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I made liege waffles today and got a very dense crumb. I'm not sure if my waffle iron is not hot enough since it's a old model that only plugs in, no heat control. Any suggestions? Also, I left the dough in the fridge overnight, but since it didn't rise much I let it proof around 85 degrees covered in plastic wrap for an additional 2 and a half hours. Any suggestions?

I followed this recipe: http://liegewaffle.wordpress.com/liege-waffle-recipe-liege-gaufre-recette-metric/

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What do you mean by "very dense"? We've had people here complaining that their Belgian waffle recipe came out "like bread", which is what they are supposed to be. Have you baked bread before (by hand, not by machine), and was there something unusual in the way the dough handled/rose? –  rumtscho Nov 9 at 14:10

2 Answers 2

Given the very-specific times and temperatures given in the recipe, I'd bet that deviating at all would probably cause this result. Step #7 specifically states that you want to slow and limit the yeast's growth, which I would guess is to form very fine gas bubbles in the dough and provide a final burst as the waffle cooks. Letting it proof for so much longer probably let some of those bubbles merge and escape from the final dough. In short, don't do that, even if it doesn't rise very much.

If you follow this recipe to the letter and it still doesn't work, check your yeast for freshness. They may be expired (in more ways than one) and less effective than normal.

Finally, don't beat yourself up if it takes a few tries to get this right. This is a very finicky recipe - I've never seen so many temps and times in a waffle recipe. There's probably a reason why the author states that they aren't seen much even in Belgium.

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Sounds like you may have skipped the step of letting the dough rise before putting it in the fridge. We manufacture Liege waffle dough wholesale and we find that you don't even need to let it rise that much before cooking. If you make the dough, add butter, add pearls, let it rise, then you can actually cook it right away. You don't have to retard the fermentation overnight and you'll still get a very good waffle.

Or, maybe you didn't use bread flour that is high in protein/gluten. If you use cake flour, you'll get a very different result.

Or, a step that is often missed is stretching the dough into a semi-flat oval before pressing with the waffle iron. By stretching the dough, you give it enough space to expand inside the waffle iron. By doing this, you end up with a lighter less dense and doughy waffle. The inside texture/density of the waffle should be somewhat similar to challah bread. Give it a try.

Lastly, maybe your temp is too high so you didn't cook the dough enough leaving it very doughy. You really need to be in the 350-360 range for about 2 1/2 minutes.

Good luck!

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