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Belgian Waffles: Classic and with a Twist

May 22, 2011

You may have noticed that I don’t share many breakfast recipes here.  Aside from an attempt to recreate a memorable plate of huevos rancheros in Mexico (post here), my morning meal repertoire is quite narrow.  One reason is that I’m not big on breakfast.  My cups of tea get me through the morning most days.  It’s an unhealthy habit that I break only when a bike ride is on the agenda or when I’m on vacation.  In both cases, I always eat a big breakfast.  Toast or rice with eggs and bacon.

The other reason is that my husband has broken his fast with steel cut oats, apples and yogurt for as long as I’ve known him.  It’s one meal he can prepare in his sleep; in short, demand for variety during breakfast is low.  So on mornings when he gets up with a special request, I’m very happy to oblige.  Waffles were the order of the day.

By 6:30 am this morning, I was up preparing a batch of waffle batter and instead of the traditional buckwheat waffles I’ve always served, I went with a recipe for Belgian waffles.  A classic needs no improvement–egg whites whipped to soft peaks created a light, crispy waffle.  It was finished with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Served with a fried egg and fresh strawberries, my husband was very happy.

Notice the pocket of melted cheese?

But what about me?  Save for a bite or two, I normally skip waffles altogether.  This morning, however, inspiration struck when I spied a couple of slices of cooked bacon and some leftover cheese in the refrigerator.  I decided that a twist to the classic would be in store for me.

I threw in some chopped bacon and a mild French cow’s milk cheese to the batter for my waffle.  The result? A hint of saltiness beneath the light crunch of the waffle really spoke to my preference for savory breakfasts.  I still dusted mine with powdered sugar and of course, I did not skip the maple syrup.  The combination of salty bacon with the sweetness of the syrup hearkened back to the days when my sisters and I would crisp up slices of salami in the microwave and dip them in maple syrup.  Salty and sweet was always a magic combination for us.  This waffle was no different and now I’m inclined to enjoy breakfast more often.

Belgian Waffles 

* From Food & Wine

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted (I used 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons vegetable oil)
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in a cup or small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt then whisk in the yeast mixture, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla extract.  Whisk until the batter is smooth.
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then fold them into the batter.  Let stand for about 20 minutes (I only waited about 10 minutes)
  4. Preheat (and grease if necessary) your waffle iron.  Pour some of the batter into the iron and cook until they’re ready.  Note: The recipe said to use  1 1/4 cups of bater for each waffle but I needed less than that.  My waffles were ready in about five minutes.
  5. If you wish, transfer the waffles as they cook in a warm oven until all are ready.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite toppings. We enjoy our pancake-style with maple syrup.  Will serve 4-5.
Note: For the savory variation, add a bit of sliced cooked bacon and small chunks of cheese to the batter.  I added the equivalent of one slice of cheese and one slice of bacon to my waffle.  I garnished the top with another slice of bacon.
28 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2011 9:54 AM

    looking forward to your recipe. I haven;t made waffles in years and even when I made them it was rare. Love these and it’s an inspiration to start making some.

    • May 26, 2011 8:52 PM

      Hi Shulie, I don’t make waffles unless my husband requests them but I was happy to try a new recipe for a change. I wouldn’t mind making it more often. 🙂

  2. May 22, 2011 10:19 AM

    Happy Sunday Jean! Looks like you and hubby ate a wonderful breakfast today. These look delish and love the bacon addition. Beautiful photos! 🙂

  3. May 22, 2011 10:51 AM

    Such beautiful waffles. I’m not big on breakfast either but would certainly eat this if someone made it for me. Salty and sweet is just great. Love the cheese and bacon in the batter. superb!

  4. May 22, 2011 12:01 PM

    YUM! Love the combination of salty and sweet and since my visit to Belgium I’ve discovered a love for waffles that I never had. Good to see a true Belgian waffle recipe – i.e. a yeast batter 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Jean!

    • May 26, 2011 8:53 PM

      Priscilla, when my husband requested waffles, I immediately thought of your recent vacation. I couldn’t make anything but Belgian waffles! 🙂

  5. May 22, 2011 12:45 PM

    Ooo – ready to come over for breakfast!

