Liège Waffles 列日窩夫

Liège waffles are my favorite waffle type recently as I like the crispy shell and the soft and slightly chewy center. The crunchy caramelized sugar and rich flavor make the waffles very tasty on its own without any extra topping. Unlike American waffles that are made with baking powder-leavened batter, these waffles are made with yeast raised, buttery brioche-based dough. I tried a few Liège waffle recipes available on the internet and let me share with you my afterthoughts. Feel free to jump right down to the recipe if you don’t like reading.
這陣子EC喜歡的窩夫種類為列日窩夫,EC喜歡其香脆的外層和軟熟帶點嚼勁的內層,濃郁的牛油味道再加上焦糖的香甜,不加任何配料經已很好吃了。烈日窩夫以發酵麵糰製成,配方與含大量牛油的布里歐修(Brioche)麵糰近似,跟以泡打粉作膨脹劑製成粉漿的傳統美式窩夫大有不同。過去EC研究過數個網上食譜,以下是綜合出來的小小心得,不愛閱讀的可略過直接跳進食譜部分便可。

Butter
I played with different types and states of butter (melted, softened, regular, cultured and European) and softened European butter is what I prefer most. European butter, despite its higher price, produced the most flavorful waffle because of its higher fat content. In terms of butter temperature, when I tried to incorporate melted butter into my dough, it often splashed out of my mixer bowl during mixing and created a big mess. It also seeped out of my dough during proofing at room temperature. It didn’t seem to affect the taste of the waffles but it just made the process super messy. If you look at the recipe below you will notice that there is a lot of butter in it. Yes it is a lot of butter. It is a brioche-type dough after all. I tried adding less butter but, to be honest, the waffles didn’t taste as delicious. If you are concerned about eating too much butter, decrease the amount of butter by 30% (I have provided a range in my recipe).
牛油
EC試用過不同種類和狀態的牛油(軟化和液態牛油,普通,發酵和歐式牛油),歐式牛油乳脂含量高,因此做出來的窩夫味道最好吃,然而其價錢比其他牛油較貴。牛油溫度方面,室溫軟化牛油則最好操作。EC曾試將溶化牛油分次拌進麵糰中,但發覺攪拌時牛油很容易從攪拌盆中濺出,使清潔非常麻煩。室溫發酵時麵糰亦出現滲油情況。雖然最終不影響窩夫味道,但是過程真的十分狼狽。其實細看食譜也許會覺得牛油量頗多,是的,這原來就是變化自飽含牛油的布里歐修麵糰嘛!EC也試過將牛油份量減少,但窩夫味道瞬間變得遜色。倘若不想吃下太多牛油的話,EC建議可嘗試用配方中七成牛油量,EC已將份量記在食譜中。

Method
There are recipes that involve chilling the dough overnight to create more depth of flavor and some other recipes that knead the dough in two stages that resemble the sponge mixing method. I just go for the straight dough method to knead the dough all at once and use the dough right after the first proof. The dough can be mixed by a mixer, bread machine, or even by hand. Mixing by hand would be the messiest due to the extensive use of butter so I won’t recommend it. Bread machine is pretty handy because of its non stick bread pan. However, make sure you do not use the proofing function of the bread machine to proof the dough. There is too much butter and the heat would just melt it, leaving you with a sloppy dough submerged in a pool of oil at the end of the cycle (yes I learned it the hard way). After learning this lesson, I would only patiently wait for my dough to rise in a cool room temperature. No matter what appliance is used, stop mixing as long as all butter is incorporated and a sticky dough has just started to develop. It is not necessary to knead the dough until it forms a membrane as in bread making. Too much mixing will make the waffles too chewy.
做法
一些網上食譜的做法是把拌好的麵糰冷藏過夜低發讓其增添風味,另外也有些網上食譜要求像中種法般分兩次攪拌麵糰。EC的做法是簡單的直接法,麵糰發酵好後便立刻分割使用。麵糰可用廚師機,麵包機甚至用手親自揉搓,但配方牛油份量實在太多,麵糰又黏手,光靠雙手揉搓的話過程將會十分狼狽。麵包機內的麵包桶是不沾物料,因此製作上會相對地方便,但是要注意的是千萬不要使用麵包機的發酵功能!麵糰內含大量牛油,開啟發酵功能後溫暖的環境會令牛油溶化,發酵完畢後會變成好像浸泡在油中的一糰濕濕的麵糰,情況慘不忍睹!EC受到了教訓,現在只會乖乖的等待麵糰在室溫中發酵。 不論用任何方法也好,只要攪拌至牛油完全融入麵糰內便可停止操作,而不用像做麵包般將麵糰攪打至出現薄膜的階段。過度攪拌麵糰容易使窩夫口感變得過硬。

