Vanilla Chai Liège Waffles

Named after the Belgian city they hail from, these Vanilla Chai W have all the rich qualities of the enriched and yeasted Belgian  but with two delicious differences: Belgian pearl sugar and a warming blend of spices. In the  iron, the pockets of pearl sugar caramelize into crunchy hot spots that add crisp texture and notes of toffee.

  • 4 to 4¼ cups (500 to 531 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cardamom
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1 cup (208 grams) Belgian pearl sugar*
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 3 cups (375 grams) flour, brown sugar, yeast, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, ginger, white pepper, and allspice at low speed until combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and milk over medium heat until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm butter mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed until combined. Beat in vanilla bean paste. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined after each addition; scrape sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 1 cup (125 grams) flour, beating just until combined; scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Place an ovenproof wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and press in a 10-inch circle. Place pearl sugar into center; gently fold dough in half, and knead until sugar is well incorporated, 5 to 6 times. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 105 grams each). Gently shape into smooth balls, pinching any seams to seal. (Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.)
  7. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spray with baking spray with flour.
  8. Place 1 dough ball in center of waffle iron; cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. (See Note.) Carefully transfer waffle to prepared rack, and keep warm in oven until ready to serve. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Serve immediately.




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