Saturday, December 31, 2011

Belgian Yeast-Risen Waffles

A special welcome to new subscriber Magda. Great to have you here!

A special breakfast seems a perfect way to welcome the New Year. And if you love waffles, here’s one that’s not the usual kind: light, tasty Belgian Yeast-Risen Waffles.

What’s different about it? We often see what are being called Belgian Waffles. The problem is that those often are simply Belgian-style waffles that look like real Belgian waffles because they are large and have deep openings to hold toppings, but that are made with an American-style batter leavened with baking powder. A real Belgian waffle is made from a batter that is leavened with yeast, giving it a characteristic light texture. For this recipe, I’ve also used lemon or orange zest to give the waffles just a touch of tartness to complement the sweetness of the toppings, and beaten egg whites and some sparkling water to supplement that batter’s “fluff factor.” A bit of fat-free Greek yogurt enhances the flavor in a nice, healthy way. (Those last two ingredients are decidedly inauthentic for real Belgian waffles, but help keep the batter reduced-fat.)

So let’s heat up those waffle makers to ring in the new year right!

This recipe makes about eight 8” waffles.

Mix 1 package (0.25 ounce) of active dry yeast in 1 cup of warm (around 110 degrees) skim milk mixed with a teaspoon of honey or sugar. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes until creamy.

In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon salt; ½ cup sugar; ½ teaspoon cinnamon; and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Make a well in the dry ingredient mixture, and add 2 egg-substitute eggs; ¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt; 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla; ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon melted butter substitute; zest of one lemon or orange; and the yeast mixture.

Mix the wet ingredients, then stir into the dry ingredients while adding 1-1/4 cups of warm milk and ½ cup of room temperature sparking water to form a batter. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

While the batter is resting, beat 3 fresh egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then fold the egg whites into the batter.

Cover the bowl and let rise for 60 minutes.


Preheat the waffle maker according to manufacturer's directions. When the batter has finished rising, spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and add batter as per your waffle maker’s directions.

Close the top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from iron.

Add your favorite topping and a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar, and serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to add toppings and serve. (Click here for an easy recipe for a fresh fruit topping, along with a strawberry-rhubarb pastry that’s a lot of fun to make and eat! That recipe is for a strawberry topping; you can use the same recipe with different fruit, too. In the photo at the top, for example, I used blueberries, and kept them whole instead of pressing them with my hands.)

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year, a great start to which would be to visit again next week for another great-tasting, kitchen-tested recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook, especially at midnight on December 31. ;-)


  1. MMM My daughter is drooling over here. Thanks for the heads up on the differences!

  2. wonderful. I like everything yeasty.

  3. Thanks, Kim and Barbara! One of the many things I enjoy about doing this site is taking the extra step from making a recipe to writing about it, which often involves gathering background on the food. In this case, I had posted a baking-powder waffle recipe a while back and, while doing some research on that, found out what makes a real Belgian waffle. Since I love working with yeast too, it was something I had to do something with. Glad you both like it! :-)

    Happy New Year!

  4. wow...the ruffles look just great.....u have such a awesome space here...happy to follow u....wishing u n ur family a very happy new year !

  5. Why, thank you, Sonali, and welcome! Just back from your site. Since I love cooking fish, I am now your latest subscriber too. :-) Looking forward to seeing you here.

  6. Hi Ben, I prepared your recipe for Belgian waffles. They were nice--a little sweeter and spicier than ones I have made in the past. At first I was concerned that the waffles would not be crisp outside and moist inside, but then I adjusted my waffle iron, and all was well. I made the whole batch, letting the left overs cool on cookie racks, which I then froze. Had some toasted for lunch today, topped with a winter compote. Thanks for an interesting recipe!

  7. You made my morning, Sheila! Thank you for letting me know how much you liked making these waffles. That will always be one of my favorite parts of sharing recipes and love of good food here. Hope I can hear from you again!