Pearl Sugar
What makes Liège waffles special is the addition of pearl sugar which caramelizes and make the exterior extra crisp. Belgian pearl sugar is made from beet sugar that is heavily compacted together to form sugar granules. Pearl sugar, because of its density, doesn’t melt easily under high heat during baking. Melted sugar forms a crispy thin crust atop the waffle and the granules that stay put add some crunch to the waffle. Pearl sugar is an essential ingredient for Liège waffles so cannot be omitted. It is not a common kitchen commodity in Toronto and I purchased it online. It is a bit pricey but since I am not adding much each time, I could divide a 1-lb bag into 8 to 9 uses. If pearl sugar is unavailable, I have seen some recipes that use crushed sugar cubes as substitute. I have never tried this method personally. But since pearl sugar has a much higher melting point than regular sugar cubes, I would expect a difference in terms of the waffle texture.
珍珠糖
珍珠糖是烈日窩夫的秘密材料,它在窩夫機內焦糖化後會形成脆脆的糖衣外層,香香甜甜的十分好吃。比利時珍珠糖是由甜菜提煉和壓制而成的結晶糖,因密度高因此熔點比一般砂糖高,在烘烤過程中不易完全融化。融化的部分會在窩夫表面形成薄薄糖衣,未融化的糖粒則為窩夫增添鬆脆口感。珍珠糖是烈日窩夫的特色,因此不能不加,這種糖在多倫多並不常見,EC是在網上購買的,價格不便宜。由於怕甜每次只加少量,一包一磅裝的珍珠糖大約可用8-9次。倘若真的找不到珍珠糖的話,EC曾看見有些食譜以壓碎的方糖代替之。EC未試過此法,但因為珍珠糖和方糖的熔點不同,因此若以壓碎方糖粒取替珍珠糖做烈日窩夫,在口感上兩者理應不會相似。

Waffle Makers
Waffle makers come in different brands and functions so the heating process would more be like a trial and error. The goal is to find the correct temperature setting and time to cook the dough thoroughly and to caramelize the sugar without burning it. When I made Liège waffles the first time I set the browning to medium. My waffle came out golden brown but when I took a bit into it, the center was still uncooked. So begin with a lower temperature and increase gradually to find the ideal setting. I also tried with my older Belgian waffle maker which had deeper pockets. It made waffles extra fluffy but the down side was that the temperature was not adjustable and my Liège waffle was burnt within 3 to 4 minutes. To fix that, I unplugged the waffle maker after two minutes and let the residual heat carry on the cooking. It was bothersome (and foolish) to put the plug on and off; however, to cope with waffle maker that doesn’t come with adjustable temperature, this is the only solution that I could think of so far.
窩夫機
不同牌子和型號的窩夫機在功能上有别, 因此初次烘窩夫時也許要做幾次實驗才能掌握到準確溫度和時間。溫度要足以將麵糰徹底烘熟和令珍珠糖焦糖化,但同時又不能將其烤焦。 EC第一次烘列日窩夫時使用窩夫機的中段溫度設定,烘好的窩夫外表金黄,但咬下去之後才發覺中央仍是未熟透的!因此EC建議初試時可使用低一點的溫度做實驗,然後才逐漸將溫度調高。EC另外有一個較舊款的比利時窩夫機,坑紋比新的更深,烘出的窩夫份外鬆脆,只是機身不能調節溫度。用此機做烈日窩夫時因為鐵板溫度非常高,麵糰不消三,四分鐘便烤焦了。後來EC想到在兩分鐘之後關掉電源然後用餘溫繼續把麵糰烤熟和焦糖化。這樣把插頭又插上又拔掉的方法極其麻煩(和愚笨),可是對於不能調節溫度的窩夫機來說,這是EC暫時想到唯一的解決方法。

If you have any more tips and trick be sure to leave a comment below!
若有任何心得或問題歡迎留言!


