How To Make Crisp & Fluffy Belgian Waffles

published Nov 7, 2020
How to Make Crisp & Fluffy Belgian Waffles

These crisp, fluffy, and slightly sweet Belgian waffles have the ultimate deep pockets for collecting maple syrup.

Makes4 (7-inch) round waffles

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Syrup poured onto of crisp and fluffy Belgian waffles.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

There’s a time and place for the thin waffles I grew up with, and I’ll forever have a soft spot for Eggos out of the toaster, but when I crave homemade waffles, I want Belgian waffles. I need the deep pockets that I can carefully deposit tiny little pieces of butter into — the same pockets that collect enough maple syrup to make each bite crispy, buttery, and sweet all at the same time. If you have a deep-pocketed waffle maker languishing in the kitchen, it’s time to break it out! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make tall, fluffy, crisp waffles with plenty of malty flavor to brighten any breakfast or brunch.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

What Are Belgian Waffles?

Belgian waffles are yeasted waffles made in waffle irons with big, deep pockets. The recipe has evolved over the years and many newer ones call for baking powder as the leavener, which also makes them quicker to make. But true Belgian waffles rely on yeast and some rising time to give the waffles a more complex flavor and an airier lift. The batter needs at least an hour to rise, but an overnight rise gives them the best flavor. It also means you can fire up the waffle iron when you’re ready to cook.

For a quicker waffle batter, try this recipe instead: How To Make the Lightest, Crispiest Waffles

The Secret to Better Belgian Waffles? Malt Powder.

Besides yeast, the remaining waffle ingredients are pantry-friendly: flour, milk, eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, and a good dose of vanilla extract and salt. But the ingredient that really makes these waffles sing is a scoop of malted milk powder. This gives the waffles a creamy, rich flavor — and you can also use it in milkshakes!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

How To Make Belgian Waffles

Belgian waffle batter is made similarly to pancake batter: Warm up some milk, melt some butter in it, and use this lukewarm mixture to activate the yeast. Add in the dry ingredients and let it rise. It needs to rise a minimum of one hour, but I like to stash the batter in the fridge overnight so that it’s ready to go the next morning and has had time to develop better flavor.

Make sure to preheat the waffle iron for the best results. It might take some experimenting to get to the right setting for golden-brown waffles, so start with medium-high and adjust from there. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray before making each waffle, which helps in browning and crispness. The amount of batter you’ll need for each one will also differ depending on the waffle iron — remember that it will spread, so pour into the center and be more conservative than you think. Batter leaking out of the sides of the iron is no fun to clean up.

You can eat each waffle straight out of the iron, but I like to throw them directly on the rack of a warm (200ºF) oven so they keep warm and crisp up even more. It’s worth making the full batch of waffles even if you can’t eat them all in one sitting; the leftovers freeze really well and just take a few minutes to reheat whether thawed or from frozen. Leftover Belgian waffles can be a great mid-week treat on a busy morning!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman | Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell
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A step-by-step guide to the crispest, fluffiest Belgian waffles.

How to Make Crisp & Fluffy Belgian Waffles

These crisp, fluffy, and slightly sweet Belgian waffles have the ultimate deep pockets for collecting maple syrup.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes 4 (7-inch) round waffles

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    malted milk powder (optional)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    instant yeast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups

    whole or 2% milk

  • 6 tablespoons

    cold unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • Cooking spray

  • Maple syrup, for serving

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon malted milk powder if desired, 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Heat the milk and melt the butter. Heat 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot to the touch but not simmering. Remove from the heat. Cut 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter into 6 pieces, add to the milk, and stir until the butter is melted. The mixture should now be lukewarm.

  3. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Add 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 large eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.

  4. Mix the waffle batter. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined; the batter will have small lumps but should have no pockets of dry flour.

  5. Let the batter rest. Cover the bowl and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight in the refrigerator. The batter will be bubbly and increase in volume.

  6. Make the waffles. Heat a Belgian or deep pocket waffle iron over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray, then pour in the amount of batter recommended by the manufacturer into the center of the iron (no need to stir the batter first), 2/3 to 1 cup. Close the lid and cook until the waffle is golden brown.

  7. Serve or keep the waffles warm. When the waffle is ready, remove from the iron to a wire rack. If not serving immediately as they are made, place directly on a rack in a 200ºF oven to keep warm. Repeat making waffles with the remaining batter. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The waffle batter can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.

Storage: Cooked waffles can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Rewam in a 300ºF oven until heated through, about 7 minutes or 10 minutes if frozen.

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