Liege waffle dough : tips and tricks
The Liege waffle dough must be shaped into a ball before baking. After the dough has been prepared, each waffle dough piece is divided, weighed and then shaped (in ball form) before rising (or proofing).
After shaping your waffle dough pieces, you can use them in several ways. They can be baked (after proofing), stored in the refrigerator or even in the freezer (before proofing). Here are some detailed tips.
Shaping the waffle dough
When you have prepared the Liege waffle dough, it is necessary to separate and weigh the dough into several pieces (70-80-…-120g). After dividing, roll and ball your dough pieces to obtain nice waffle dough.
For a quicker division, the dough divider is a useful device for a quick and homogeneous separation.
Proofing is an important process that takes place a few hours before baking. It ensures that the waffle is well aerated, easily digestible and tasty.
Before fermentation, place the waffle dough on a suitable tray with enough space for it to double in size.
If a proofing chamber is used, this should ferment for 1 hour at a temperature of approximately 29°C and 85% R.H.
When the dough pieces have doubled in size, bake them quickly (max. 1h-2h).
It is important that you do not wait too long in order to not lose the benefits of fermentation. Moreover, the dough pieces would be very wet and would be flattened.
Ideally, you should bake directly the dough you have just prepared. However, if you still want to store some of the production, this is possible.
Before fermentation, place the dough pieces in the refrigerator at a temperature of 0 to 2°C (maximum 24 hours). In addition, pay attention to the hydrometry.
During this time, the cold suspends the fermentation properties.
As soon as you need the dough pieces, take them out and let them rise in temperature gradually. Do not put them directly into a fermentation chamber at 29°C.
Then proceed with the fermentation of the dough pieces.
Make sure you cover your dough balls with a plastic film to protect them. This will prevent them from drying out and forming a thin crust.
When you have finished preparing your dough, before proofing, you need to put them in the freezer at about -18°C.
To do this, you may need a special yeast that is suitable for a freezing procedure. A bakery supplier can help you choose the right yeast.
At a dough manufacturer, the freezing shelf life varies but is usually +- 12 months.
Place the waffle dough in the proofing chamber. Then, when they have finished rising, bake them quickly so as not to lose the fermentation properties.
Keep an eye on them to see when they have risen sufficiently. The middle of the dough should be thawed before baking.
If you have baked waffles, they can still be reheated in the waffle iron. In your waffle iron, simply heat them up for 15 to 30 seconds at 80°C-100°C. Feel free to experiment to see what you like the most!
This method of working is useful when you have a lot of customers at the same time, as it reduces the serving time. Note that the crispness will be less than with fresh dough.
Some ways of serving waffles
There are no rules for serving a waffle.
In Belgium, they are usually eaten warm or hot, but they can also be eaten cold. It depends on your taste.
However, when it is hot, just after cooking, it is the moment when you have the most flavour thanks to the crispness of the caramel and the pearl sugar.
Enjoy your waffles !