New Experiment #3

Waffle Experiment #2

This morning, I cooked up the little guy above. The caramelization was fantastic, but I’m thinking of doing some substantial tinkering with the texture.

Having cooked up my regular 18th century brioche in the iron, and seeing how tender it comes out, I think a hybrid of it with the current waffle recipe would produce something pretty interesting.  So below is the shorthand version of the recipe I have for myself  as Experiment #3:


50 egg (warm)

63.7 mineral water @ ~110°F

80 all-purpose flour

2.6 T-58 yeast


61.6 all-purpose flour

75.2 whole wheat pastry flour

4.4 dark rye flour


44.1 egg (warm)

23.4 dark muscovado

4.2 Île de Ré salt

15 orange blossom honey

3 Mexican vanilla pods


141.1 beurre d’Isigny @ ~60°F

6 thoughts on “New Experiment #3

  1. The first verifiable Liège recipe I’ve found is from the early 20th century, and by that point they were just using baker’s yeast. If I stick to what I believe from my research, then I’d say the waffles were essentially invented in 1820s/1830s Paris … then later popularized as early as 1836 in central Belgium… though more likely by the mid 1840s, but no later than 1900. And if you really wanted me to pin down a place and time, I would say around Tienen, Belgium in the 1850s-1860s. Let me know your thoughts on what might be a suitable yeast for that region and time. I’d be very interested.

  2. Do you think that a sourdough culture might be the way to go? It would definitely help with the texture from the bran in those whole grains. It’s also likely more accurate to the 18th century.

    • Hey, Ben. So, yeah, sourdough was the go-to for most bread in France, at the time, while in Belgium, it was ale yeast. But both countries only used ale yeast, when it came to finer breads like brioche. There are a number of recipes from back in the day where sourdough is mentioned in the recipes, but it’s always mentioned only as a backup, in the event “levure de biere” wasn’t on-hand. I believe it was the 17th century when the French formalized the use of ale yeast in the finer breads; it was definitely a charged political issue for them, until that point.

      • Very interesting thanks! I’m a homebrewer as well so the ale yeast is an easy substitution :) I can’t wait to try the new recipe this weekend. The pictures look great

    • I’ll be sure to post details before the weekend then. The only adjustment I guess you’d need to make is, if you’re using fresh yeast from the barm, would be to reduce the amount of water used in the waffle. That amount will just depend on how much and how much barm you use and how wet it is; I’ll leave the math fun to you ;) I’ve been using dry yeast in my recipe, for now, as it’s slightly more accessible to folks than fresh yeast from a batch of ale … though the recipe will eventually go all the way to that point.

      • When researching about the use of ale yeast, was there any mention of the style of beer- Abbey, Gueuze, Saison (farmhouse), Veille (Table Beer), Dubbel, Golden, etc.? If not, what was the region and time-frame? Given either of those, beer style or time-frame/region, I should be able to get an idea of which type of yeast they may have been using, as there are 2 different species used in Belgium, not to mention the different flavors of the strains within each species.

        Why the type of beer may be important, and something that may be of interest, is that many Belgian yeasts exhibit drastically different flavors depending on the temperature while active. Generally, cooler temperatures (below ~18C/64F) will produce spicy/phenolic flavors (pepper, clove), while warmer temperatures (above ~20C/68F) will produce fruity flavors (banana, apple, pineapple). The Lambic (wild) yeast strains, especially from the Brussels/Lembeek area can have different flavors altogether, but will generally be mildly fruity, unless put under stress, where they are known to produce some more interesting earthy flavors- something you probably wouldn’t want in a sweet waffle.

        A tip: When hydrating the dry yeast, the best yeast health will result by hydrating with water (plain/mineral) at ~100F (too hot will kill them, so a bit below 100F is better than hotter than 100F). After they have been hydrated for ~10 minutes (it’s OK to swirl it occasionally when hydrating), add in/to the sugar, flour, etc. This advice is sound for both brewing and baking with dry yeast.

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