Belgian Yeasted Waffles

Waffles for breakfast are a weekend family favourite here. The current fave is based on King Arthur Flour's Belgian-Style Yeasted Waffles after a challenge by my friend and fellow blogger, Virginia.  She wanted me to find a recipe comparable to the one her Belgian father-in-law makes. 

 I just love the flavour that yeast gives waffles, but found it hard to say what made them so good. Until today. Via Foodgawker I found Gourmantine's Blog post about yeast pancakes and she described them as a "perfect marriage between a pancake and a donut". Exactly! Ditto for waffles.

Belgian waffles are often leavened with yeast instead of baking powder. Most of the recipes I've seen separate the eggs and beat the whites. It's too early in the day for that much work! This recipe is easy, easy. It does take 30-60 minutes to rise but it can be mixed up and refrigerated overnight. If you do want to hurry it along, you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and reduce the rising time to 30 minutes. I reduced the butter in King Arthur's recipe from 6 tablespoons to 4 with no problems and I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. I substituted golden syrup and sugar for the maple syrup - both worked well. I save the maple syrup for serving! I also streamlined the process to use just one mixing bowl.

Belgian Yeasted Waffles (click for printable)

1 ½ cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons golden syrup, maple syrup or sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder (optional - for 30 minute rise)

Measure the milk in a large (8 cup) glass measure and add the cut-up butter. Microwave the milk and butter at 60% power for 2-3 minutes until the butter starts to melt and the milk is lukewarm. Remember, too chilly is always okay but too hot will kill the yeast. Think baby bottle warm. The exact time and setting will depend on your microwave.

Add the syrup or sugar, eggs, yeast and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. I use King Arthur Flour's dough whisk but an ordinary whisk or wooden spoon works too. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder (if using). Stir it all up but it might be a bit lumpy and that's fine.

Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes. For a 30 minute rise, add the baking powder. The batter can be prepared the night before and refrigerated. It will double in size.

Heat up your waffle maker. Spray with non-stick spray and fill the waffle spots with batter. A scooper with a bail is a great tool for this. 

Let cook until ready, usually when the waffle maker stops steaming. We have a Villaware waffle maker that chirps like a bird when the waffles are ready! Unfortunately, we purchased that one about 9 years ago and it doesn't seem to be available anymore. Repeat until all the waffle batter is used. Serve with whipped cream, berries and maple syrup.

These are good leftovers and reheat well.


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