The recipe I use is a bit time consuming, but worth the effort. It is difficult not to eat all of them by yourself while cooking. I suggest having at least one other person around to protect you from yourself and your taste buds.
5 3/4 teaspoons of dry yeast
9 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup milk, warmed
1 Egg, beaten
1 cup and 7 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 cup of water, warmed
1/2 cup Pearl sugar (or sugar cubes crushed up)
This is the sugar I use. I buy it when I go to Belgium because it is the most perfect waffle sugar I have found. I have used others, but I like this the best. There are some specialty stores that sell it too. You can search for pearl sugar, hail sugar, or nib sugar- these should get you to a good sugar product (I do not recommend using the Lars brand sugar for these waffles- the pieces are not large enough to give the authentic feel of the waffles). Here are a couple sites that have the sugar: http://www.belgianpearlsugar.com/, http://chefshop.com/HAIL-SUGAR-PEARL-SUGAR-P5944.aspx. I have never purchased it from these sites, but the sugar looks right in the pics.
Take your butter out well beforehand. It needs to be soft. If it isn't soft wait to make the waffles. Do not try to rush the softness of the butter by placing it into the microwave. It causes it to become liquid, not soft. You do not want liquid butter for this recipe. You want soft. Again, soft butter. Butter can survive being out of the refrigerator for a while. If I am going to make waffles, I have been known to take the butter out the night before so that in the morning it is ready to go before I am. If you want to know more about the great butter debate, check out some of the comments here.
Warm the water to about 100 degrees (or to where it feels warm to the touch- I am a knuckle temp. tester, I must confess. I have never actually checked the temperature of the milk with anything other than my knuckle and it has yet to kill the yeast.)
Sprinkle the yeast into the water and add about a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of four to feed the yeast. Set the mixture aside for 5-10 minutes to allow it to proof. If you want to know more about proofing yeast, go here.
In a large bowl (large enough to allow dough to rise in) sift your flour. Although I do this sometimes, I do not do it all the time and it still turns out fine. Make a well and add your egg, yeast concoction and warm milk. Mix well with a spoon, preferably a wooden spoon. Cover with a towel and leave to rise to about double/tripled in size.
In a second bowl (medium sized), mix butter, 1 teaspoon of sugar, pinch of salt, vanilla, baking powder, and 7 tablespoons of flour together. Once mixed, throw in the pearl sugar and mix again. It seems to work better that way.
At this point get your waffle iron started. It needs to be hot- you don't want mushy waffles. That is just sad after the work you have already put in.
Once the rising dough is ready, place the contents of the second bowl into the first. The second bowl dough will deflate the rising dough a bit. This is a picture of what it will look like.
Mix the two doughs together with your hands. It will stick. It's supposed to do that. Try to get as much back into the bowl as possible rather than on your apron or in your hair.
Once well mixed. I use a silicone spatula and a butter knife to make the 8-10 balls of dough ,which I flour and allow to stand on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.
Then, in your heated waffle iron add the dough balls and allow them to cook. Because the waffles were floured, I do not usually use any butter or oil in the waffle iron, however, you can if necessary. Cook until golden brown then place on cooling rack- or eat warm.
In the end you are left with about 8-10 beautifully crisp waffles, that is unless you ate them all before you finished cooking. These are dense awesome waffles. There is no need to add syrup or anything else to them. Easy to just pick up and eat. No need for plates or other silly nonsense. Enjoy!