The Brussels waffle is one of many types of Belgian waffles. However, as it is the best-known internationally from all types, it is most commonly called Belgian Waffle. Contrary to what its name leads to believe, the Brussels waffle doesn't originate from Brussels at all. They were invented in Ghent in 1839.
The Brussels waffle is characterised by its large rectangular shape and has 20 deep pockets. The waffle is very light due to the yeast in the recipe and is crispy in texture. They are not very sweet so the waffles are normally served with a variety of toppings. These waffles must be eaten warm.
The recipe below is a traditional recipe to make Brussels waffles with yeast. It is possible to omit the yeast and to use selfraising flour instead of plain flour.
For this recipe you will need:
- wooden spoon or spatula
- 2 large bowls
- 1 small bowl
- measuring jug
- a waffle iron for Brussels Waffles
A typical waffle iron for Brussels waffles is shown in the picture on the right. The iron is characterised by its large rectangular molds and will provide the typical shape of Brussels waffles. It is uncommon for this type of waffle to be made in Belgian households. Instead, it is often eaten in restaurants or bought from a street vendor. As such, this type of waffle iron is usually sold to commercial establishments and may be quite expensive. A standard waffle iron may be used instead but waffles will be much smaller and will not have their distinctive shape.
Makes about 40 waffles
All ingredients must be at room temperature!
- 1 kg of plain flour
- 50 g fresh yeast
- 250 g soft butter (not molten)
- 1/2 litre milk
- 1/2 litre water + 1/4 litre lukewarm water
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence or 2 packets vanilla sugar
- 1 tsp salt (not heaped)
- 6 tbsp sugar (not heaped)
- 1 shot brandy (optional)
- Sift the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and butter and use your hands to mix well.
- Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolks into the well. (Place the egg yolks into a large bowl when separating the eggs).
- Place 1/4 litre lukewarm water into a small bowl and add the yeast. Stir until fully dissolved.
- Add the yeast mixture into the well and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the 1/2 litre milk and 1/2 litre water until lukewarm and mix slowly into the mixture.
- Beat the egg whites till very stiff and fold into the mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Cover the dough with a towel and leave to rest in a warm and draft free place for 30 minutes.
- Add the salt and brandy (optional) and mix the dough well.
- Cover the bowl again with the towel and let the mixture rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Heat the waffle iron and add some of the dough. It may take a few goes to determine the required amount of dough per waffle. Bake the waffles. In a Brussels waffle iron, they will take about 4 minutes to bake. Do NOT stir the dough while baking the waffles!
- Waffles can be kept warm in the oven until ready to serve however do not place waffles on top of each other as this will make them go less crispy.
It's the toppings that make these waffles delicious and scrumptious. Options are endless.
Why not try any of the following toppings:
- dusting of icing sugar
- whipped cream and fresh fruit
- ice cream and whipped cream
- chocolate spread or sauce
- whipped cream and strawberries
- whipped cream topped with glace cherries, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate or fruit sauce
- ice cream, bananas, whipped cream and chocolate sauce
- cherry jam heated with a dash of cherry liquor for a more adult version