Liège Waffles
列日窩夫

Makes 6
6個份量

Ingredients

230 g bread flour
15 g granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
100 g milk, lukewarm
1 large egg
10 g honey
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
70 to 100 g unsalted European-style butter, softened
60 g pearl sugar
Notes: The eggs I use are 50 to 55 g each without shells

材料

高筋麵粉 230克
細砂糖(EC用有機蔗糖) 15克
鹽 1/4茶匙
活性乾酵母 1-1/4茶匙
牛奶(微暖) 100克
大蛋 1個
蜜糖 10克
雲呢拿醬或純雲呢拿香油 1/2茶匙
無鹽歐式牛油 (室溫放軟) 70至100克
珍珠糖 60克
註:EC用的大蛋每隻淨重約50-55克

Directions 做法

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add milk, egg, honey, and vanilla. Attach the dough hook and knead on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. (Note: according to King Arthur Flour, it is no longer necessary to dissolve active dry yeast in warm water before using due to the much gentler modern manufacturing process).
攪拌盆中先加入麵粉,糖,鹽和酵母拌勻,之後加入牛奶,蛋,蜜糖和雲呢拿醬,裝上麵糰勾後以低速把所有材料攪拌成糰(註:King Arthur Flour提及由於現代生產酵母技術已更溫和,因此活性乾酵母現巳不需溶解活化已可直接使用)。

Gradually mix in the softened butter at medium-low speed in 4 to 5 additions while scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Mixing is done when all butter is incorporated (it took about 10 minutes with my stand mixer). The dough will be soft and very sticky.
分四至五次加入軟化牛油,繼續以中慢速攪拌把牛油逐漸揉進麵糰中,中途不時停機用膠刮將黏在盆邊的麵糰刮下,當牛油完全融入麵糰後即可停止操作,EC用廚師機大約攪拌了十分鐘,麵糰此時十分柔軟和黏手。

Scrape sides bowl clean with a spatula then cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours for me during the winter time.
用膠刮清理盆邊,蓋上保鮮紙讓麵糰室溫發酵至兩倍大,冬天約需兩小時。

Add pearl sugar and mix with a spatula until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
加入珍珠糖,用膠刮攪拌均勻。

Divide the dough roughly into 6 portions. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
把麵糰大約分成6份,以保鮮紙蓋好休息15分鐘。

Preheat waffle maker for 5 minutes or follow the manual to preheat until the indicator light turns green. Open the lid, brush the plates with a thin layer of oil then place a dough in the middle. Close lid and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. My waffle maker has 5 browning settings and I set mine to the second lightest. You will need to do a test batch to determine the temperature setting and cooking time for your own waffle maker. Find the setting that will caramelize the sugar without burning it.
預熱窩夫機5分鐘(或按照說明書預熱至綠燈亮起),打開窩夫機掃上一層薄油後把麵糰放在中央,關蓋後烘約 4-5分鐘或直至窩夫表面金黃色,EC的窩夫機有5段烘烤控制,EC用第2段(1最淺色),因為窩夫機牌子和設定有別,要試做幾次才可找出適合溫度和時間,溫度要足夠使糖焦糖化但不能把窩夫烤焦。

Remove waffle with a fork or a pair of tongs and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining portions. Serve waffles warm or at room temperature. Waffles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for one day and in the refrigerator for two to three days. To serve, reheat in the toaster oven using the toast setting.
打開窩夫機用叉或夾子取出烘好的窩夫,放在冷卻架放涼,繼續烘餘下麵糰,窩夫暖吃或室溫吃皆可,窩夫可放在密封盒室溫保存一天或放雪櫃保存兩至三天,食用前放在焗爐內以烘多士的模式烘暖後便可享用。

Here are the smaller ones I made for my kids as snack. I divided the dough into 12 portions instead of 6.
這些是EC做給孩子們吃的小窩夫,麵糰共分成12份(正常是6份)。

I added extra pearl sugar atop the dough. Melted pearl sugar formed a shiny thin crust (you will need to look closely) and the white patches were the unmelted sugar granules that add crunchiness.
EC在麵糰上額外灑了珍珠糖,糖融化後會在窩夫表面形成薄薄糖衣(窩夫表面反光的地方),而表面的白點則是未融化的糖粒,能為窩夫增添鬆脆口感。

European butter (right) is richer than regular butter (left) and makes more flavorful waffles.
歐式牛油(右)比普通牛油(左)味道更豐富,可做出更美味的窩夫。

For bread machine, add butter after a shaggy dough is formed and knead until the dough just starts to ball up in the middle. Unplug the machine and let the dough rest inside at room temperature until doubled in size. Do not use the proofing function as the butter would melt.
用麵包機攪拌麵糰時只需攪拌材料至成糰便可加入牛油,拌至剛成糰後便可停機讓麵糰留在機內室溫發酵至兩倍大,切勿使用發酵功能,否則牛油會融化。

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