I have always been fascinated with this non-breakfast waffle. The key is the pearl sugar.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water (about 105 degF - too hot will kill the yeast)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup Belgian pearl sugar*
- *It has been our experience that Belgian pearl sugar is difficult to find in the U.S. so we buy C&H sugar cubes (normally for coffee), place about 60 of them in a plastic Ziploc bag and 'crush' them with a meat tenderizer (you could use a rolling pin or heavy sauce pan as well). Then put the sugar through a sifter maintaining only the 'pearls' of sugar for the waffles. You need about 1 cup of pearls. The fine sugar that goes through the sifter can be put in your kitchen sugar jar or used to sweeten the strawberries if you are using them for the topping. I was able to find an online source at L'Epicerie. See the pearl sugar photo to the right so that you know what you are trying to obtain.
Mix the yeast, water, sugar and salt in a bowl and let it develop or sit for 15 minutes.
Place the flour in a separate large mixing bowl (we use the bowl of our kitchen aid stand mixer) and make a well in the center of the flour.
Pour the yeast mixture into the well and mix until blended on medium speed (we use the paddle in our kitchen aid mixer).
Add the eggs (one at a time), melted butter a bit at a time, and the vanilla and cinnamon. Be sure to mix well after each addition to the batter. Keep in mind the batter will be thick and VERY sticky (this is normal).
Remove the bowl from the mixer and let the dough rest until it doubles in volume inside the bowl.
Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes.
While the dough is resting, heat the waffle iron (we use a Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Iron and I recommend Belgian waffle irons because they have the deep pockets).
Spoon about a 2" ball of dough into the center of the waffle iron (this should yield a waffle that is about 4" in diameter). I know that sounds small, but these rich waffles pack quite a punch. Waffles will take 3 to 5 minutes to bake (in our waffle iron, they take 3 minutes and 15 seconds on level 3).