Aren't They All Belgian Waffles?
What is the Difference Between Regular Belgian Waffles and Liège Belgian Waffles?
In truth, the pure meaning of the term “Belgian waffle” has changed over time. Originally, Belgian style waffles referred to yeast-leavened waffles that were baked or cooked in a deeper pocketed style of waffle iron than American-style waffles. It is common practice in American to call any waffle with deep pockets a “Belgian Waffle”, but that isn’t always accurate.
Batter and Dough Waffles
In Europe, some Belgian waffles are batter based, like the Brussels style Belgian waffles. They are made with a yeast-leavened batter and are very crisp and light. Liège, The French-speaking city, Belgium’s fourth-largest city is in the hilly south of the country, an hour’s train journey from Brussels. Liège Belgian Waffle are very different. They are made with a kneaded yeast dough that has pearl sugar incorporated into it.
Pearl sugar can be expensive, but it is worth the cost for how it completely changes the texture of these remarkable waffles. Pearl sugar can be purchased online or in specialty gourmet sections of some grocery stores.
The sugar melts during the baking process, causing a crisp caramelized accent to the finished brioche style dough of the waffle giving it a crisp crunch. Liège waffles are richer, puffier and much chewier than Brussels-style waffles. Some say that they are a waffle that ridiculously transcends the batter waffles in flavor and superiority of texture. They are good warm or cold and are eaten as a breakfast or dessert.