Belgian Waffle of Liège

Serving amount: 2 portions
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Leavening time: 4-12 hours
Cooking time: 5-8 minutes

The crunchy waffle recipe that is cooked between 2 iron plates, dates back to as early as the 13th century. However, the leavened Belgian waffle, or simply Gaufre in French and Wafel in Dutch, is a Flemish pastry innovation with a first historical record from the year 1751, then referred to as Gaufre à la Flamande. Today the soft waffle could be divided into 3 most common versions:

  • Gaufre de Bruxelles – the oldest version;
  • Gaufre de Liège – a more dense version from the 19th century that is based on a thicker batter;
  • Gaufre de merde (pardon my French) – modern pancakes with a resembles to Belgian waffle only in appearance, yet with little more to do with it.

After indulging on many vegan and gluten free Gaufre in the stand of Veganwaf’ during our short visit to Belgium, we decided to try and make our own tasty and healthy version of Gaufre de Liège.

Ingredients

Ingredients for the leavening dough

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Ingredients for decoration

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Preparation

  1. Pour all the ingredients for the leavening dough into a large bowl in the order indicated above, in order to give the yeast the optimal activation conditions.
  2. Wait for a couple of minutes while the yeast wakes up, i.e. when small bubbles emerge on the top.
  3. Mix the dough thoroughly until a homogeneous, soft and sticky batter is formed.
  4. Cover the dough with a matching lid or a sealed bag and let it rise at room temperature for 4 hours in summer (about 25°C) and up to 12 hours in winter (about 18°C). Alternatively, you could let the dough rise in a sealed box in the fridge for a couple of days for using it later.

At this point the dough should have doubled in size and have a really pleasant scent, with slightly pungent notes of sourdough.

    1. Warm up a designated waffle maker (3-5 minutes, until the indicator light changes).
    2. Oil the hot iron plates with a drizzle of oil. Use a silicon brush or a piece of paper to spread it over all the small grooves.
    3. Pour a few spoons of the batter (half of the dough if you made the above mentioned quantity) in the center and spread it symmetrically across the central part of the waffle maker plate. Leave at least a finger wide space at all of the edges.
  1. Press down firmly the top plate of the machine and make sure that it stays down. If it does not have a locking mechanism you’ll need to hold it down yourself by hand or with a heavy weight on it.
  2. Bake for about 5-8 minutes until the indicator light changes again. The Waffle is ready when it forms a good golden-brown crust and separates easily from the cooking irons of the waffle maker.
You can serve the Gaufre de Liège with your favorite toppings, but the first bite must be clean to feel its real taste.

To read more about the waffle tradition:

https://www.rtbf.be/article/gaufre-de-bruxelles-gaufre-de-liege-ce-nest-pas-la-meme-histoire-10912627

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