3G, hubby and I went to Bruges (Brugge) in Belgium for a long weekend last month and had a fantastic time wandering around the old town, trying countless Belgian beers and recreating scenes from the movie “In Bruges” (without the guns, of course). We also experienced the joy that is the Liège waffle. Once in three days. The other two times we found ourselves served what the rest of the world calls Belgian waffles but the Belgians refer to as Brussels waffles. Batter based, not yeasted. No pearl sugar. Very sad.
After having my waffle-eyes opened that one time in that little cafe by the canal on that first day in that beautiful town, I was determined never to eat a toaster waffle again, so as soon as I got home I bought a proper Belgian waffle maker. So far, there have been sugary Liège waffles, batter based savoury corn waffles and these yeasted cheese and herb waffles. Super tasty with a crispy exterior, soft interior and just perfect with a salad of grilled veggies.
I see a lot more waffles in our future!
Makes 8 large or 12 medium
280g (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 x 7g sachet (2 1/4 tsp) instant dry yeast (see note)
12g (2 tsp) fine salt
2 tsp dried herbs (I used marjoram, thyme & oregano)
a pinch ground nutmeg
a few grinds black pepper
1 large egg
80ml (1/3 cup) lukewarm water
115g (1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
125g (4 1/2 oz or 1 lightly packed cup) grated provolone
Whisk together flour, yeast, salt, herbs and nutmeg in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add the egg and water and mix to combine.
Add the butter and knead in well.
Add the grated cheese and knead to combine.
Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour – it won’t rise much but will develop flavour.
Remove dough from fridge and bring to room temperature – could take an hour or so, depending on how long it was in the fridge.
Divide into 8 – 12 equal pieces and roll into balls, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, until they start to puff up.
Bake the waffles at your preferred heat setting until golden brown. I do mine for 5 minutes at medium-high.
Best served immediately, but you can keep them warm in an oven heated to 150°C (300°F).
Note: If you use active dry yeast instead of instant, activate until frothy in the water and add it to the mixture along with the egg.