What’s the difference between Belgian and regular waffle?

Today’s question comes from Jenni Stock who asks:

“I would like to have someone explain to me the difference between Belgian waffles and normal waffles… Please advise. For example, could a waffle recipe be used in either machine, Belgian or classic? Thank You So Much, Jenni”

Any pastry that is made in a waffle iron is called a waffle. There are many different varieties, some are made with a raised batter and some are not. What you generally think of as a “normal” waffle is a round or square waffle made with a batter of eggs, milk (sometimes buttermilk), flour, butter and leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda – these are usually less than an inch thick and round or square.

Belgian waffles are traditionally much thicker, and lighter in texture with deep holes, but the real difference is that they are made with a batter that is leavened with yeast and egg whites which give them a light crispy texture. The round waffle irons with deep cavities are generally called Belgian waffle irons.

However, the term “Belgian waffle” is really very loose and undefined. It is not necessary to cook a Belgian waffle on a deep waffle iron for it to be a called a Belgian waffle. Also, you will definitely find recipes for Belgian waffles that do not contain yeast, sometimes an American waffle batter is made and cooked on a Belgian waffle iron and it is called a Belgian waffle. There are also many recipes for either type of waffle, even in Belgium.

Waffle makers generally come with recipe books that have exact proportions for their specific maker. Any recipe can be uses on a regular iron or a Belgian iron, you just have to adjust the amount of batter for each waffle.

Here are some waffle recipes to try:
Chocolate Chip Waffles
Pumpkin Waffles
Buttermilk Pecan Waffles
Blueberry Whole Wheat Waffles
Cornmeal Waffles with Eggs

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Posted in Foodie's Ask, The Foodie-file, Tue, 19/05/09

9 Responses

  • Jeannine says:

    ok…and so how do crepes differ?

  • Elaine says:

    As I understand it:
    a Belgian Waffle is leavened with yeast;
    an American Waffle is leavened with baking powder.
    Belgian waffle irons are usually quite stylized

    Jeannine: Crepes are made with a very, very thin batter. A preheated crepe pan is dipped into the batter and allowed to cook until it slides off the pan onto a plate. Filling is added, and the crepe is rolled, prior to serving. Waffles are not condusive to “rolling” because of the thickness, and rather “cakey” quality.

  • Kelocan says:

    I was wondering if anybody knew where to find a waffle iron that had the small holes rather than the Belgian waffle size. Waffles just don’t seem to taste the same to my family with the big holes.

  • Elaine says:

    Kelocan: Check out Caynes Housewares.. they have three waffle irons illustrated on their website… a four waffle iron…. a six waffle iron, and a round waffle iron…
    I bet dollars to donuts you will get exactly what you need… I love the place and shop there frequently to help make my kitchen more efficient.
    Good Luck with your search…

  • Linda says:

    I have a question,has nothing to with waffles.How do you separate pan juices from meat or poultry,to make a healhthier gravy?

  • Elaine says:

    I usually just let the pan sit on the counter for a few minutes. Grease rises to the top because it is lighter than other liquids. It is pretty easy to skim the grease off and discard it into a metal container. Another way is to carefully tip and pour; the juices will pour first. There are bowls/containers on the market that will separate grease from juices… Once again, I would go to Caynes Housewares….
    Forgive me for jumping in so quickly folks, it is easy to offer suggestions. LOL

  • Elaine says:

    William Sonoma is also a good place to check out gravy/greas separators.

    Have a look at this link…


  • Gloria Knowles says:

    Hi: Does anyone know where to get a good quality griddle? We have tried the usual store bought ones and they do not last and lose their Teflon surface very quickly. Thanks