the center with melted pieces of sugar.
Transfer each cooked waffle on a rack to cool down slightly before serving lukewarm or cold. Repeat for the next liege waffles until all cooked.
Add any sweet topping you like on top like jam, icing sugar, a drizzle of melted chocolate, caramel sauce, ice cream and more!
Storage: Store very well in a metallic box or wrapped in foil for up to 3-4 days. They will get moist when cold but in North of France that is how we wat them. We sometime rewarm them in a toaster for few minutes or in a sandwich press wrapped into parchment paper.
Lukewarm milk: simply microwave milk on high for 20-30 seconds or warm in a saucepan. Think bath temperature not hot - about 35 C (95F)
Nutrition panel is for one waffle without toppings.