  6. Roxan permalink
    May 22, 2011 2:32 PM

    Mmm… I loooove waffles. I don’t make them often though, because like you I rarely eat breakfast. Plus, they take so long to make! Just one at a time on the waffle maker, it takes forever. BUT they are worth the wait. Have you been to belgium before? Sigh, I so miss that place…

    • May 26, 2011 9:00 PM

      Roxan, I know what you mean but I have a confession to make–I have three waffle makers. I only ever use one at a time and I don’t make them enough to justify having three. It’s so silly! But these waffles were a nice treat. Like you said, worth the wait. 🙂

  7. May 22, 2011 3:38 PM

    I am a lite breakfast man myself, but a waffle dinner? That’s a good twist!

  8. May 22, 2011 4:44 PM

    I am big on breakfast instead and I sure could not say no to this wonderful Belgian waffles! What a great wait to start the day. I love your twist too!

  9. May 22, 2011 4:49 PM

    Homemade waffles are so good and this looks delicious! Love the addition of fresh strawberries

  10. May 22, 2011 8:50 PM

    My kids beg for waffles often, but at 6 AM with only 20 minutes to get breakfast done I don’t do it that often. Weekends are treat time, and we’ll have to put these guys on our weekend treat list! Pretty darn amazing!
    On another note, we made some meringue cookies today and I used the hand mixer that I got with the CSN card from your giveaway… I really, really like it! Think of you every time I use it!! Thanks again!

    • May 26, 2011 9:02 PM

      Kim, your comment made me smile. Did I ever tell you that I ended up buying the same hand mixer after you won the giveaway? I love it! Love, love! I’ve used it so much. I totally know what you mean. So glad you’re enjoying yours, too. 🙂

  11. May 22, 2011 10:19 PM

    Oh wow – savory waffles? Love it. The play between sweet and savory is great here. I wish I had a waffle press to make these!

  12. May 23, 2011 4:17 AM

    Oooh, these sound wonderful! I might even get hubby to eat them, too….mmmmmm.

  13. May 23, 2011 5:31 AM

    I threw away my waffles maker and have regretted it as I love waffles! Need to get one back in my life; your photos and recipe are the best!

    • May 26, 2011 9:03 PM

      Joumana, thanks so much! I have Food & Wine to thank for this super simple recipe. It is now my go-to. 🙂

  14. May 23, 2011 6:53 AM

    You’ve got me intrigued with the bacon and cheese as well in that waffle. Sounds gorgeous. Sure makes a change! Love the strobs and maple, too.

  15. May 23, 2011 7:30 AM

    What a great idea. The waffle looks lovely on it’s own, and the added surprises just take it over the top. 🙂

  16. May 23, 2011 7:46 AM

    Jean, I want a dozen of those waffles! Love that salty sweet combo in anything.

  17. May 23, 2011 3:30 PM

    Ever since we bought a new waffle maker (the one it flips) we’ve been eating waffle a lot on weekends. It’s a lot quicker to cook and almost always perfect. We will try your waffle mix next time. 🙂

  18. May 23, 2011 3:57 PM

    Love the bacon (and cheese) twist! Those strawberries look so plump and sweet! Perfect season to have these for breakfast!

  19. May 23, 2011 5:47 PM

    Omg Jean your pictures have me drooling! I am definitely putting a waffle maker on my registry now 🙂

    • May 26, 2011 9:04 PM

      Joy, you have to put a waffle maker on your list. I see you making some creative waffles in the near future. 🙂

  20. May 23, 2011 6:15 PM

    We love waffles but don’t really make them for just the two of us. I will have to have the family over for breakfast and make these over the Summer. Also, really like your twist with the bacon and cheese in the waffles, that could be a perfect dinner waffle;-)

  21. May 23, 2011 9:27 PM

    I think our husbands must be related. Oats, apples, grapefruits or yogurt is the breakfast of the day. I make breakfast for Tiffany and later, at brunch time it’s my time to sit and enjoy my meal.
    These waffles look so good. I think I need to buy a waffle press and make some for Tiffany. She probably got tired of pancakes LOL. time for a change 🙂

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