When you think of Belgian waffles these days, you might imagine a very tall, crispy, deep-pocketed round waffle brought to you covered in strawberries and whipped cream from your favorite breakfast place. In truth, traditional Belgian waffles have nothing to do with tall sides and deep waffle-y pockets. The mark of an honest-to-goodness, traditional Belgian waffle is not in the special pan or fancy toppings, it’s in the fermentation. That’s right. Real Belgian waffles are a fermented food.
Belgian waffles were introduced to Americans at the 1964 Worlds Fair by Maurice Vermersch from Brussels, Belgium. Because Vermersch assumed Americans wouldn’t know that Brussels was the capital of Belgium, and might just be confused by the specific name, he changed the name of the traditional Belgian street food “Brussels Waffles.” True Brussels waffles are a yeasted waffle, dating back to at least the 1840s.
They can be made by starting a yeasted batter overnight with traditional baking yeast, or by adding a few tablespoons of sourdough starter to the batter instead of the yeast.
To serve, the sky’s the limit for your creativity. Traditional Brussels waffles were always made square and were either served with powdered sugar or occasionally topped with whipped cream. Yogurt and almond butter help to round out the meal and increase the protein content for the health-conscious who want to avoid morning blood sugar spikes. Fresh preserves, such as strawberry or cherry jam complement the crunchy waffle exterior and bring the sweet-tart pleasure of fruit into the meal. Feel free to also try butter and maple syrup if you just want to keep it simple.
What is Sourdough?
Before indulging in the delectable world of Sourdough Belgian waffles, it's essential to grasp the essence of sourdough itself. Sourdough represents a time-honored natural fermentation technique, employing the wild forces of yeast and lactic acid bacteria to leaven not just bread but these wonderful waffles too. With a history spanning centuries, sourdough boasts a distinctive and irresistible tang that distinguishes it from the ordinary. This unique tanginess, born of a slow and natural fermentation process, is what lends Sourdough Belgian waffles their unparalleled character and makes them a standout in the realm of breakfast treats.
How to Make Sourdough Belgian Waffles
Sourdough Belgian Waffles are a delightful twist on the classic breakfast favorite. These waffles combine the best of two culinary worlds, blending the tangy goodness of sourdough with the crispy, golden perfection of Belgian waffles. The result is a breakfast treat that's both fluffy and slightly sour, with a unique depth of flavor that sets it apart. Let's go through the process of creating these mouthwatering waffles. Whether you're a seasoned sourdough enthusiast or a waffle lover looking to try something new, Sourdough Belgian Waffles are a breakfast revelation that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 C warm milk, divided
- 3/4 C butter, unsalted, melted and cooled
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 c flour
- 3 eggs, separated
- Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm milk (100-105 degrees F). Allow at least five minutes for the yeast to fully activate and dissolve.
- Whisk in the melted butter, ensuring the butter has cooled so that the yeast isn’t killed by high temperatures.
- Whisk in sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Slowly whisk in flour, one cup at a time, alternating with the remaining 2-1/2 cups of warm milk. At this point, all the ingredients should be incorporated into the dough except the separated egg whites and yolks.
- Leave the batter on the counter overnight, loosely covered by plastic wrap.
- In the morning, whisk in the egg yolks, using the whisk to deflate the batter and fully incorporate the yolks.
- Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and then gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes before beginning to cook the waffles.
- Cook as you normally would in a standard waffle maker, and enjoy with your favorite toppings. Try dusting with powdered sugar, or better yet, top with a tasty ferment such as yogurt or creme fraiche.
Health Benefits of Sourdough Belgian Waffles
Delve into the world of Sourdough waffles, and you'll discover that their appeal extends beyond their unique flavor; they also pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. Let's shed light on these advantages, giving you even more reasons to relish this delightful treat.
First and foremost, improved digestibility stands as a cornerstone of the health benefits associated with sourdough waffles. Thanks to the fermentation process, complex starches and gluten are broken down, rendering these waffles significantly gentler on the digestive system.
Furthermore, the allure of sourdough waffles lies in their nutrient-boosting prowess. The fermentation process doesn't just improve digestibility; it also enhances the availability of essential nutrients, transforming these waffles into a wholesome and nutritious choice for your breakfast table. So, when you savor a stack of Sourdough Belgian waffles, you're not only indulging your taste buds but also nurturing your well-being.
For More- The Benefits of Sourdough
Sourdough Belgian Waffles are a delectable fusion of flavors and textures that elevate your breakfast experience to a whole new level. The marriage of sourdough's distinctive tang with the indulgent crispiness of Belgian waffles creates a culinary masterpiece that's bound to become a household favorite. Whether you're enjoying them with classic toppings or experimenting with your own creative combinations, these waffles are a testament to the culinary wonders of sourdough.
By infusing your breakfast with the magic of natural fermentation, you're not only treating your taste buds but also nourishing your body with the wholesome benefits of sourdough. So, roll up your sleeves, get that waffle iron ready, and savor the delightful goodness of Sourdough Belgian Waffles.
Yes, you'll need an active sourdough starter to create these waffles. The starter not only imparts its distinct flavor but also contributes to the waffles' texture.
The fermentation time can vary, but letting the batter sit for at least 8-12 hours (overnight) is ideal. This allows the sourdough starter to work its magic.
Absolutely! Mixing the batter the night before and refrigerating it will save you time in the morning. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before cooking.
These waffles are versatile and can be topped with a variety of choices, such as fresh berries, maple syrup, whipped cream, or even a dollop of Greek yogurt.