Amazing Caramel Banana Pearl Sugar Liege Waffles
The Liège waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. The waffles are an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. The Waffle Window in Portland, Oregon serves the most decadent sweet and savory Liege waffles on the planet! If you've never had a Liège waffle before then you do not know what you are missing. The key to this of course is the dough, but also the amazing pearl sugar that adds a sweet crunchiness to the waffles that is indescribably amazing! Pearl sugar can be tricky to find, but below I provided a link. A small package will last for quite a while and you can use it a sweet crunchy topping in other recipes such as muffins and cakes. You can make delicious Liege waffles with the recipe below, but also love them plain with the pearl sugar alone...either way, they are amazing!
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (about 1 cup), plus more for brushing
1 cup Belgian pearl sugar (*see note below)
2 bananas, sliced
In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar and yeast into the lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour with the salt. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix at medium speed until shaggy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds between each. Whisk the vanilla with the 1 cup of melted butter. With the mixer at medium-low, gradually mix in the butter until smooth; the batter will be thick and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Stir the pearl sugar into the risen batter. Cover again and let rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250°. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron and brush it with melted butter. Gently stir the batter to deflate. Using about 2 tablespoons of batter for each, cook the waffles according to the manufacture's directions until they are golden and crisp; brush the waffle iron with melted butter as needed. Transfer the waffles to plates or keep them warm in the oven.
Top with caramel sauce, sliced bananas, whipped cream, and granola.
*Belgian pearl sugar can be purchase at specialty food shops and at this link from Amazon: