I have an amazing neighbor from Belgium. She is absolutely darling, and is an amazing cook! I went and visited her the other day and she had just made a batch of waffles. She gave me one, and I swear I went into my own little Dreamland that was made of the most delicious things you could ever imagine. I was running through fields of candy, cakes, and cookies. When I finally came back to reality, I asked her if she would teach me how to make them. She was so excited, and more than happy to teach me. So I spent a day with her and watched her create this amazing masterpiece. I asked her if she would allow me to post the recipe on my blog, and SHE was flattered! I told her that I'm the one that will be eternally grateful.
The other day in the mail my "Belgium Pearl Sugar" came from Amazon, and I was so excited to think that I got to make my own waffles. I was a little nervous about screwing it up, but she told me she would run over if I had any questions. I've always been pretty good with yeast recipes, but I had her number on speed dial just in case. After about 2 hours of preparing the dough I was finally able to cook them. I'm happy to say that they turned out amazing! Now all I need is for one of my friends to get pregnant, or married, so I can throw a Waffle Bar shower! Trust me, once you try these you're never going to go back to regular waffles.
(I also wanted to let you know that I am making these in Utah, where it's cold, so the yeast directions should be adjusted to where you live. If you live in a warm climate it will take a shorter amount of time, by about 30 minutes)
6 Tbs. Warm Whole Milk (no more than 110 degrees)
2 tsp. Dry Active Yeast
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Bread Flour (yes, it really has to be BREAD FLOUR)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (You can substitute extract, but the paste is amazing and if you don't have it, GET SOME! order on Amazon)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2 C. (1 Cube) Butter, slightly more cool than room temp. cut into chunks
1/2 C. Belgium Pearl Sugar (you can purchase on Amazon)
Warm up your Milk, and sugar until completely dissolved. Making sure that the milk is no hotter than 110 degrees (I just make mine a little bit warmer than bath water), stir in the yeast. Set in a warm room and let Bloom (about 10 min.)
While the yeast is blooming, mix together flour, cinnamon, and salt. When they yeast has bloomed, mix into the flour mixture. Mix until it's just combined. Add the vanilla bean paste, egg, and egg yolk. Mix on medium speed until just combined and no more. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm room for about 1 hour (30 min. in warmer climate).
When the dough has had time to rise, put back on the mixer and slowly mix in the chunks of butter 1 at a time. You don't want the butter to melt which is why you want it chilled. You want chunks of butter throughout your dough.
When your butter is mixed in, place dough on a cutting board and knead in the pearl sugar until well combined. Cut into 12 small balls, and space out on cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a small room to rise for 30-45 min. (45 if you want it more chewy, and 30 if you want more dense.)
Heat your waffle iron to medium-hight heat. Spray with cooking spray and place the dough in the center of the iron. Cook until the outside is golden brown, and the sugar has crystalized the outside. Serve hot with any toppings you like. This recipe will make about 12.
If you are making a waffle bar, serve with whipped cream, strawberries, melted chocolate, syrup, any fruit you would like, and cream. Enjoy!