Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes total
Serves: makes 40-50 waffles
2.25 lbs. cake or all purpose flour
13 ounces warm milk
2.5 ounces FRESH yeast (not dry)
3 tsp salt
1 lb. melted unsalted butter
1/3 lb. regular sugar
1/3 lb. vanilla sugar*
1 lb. pearl sugar (1 lb. sugar cubes can be substituted)**
You will also need a decent belgian waffle iron (one with deep grooves), preferably one that makes square-edged waffles as opposed to round.
* Vanilla sugar can be hard to find. I found some at the local Williams Sonoma.
** Pearl sugar is very hard to find in the U.S. What I use instead are sugar cubes that have been broken into about quarters (pieces should be about the size of a pearl). It can be a pain to break up a pound of sugar cubes, but don't skip this ingredient. It is essential!
1. In a large bowl, sift the flour and combine with the salt.
2. Warm up the milk (not too hot) and stir in the fresh yeast.
3. Make a well in the flour and add the eggs and the milk/yeast mixture. Mix and knead well to form a relatively sticky dough. Cover and let it sit for about 30 minutes to rise.
4. After 30 minutes, add the melted the butter, regular sugar, and vanilla sugar to the bowl with the dough. Work it all into the dough (might still need to use your hands) until it is all combined. The dough will be very sticky, sort of like half-batter, half-bread dough in consistency.
5. Add the pearl sugar to the dough and combine well.
6. Heat up your waffle iron. If it has a dial for temperature setting, set it to medium. If it has no dial, you may need to turn it on and off occasionally to prevent the pearl sugar from burning before the waffle is done.
7.Form balls of dough about 2-3 tablespoons in size and place into the waffle iron and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown in color. You may need to clean the waffle iron of excess melted sugar every few batches.