It’s been over 6 years since I posted the recipe here. Tons of people have made it, stolen it, and/or modified it — all of which are great. All I cared about was sharing it.
But I kept working on the recipe, which lead to an updated version I developed about 2 years ago. Then I kept working on that, which lead to an even more refined and authentic version. It’s now at the point where I think the main recipe here needs to be completely rewritten, in light of many things I’ve learned about how these waffles likely came about. That said, I’m not going to make this version as hardcore as my professional version, as I want this to still feel accessible to home bakers. So no need to find ale yeast, cassonade, or Mexican vanilla beans. We’ll keep this much simpler, but still extraordinarily delicious.
The recipe below is the simplified and imperial measurement version of the elaborate and metric version I use. While there are 14 steps, it’s actually fairly simple. I’m going to bake it up, this coming weekend, and assuming the dough behaves, I’m overwriting the old recipe.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of instant yeast
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1/4 cup of water
2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of honey
11 Tablespoons of butter (cool, but not cold straight from the fridge)
3/4 cup of pearl sugar
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, lightly stir together 3/4 cup of your flour and the yeast.
2. Add 1 egg and your 1/4 cup of water. Mix to blend.
3. Cover the flour/yeast/egg/water mixture with the remaining 3/4 cup of flour, but do not stir.
4. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 90 minutes
5. Add the second egg, light brown sugar, salt, honey, and vanilla extract.
6. Affix the paddle attachment, and mix on speed #1 (the “stir” setting) — scraping every few minutes — until the dough forms a ball on the paddle. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
7. Begin adding the butter, a tablespoon at a time, over the next 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl every couple minutes.
8. Once all the butter is completely added, continue mixing, scraping occasionally, until the dough again balls on the paddle. This should only take 2-6 minutes.
9. Scrape the dough into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 6 hours.
10.REFRIGERATE FOR 90 MINUTES BEFORE PROCEEDING. This is essential. The yeast’s respiration must be slowed before continuing.
11. Place a piece of plastic wrap (about 2 feet long) on your countertop, and scrape the dough from the bowl onto it. Press it into a long rectangle (about 1 foot long), then fold it over in thirds, like a letter (but you’re forming a square here), before wrapping it loosely in the plastic wrap. Place it in the coldest section of your refrigerator overnight. It can help to weight it down with two heavy pre-chilled dinner plates.
12. The next day, place the cold dough into a large bowl and add all of the pearl sugar to the bowl. It will seem like a lot of sugar, but it’s supposed to be 🙂 Mix it into the dough, by hand, until the chunks are well-distributed. Once mixed, divide the dough into 5 pieces of equal size.
13. Shape each piece into an oval ball (like a football without the pointy ends) and let it rise (covered loosely in plastic wrap) for 90 minutes.
14. If you have a professional waffle iron (meaning: it’s cast iron and weighs over 30 pounds) cook at exactly 355-360 degrees for approximately 2 minutes. If you have a regular home iron, it may take longer.