January 5, 2011

THERE IS NO BELGIUM, BUT THERE ARE WAFFLES:

Ask Aunt Judith: Belgian waffles depend on yeast (Aunt Judith: Wichita Falls Crave, 1/05/11, Times Record News)

The batter for authentic Belgian waffles is leavened with yeast rather than baking powder or soda. This helps create their characteristic crisp outside and moist, fluffy inside despite their thickness.

Although Belgian waffle recipes can be adapted to use baking powder or soda, the result is never quite the same.

This first recipe is from the King Arthur Flour test kitchens, made a little easier for modern cooks with instant yeast.

BELGIAN YEAST WAFFLES

Makes 5 7-inch waffles

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups milk

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter

2-3 tablespoons (1 3/8 to 2 ounces) maple syrup

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (8½ ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1½ teaspoons instant yeast

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the milk until it’s very hot. Place it in a large mixing bowl, big enough for the batter to double in size. Add butter, maple syrup, salt and vanilla. Stir until the butter melts and the mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

2. Add the eggs, flour and yeast, stirring to combine; it’s OK if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour; the mixture will begin to bubble.

3. You can cook the waffles at this point, or refrigerate the batter overnight to makes waffles the next day.

4. Preheat the waffle iron. Spray with nonstick vegetable oil spray, and pour 2/3 to ¾ cup batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer) onto the center of the iron. Close the lid and bake for the recommended amount of time, until the waffle is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200F oven. Serve with berries and whipped cream, if desired.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2011 7:04 AM
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