Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre Liège Recette :: Metric

Authentic Liège waffles are one of life’s great indulgences — caramelized sugar glistening on a tender, buttery, vanilla-laden joy for the senses. Unfortunately, the “original recipe” has been long lost, and virtually all contemporary recipes use ingredients with little connection to what 19th-century bakers would have employed. Even most restaurants and chains that now sell the Liège waffle have taken it far afield from its early roots.

The recipe that follows isn’t an adaptation of any other. It’s a reconstruction based largely on 18th and 19th-century brioche — which indisputably forms the basis of the Liège waffle. The flour/butter/egg ratios mirror those of Louis Eustache Ude, former chef to Louis XVI, and ingredient choice is rooted in hundreds of years of waffle traditions. And while the full effect of those is best felt in my advanced professional metric version, the recipe below is a simplified take that has their spirit fully in mind. The intent of both recipes is to get as close to how these were originally made and, arguably, should still be made. However, modern techniques and equipment are used.

Before you dig into the recipe, please know that a big part of what makes these waffles special is pearl sugar. There’s no good substitute, but The Waffle Pantry offers the real deal (straight from Belgium) at reasonable prices. And for those of you who don’t want to mix your own batter but who do want commercial quantities of the dough, ready to bake, check out The Belgian Kitchen. Unlike most other producers, they use butter (not margarine), real vanilla and authentic pearl sugar. Having tasted them first-hand, I can assure you they’re a fine pre-made option.

Authentic Liège Waffle

In developing this recipe, I clawed my way back through time to find out how brioche and brioche-based desserts would have been made and, in fact, how waffles even came to be. It’s been a years-long effort that’s led me to purchase several professional irons, find the first use of the word waffle in the English language (currently in review by Merriam-Webster and the Oxford-English Dictionary), effectively refute the “Prince-Bishop of Liège” legend behind these waffles, rewrite the entire Wikipedia history of waffles, begin a waffle history book, and to disprove the two most popular narratives for the invention of the Brussels waffle. Sometimes I feel like I’ve become a waffle, but I digress…

What I discovered is that the bread flour, milk, and obscene amount of yeast you usually see for Liège recipes would have never been used. Never. Literally, if you see a recipe that calls for bread flour, milk or more than a ½ teaspoon of yeast per cup of flour, it still might produce a waffle, but it won’t be a Liège waffle.

Technically, pastry flour, fresh Mexican vanilla beans, and ale yeast would have been in the mix of the originals. But I realize most people don’t want to go to that extreme or that expense in baking these, so this version of the recipe keeps it much more sane.

Liège Waffle Dough with Pearl Sugar

And yes, there are 10 steps in what follows, but they’re all pretty simple. Seriously. As long as you have a stand mixer, prepping the dough is a snap. Yet it’s also a 2-day process. So I often start my Day 1 mix at 2 in the afternoon and finish it up at 10 at night. The dough is all ready to bake the next day.

Now start mixing, and enjoy!

Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre de Liège Recette


By Adam Wayda | Published: February 4, 2016

Prep time: 12 hours | Cook time: 2 minutes | Total time: 12 hours 02 mins

This is an excellent Liège waffle recipe that will get you closer to the 19th-century style than all others but my advanced version. | Yield: 6

INGREDIENTS
2.3g of instant yeast
50g of warm water at 41°C-43°C
200g of all-purpose flour
100g egg (from 2 eggs warmed for several minutes in hot tap water)
28g of light brown sugar
3.8g of salt
10ml of vanilla extract
14.0g of honey
150g of butter (slightly cooler than room temperature)
135g of pearl sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow it to stand for several minutes. Then add 80g of your flour and 50g of egg. Mix to blend.

2. Cover the mixture with the remaining flour, but do not stir. Then cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and let it stand for 60 minutes

3. Add the additional 50g of egg, together with the light brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and honey.

4. 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.

5. Begin adding the butter, ~15g at a time, over the next 5-7 minutes, scraping the bowl every couple minutes.

6. 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.

7. Scrape the dough into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours. Then put it into the refrigerator to rest overnight.

