12-15 Depending on the size of the waffle maker
If you’ve ever been in Belgium, there will surely be one thing you must have noticed: their love of good food! Being Belgian myself I grew up with the best fries, waffles and chocolates to name a few, but I must admit I had never attempted to make waffles myself, never even had a waffle iron/maker! But I finally got one and I just couldn’t wait to make my very first Belgian waffle here in Ireland! I was a bit worried about the result at first, since I had never made it and there’s no family recipe for it either so I just chanced it and learned as much as I could from Belgian pro’s who had made it before and shared their knowledge. But they turned out absolutely perfect! Crispy on the outside but so soft and light on the inside.
What may shock you about this recipe is that there’s no sugar inside these waffles, apart from a tiny bit of vanilla sugar. That is because you’re meant to add the sweetness on top of it. I always go for some powdered sugar myself but you can go crazy and add berries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce if you’d like. If you’d rather have more sugar on the inside you can add some to the recipe, but then you’re of course not really making a traditional Belgian waffle anymore.
Now in Belgium we don’t actually call these Belgian waffles, we refer to them as Brussels waffles (and we also have Liège waffle). These waffles have been around for centuries, but have changed a bit over the years. They were first made in the Middle Ages, and were sold as crispy unleavened and rich cakes outside churches. Back then they were made out of a mix of barley and oats, of which there was much available to the public. They also used waffle irons, which were two metal plates connected by a hinge and an arm attached to a wooden handle. They then put that iron over a fire, and flipped it like a pancake to cook the waffles on both sides. Many historical articles say that eating waffles was so popular, that King Charles IX of France ruled that waffle vendors had to set up their stalls at least 4 meters away from each other as there were just so many of them.
As I said, the recipe changed over the years and nowadays it’s made with flour and yeast, although more people use baking powder rather than yeast. Some recipes also use normal flour but I used self-raising flour as this combined with the yeast will make the waffles airy and light. I also used dry yeast instead of fresh yeast, for the very simple reason that it’s very hard to find this here in Ireland. The waffles are very easy to make, but you do need a bit of preparation as the dough needs to rest for an hour and a half.
|450g self-raising flour|
|300ml hot water (not boiling)|
|300ml milk (full-fat)|
|3 large eggs|
|8g fast-action dried yeast This is the yeast that requires mixing with water, there is also a type that doesn't need water|
|9g vanilla sugar If you cannot find sugar, you can replace it with a few drops of vanilla essence, about 1-2 tbsp depending on how strong it tastes|