This yeasted Belgian vegan waffle recipe is for true connoisseurs. It might even give the Sweet Yeast-Raised Vegan Waffles a run for their money. These are a special treat for several groovy reasons:
- They utilize the whole wheat grain, in its natural proportions, freshly home ground. Much wheat flour has healthy parts like the germ and bran stripped away altogether, or separated out for processing before being reconstituted.
- They’re yeasted for two days, giving the waffles a more pronounced sourdough-like flavor than those fermented for shorter periods. Longer fermentation may also improve digestibility for some people.
- They incorporate a rare waffle combination: a bit of rice flour alongside the wheat flour to create a unique texture.
These vegan waffles require a bit of planning, and a blender powerful enough to process wheat berries. I used a Ninja Ultima Blender, which also does a great job of processing rice into flour. If you substitute a store-bought whole wheat flour, a whole milled flour will likely provide the closest results.
Both fluffy and moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside, they are well worth the wait. Top with coconut cream, banana, maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and dried cranberries, as pictured. Or check out some of the delicious vegan waffle topping recipes. Makes 5 to 6 (7-inch) round Belgian vegan waffles.
In the case that your taste buds and stomach aren’t willing to let you wait that long, you can always get the batter going, make another type of yeasted vegan waffle in the meantime, and then enjoy these morsels when they’re ready. A great excuse for a superextrawaffley weekend!
- 1½ cups whole hard red winter wheat berries, or enough create 1½ cups of flour after blended (see note)
- 1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- ½ cup rice flour (either store-bought or home ground)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons soymilk or other nondairy milk
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup real maple syrup (see note)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- To make the fresh whole wheat flour, place just over 1¼ cups of the whole wheat berries into a powerful blender. Blend for at least a minute, or until you have a fine flour. Measure out 1½ cups of the flour and set aside. If you don't quite have 1½ cups of flour yet, blend the remaining wheat berries as needed. (See note.)
- Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large non-metal bowl. Use warm water between 105 and 115 degrees F. You can judge this by splashing a bit onto the sensitive skin of your inner wrist—it should feel warmer than lukewarm but not hot or painful. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the freshly ground whole wheat flour, rice flour, and salt until well blended with the dissolved yeast.
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm location until the flour mixture has almost doubled--at least 1½ hours if using quick rise yeast, or 3 hours if using regular active dry yeast, up to 8 hours. (See notes.)
- Then cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator, until roughly 48 hours past the time you initially combined the ingredients.
- Take the yeast and flour mixture out of the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes to warm up slightly.
- After the yeast and flour mixture has stood for at least an hour, combine the soymilk, oil, maple syrup, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly, breaking up any clumps of baking powder or baking soda. Immediately pour into the raised flour mixture and stir until well blended. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the waffle iron for 3 to 5 minutes while the batter is standing. Spray both grids of the waffle iron with oil. Pour or ladle the batter into the center of the iron, covering no more than two-thirds of the iron’s surface for the first waffle. Adjust the amount as needed for subsequent waffles. Bake each waffle for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it can be removed easily.
Do not substitute artificial maple syrup, as it may not have the acidity needed to react with the baking soda. If you don't have real maple syrup on hand, you can use two tablespoons of molasses alongside two tablespoons of another sweetener.
As the batter is relatively thin, you'll have the best results with a waffle iron that flips and is at least 1,000 watts. I've personally had great luck with the 1,200-watt Waring Pro WMK300, but it now appears a bit harder to find. The less-expensive 1,350-watt Presto 03510 Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker has also received many great reviews. I don't have any experience with waffle irons that make two waffles at a time, as spreading the wattage across a larger grid area may reduce the temperature.
You can use your oven to create a warm spot for the flour mixture to rise. Make sure the oven rack is low enough for the bowl to fit in the oven. Turn the oven on for 1 to 2 minutes at 200 degrees F. (It shouldn’t actually reach 200 degrees, but just warm up slightly.) Turn off the oven, place the covered bowl on the rack, and close the oven door to keep in the warmth.