8. The next day, take the bowl of cold dough straight from the fridge and add all of the pearl sugar. 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 6 pieces of equal size.

9. 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.

10. If you have a professional waffle iron (meaning: it’s cast iron and weighs over 15kg pounds) cook at exactly 179°C-182°C for approximately 2 minutes. If you have a regular home iron, it may take 4 minutes or longer.

21 thoughts on “Liege Waffle Recipe / Gaufre Liège Recette :: Metric

  1. Great recipe – this worked very well and tasted great. I used fresh year (just triple the dry weight). Also, I used 20% more flour and 20% less butter.
    NB: You must use pearl sugar for the best result. It can be a little harder to find but is worth the effort.

  2. I’m a little confused… In the tab for your other recipe (with the Imperial measurements), you state, “if you see a recipe that calls for bread flour, milk or more than a ½ teaspoon of yeast per cup of flour, it still might produce a waffle, but it won’t be a Liège waffle.” And yet here you are with a recipe that contains 2 of the 3.

    • That was just because I updated the first recipe just this last weekend, and I had not had time to edit the metric one. It’s now updated.

  3. Thank you for the yummy recipe. Just one little question. How long is overnight when it comes to your recipe? I finished the pre freg_rest dough in the morning and left it in the fridge around 11 hours before the final 90 minutes. I smelled alcohol. Is this expected?
    I still endup with yummy waffles with a bit sour and fermentation after taste.
    Again thank you for the recipe. This is far the best I came across.

    • By overnight, I meant about 8 hours. You can leave it in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. The alcohol smell was from too much yeast in the previous version of the recipe. The new recipe above cuts that in half.

  4. This is sooooo delicious. Thanks for your effort in typing the recipe. I was looking for this recipe for years. Although it’s very complicated and long procedures but it was awesome after all. I skipped the overnight thing, but divide the dough two parts, one will have the overnight thing. Today’s one was great, hopefully tomorrow’s will be better

  5. bonjour
    votre recette ressemble a la mienne mais moi j’utilise uniquement l’eau car le lait c bien pour le fondant mais ca alourdit la gaufre.pour les oeufs j’utilise uniquement jaune et le beurre bcp plus que toi environ 175g.
    mon souci est que quand ma gaufre refroidit la texture interieur n’est plus humide,elle est sec

    • J’ai modifié la recette après votre message ici . Il utilise maintenant seulement de l’eau, parce que c’est l’approche la plus authentique. Mais j’utilise l’œuf entier. Seuls les jaunes auraient pas été traditionnel. Le beurre est maintenant 75 % du poids de la farine.

  6. hello je voudrais savoir si la mie de votre gaufre reste toujours humide ou seche une fois que la gaufre refroidie

  7. Thank you for the recipe, this was a great success🙂 I was a bit impatient and did not refrigerate overnight but it worked fine. I used my toastie machine (morphy richards uk) with its waffle plates and 4 minutes was the optimum baking time. Archived for future use!

  8. Thank you for this recipe. I made these waffles, following the recipe in detail. This is the first time in my life I realy enjoyed “Gaufres de Liege” (I am 61 springs young and am Belgian native). Never in Belgium I have tasted such good Liege Waffles. Again,thank you.

  9. bonsoir
    votre gaufre est elle legere une fois cuite.
    si je dois faire beaucoup de paton ,je peux utiliser un autre systeme pour ajouter le sucre perlé car je pense tres compliqué si je dois faire beaucoup.

  10. I know this post is a few months old … but I was wondering if anyone knew if this recipe scales well? Meaning if I double the ingredients or even quadruple them. I want to make these for a party but only have one large bosch mixer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  11. slt
    cette recette est elle commerciale?
    le résultat est il comme belgaufra?
    je trouve comme meme que le procédé de fabrication est un peu trop compliqué surtout la pousse qui dure trop longtemps.
    bravo

    • Non, la recette n’est pas exactement commericiale, mais le resultat est absolutement mieux que Belguafre. Je trouve que les gaufres de Belgaufre sont terrible.

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