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Once a month, Belgian-born Benoit Tordeur stands at the helm of a waffle-maker for brunch at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley. You can see him turning out his Liege-style waffles he grew up eating this Sunday at the restaurant. But in case you miss him, you can make his yeasty, bready waffles with pops of sugar at home. Top them with fresh or stewed fruit, creme fraiche, and a dusting of powdered sugar, and you won't even need syrup.
Makes 8-10 waffles
1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Belgian pearl sugar
1. Mix the yeast, water, sugar, and salt in a bowl, and let it sit for 15 minutes.
2. Place the flour in a separate large mixing bowl, and make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the yeast mixture into the well, and mix until blended.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well. Add the melted butter a bit at a time, and mix well. Finally, add the vanilla, and mix well. Keep in mind that the batter will be thick and very sticky.
4. Let the dough rest until it doubles in volume, about 30 minutes.
5. Gently fold in the pearl sugar, and make 2-inch balls of dough. That sounds small, but these rich waffles pack quite a punch. Let the dough rest for 15 more minutes.
6. While the dough is resting, heat a waffle iron with deep pockets.
7. Place the dough balls in the waffle iron. Waffles will take 3 to 5 minutes to cook.
8. To serve, add the topping of your choice. In-season fruit is the best, especially with creme fraiche.