I say these are the BEST because I have been trying version after version of traditional Belgian waffle recipes over the last few months. A Belgian waffle maker was one of our “splurge” (i.e. nice-to-have, not a need-to-have) items we bought for the Tiny House – we just have a regular waffle iron (i.e. non-Belgian) at home.
What is a Traditional Belgian Waffle?
Most any waffle with deep pockets is referred to as Belgian nowadays, but according to Joy of Cooking, “When Belgian waffles were introduced to Americans at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, they were yeast-raised and served with sweetened whipped cream.” So I made it my mission to come up with a traditional Belgian waffle recipe that is fluffy, delicious, and reliable … and here it is!
The Best Belgian Waffles (traditional with yeast)
- Warm 2 cups milk (to between 100 and 110 degrees F) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast begins to foam up. (Working with yeast can take some practice, but it must foam up a little for your waffle batter to rise properly - see image at bottom of post.)
- Melt the butter, honey, and vanilla together in a separate bowl or saucepan.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well (hole) in the center, and gently whisk in the eggs. Add the seltzer water and whisk a little more (will foam up), and then while continuously whisking, pour in the melted butter mixture and then the milk mixture and stir until smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours until the dough almost doubles in size. I prefer to make my batter the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight.
- Cook in a waffle iron (in batches) according to manufacturer's directions.
- Garnish with homemade unsweetened whipped cream (simply shake heavy cream in a jar until you no longer hear the liquid hitting the sides), pure maple syrup and fresh berries.