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

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61.6 all-purpose flour

75.2 whole wheat pastry flour

4.4 dark rye flour

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44.1 egg (warm)

23.4 dark muscovado

4.2 Île de Ré salt

15 orange blossom honey

3 Mexican vanilla pods

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141.1 beurre d’Isigny @ ~60°F

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New Experiment #2

I mixed up some new dough this morning (photo below). Taking the recipe I put up yesterday, I removed 5g of water, then added 5g muscovado, 12g butter, and two more vanilla pods. I think that should help the waffle cook-up a little softer and slightly less-hyrdrated, while also having the “crumb” be a little more delicate on the tongue. The extra vanilla, too, should prove to be a flavorful addition that I hope will be just the right amount … decidedly present, while not overpowering at all.

Liege Waffle Dough

New Experiment #1

Ok, so I just got through the first cycle of revising the recipe. It’s pretty close to where I need it to be, but there’s some tinkering to do with ratios and cook time.

Here’s a very roughly written recipe of what I just did (a fully detailed one will be up, once I perfect everything)…

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In a stand mixer bowl, mix 80g organic all-purpose flour + 2.6g T-58 Safbrew ale yeast + 50g egg.  Add 100g mineral water at 110°F and blend.  Cover the preceding mix in a blanket of 73.6g organic all-purpose flour + 81.6g organic whole wheat pastry flour + 4.8g organic dark rye.  Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let stand 90 minutes at a room temperature of around 72°F.

Add 20g muscovado sugar, 4.5g fleur de sel, 15g orange blossom honey, and the seed contents of 1 Mexican vanilla pod.

Mix on speed #2 in a stand mixer, scraping every few minutes, for a period of about 10 minutes (until the dough is totally clung to the paddle/hook).

Then add 120g beurre d’Isigny (or comparable French butter), about 20g at-a-time, until the dough is satiny. With occasional scraping, this step takes about 7 minutes.

Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour and cover in plastic wrap. Let sit about 4 hours at around 72°F.

Refrigerate the dough, still in the bowl, for about 1 hour.  Then punch the dough down, scrape it onto a floured counter, press by-hand into a long rectangle, fold it over in thirds, and then wrap it plastic.  Put it in the fridge overnight.

When ready to make the waffles, use 110g of the dough + 30g Belgian pearl sugar, per waffle. Mix the dough and sugar by-hand, shape into football shapes (minus the pointy ends), and let rise on the counter, covered, about 90 minutes at about 72°F.

Cook each waffle 2mins and 10secs at 365°F.

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So the above is super tasty and about 100x more authentic than any other recipe I’ve found. After all, if these waffles were being done in the late 18th or early 19th century, the above ingredients get us VERY close to what chefs of the day would have had. Flour quality was poorer (hence the partial use of soft whole wheat and rye), only Mexican vanilla existed, milk was rarely if ever used in brioche, and bread yeast didn’t even exist as we know it now. True, stand mixers, plastic wrap and fridges may not have existed at all, but they make things much more consistent and don’t adversely affect the flavor/texture; if anything, they help it along.

Anyway, I want to use a good bit more vanilla, and I think the butter can be upped, while perhaps trimming back on the water a bit. Time will tell. Working on another batch this weekend.

 

Getting More Authentic

It’s been a few years since I posted the recipe. Since then, I’ve learned even more about our dear Liège waffle. A profound reworking of the recipe has been in order and is now underway.

I’m actually likely to maintain the current recipe page, as is, and create a secondary page that details the more in-depth version. It’s so exceedingly specific that I doubt many will want to take a pass at it + I’ll only be publishing the metric version, making it even less appetizing to casual bakers.

Some key changes will be the switch from baker’s yeast to ale yeast, eliminating bread flour in favor of a historically accurate blend of flours (meant to emulate late 18th / early 19th century French/Belgian flour), eliminating milk (in favor of only water or a blend of water and cream), using Mexican vanilla beans, and a host of other small edits to the process.

The aim will be to match, as closely as possible, the ingredients of the early 19th century French bakers who likely developed the recipe. Yes, yes, the legend has been that the chef to the Prince Bishop of Liège developed the recipe in the late 18th century, but as I plan to explain, our favorite waffle not only was unlikely to have been possible in the 18th century … but there’s far more evidence to back the idea of non-Brabant/Belgian French origins than most know.

Stay tuned over the coming month or two.

 

My Other Waffle Passion

I have yet to fully gear-up and add a lot more content to my Liege waffle blog here. The reason? I’m very actively maintaining a blog devoted to my other waffle passion . . . the pumpkin waffle. Check out the Ultimate Pumpkin Waffles Recipe. I’ve spent the last 2 years working on the recipe, and after about 80 batches, it’s amazingly delicious. Now I’m even working on a second incarnation of it with a completely different texture profile.