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Copy Cat Waffle Love Liege Waffles

I am often asked for the recipe I use for liege waffles, so here it is!  I started making these babies years ago when I realized I was spending waaaaaaaaaaaay too much money at the Waffle Love food truck.  It became a tradition for me in my old neighborhood to make them once a week and deliver fully loaded with Nutella, strawberries and cream to some of my sweet neighbors who I thought could use a pick me up, so I have made a LOT of these.  I have tried many different recipes and techniques, but ultimately this is the way I have found to be the easiest with the best result!  

A liege waffle is made from a yeasted dough rather than a batter, so it requires some prep ahead of time, but it is TOTALLY worth it.  What I love about the liege waffle is how beautifully chewy it is with just the right amount of crunch from the caramelized Belgian pearl sugar.  Top it with your favorite spread, fresh fruit and whipped heavy cream and you will be in waffle heaven!  (This is also my very favorite waffle to make chicken and waffles with - we spread a little butter and maple syrup on the waffle, top with crispy chicken strips, then drizzle hot honey over the whole thing - absolutely divine.)  

This recipe makes 12, so I usually cook them all and freeze the remaining waffles plain with no toppings in a freezer bag.  Then I can just pull one or two out, defrost and toast them as we are ready to eat.

A couple of tips for this recipe:
  • You will see a listed rise time of 4-10 hours on this dough - I've read that the longer you leave it the better the flavor, but honestly we haven't been able to tell a huge difference between 4 hours and 10 hours.  However, 10 is what I do if I want to make the dough before bed and leave it covered in the microwave till morning.
  • It's super fun to do a topping bar for this treat - Nutella, Biscoff, Bananas, Berries, Syrup, Whipped Cream - whatever your heart desires - then people can choose what they want on it and assemble it themselves! 
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 8oz pkg Belgian pearl sugar (NOT Swedish sugar)
  1. Heat the milk until warm enough for yeast to proof, (it's 1 min on high in my microwave.)  Add the water and the sugar then gently stir in the yeast.  Set that aside and allow the yeast to get nice and foamy, (about 3-5 minutes).  
  2. In a large mixing bowl, (I use my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment), beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add the egg, honey and vanilla.  Add the yeast mixture.  
  4. Switch to the dough hook and add 2 cups of flour.  Mix on low speed until the flour is thoroughly incorporated, then mix in the remaining 2 cups of flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 4-10 hours.
  5. When you are ready to make the waffles, punch down the dough then pour in the pearl sugar and knead it in with your hands.  
  6. Separate into 12 even sized balls and let rest for 30 minutes on a cutting board.  (During this time, slice up your fruit and get your toppings and cream ready.)
  7. Place one ball of dough at a time on your hot, greased waffle iron.  Cook until golden brown. (Keep a close eye on it as the sugar will burn if left too long or if you use too high of heat.)
  8. Serve with Biscoff or Nutella, fresh berries and/or bananas and heavy whipped cream.  (Or whatever you like really - they are good with butter and maple syrup, fried chicken and spicy honey, be creative!)
To make the whipped heavy cream:  Pour a pint of heavy whipping cream in your mixer.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, (you can adjust this to taste, but we don't like too much sweetness in the cream as you get lots in the waffle itself as well as the other toppings), and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Whisk until nice and thick.  (The longer you beat it, the thicker it gets.)  Enjoy being the hero!!

Here are some pics at various stages if it helps!

The waffle dough after mixing, before the rise.

After the first rise.

With the sugar kneaded in.

Divided in to 12 portions

*Photos updated July, 2021


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