What are Dutch Waffles?
Dutch waffles are a type of waffle that originated in the Netherlands. They are known for their light, crispy, and fluffy texture. Dutch waffles are larger and deeper than traditional American-style waffles. The deeper pockets are perfect for holding delicious toppings like fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce.
Where Did Dutch Waffles Originate?
Dutch waffles originated in the Netherlands in the 18th century. They became popular at Dutch street fairs and markets, where vendors would cook them fresh and serve them hot off the grill. The waffles were an inexpensive, portable, and delicious treat that could be eaten while walking around.
The original Dutch waffles were yeast-based and took several hours to prepare. The long prep time made them impractical for street vendors. Eventually, bakers developed a quicker waffle recipe using baking powder instead of yeast. This allowed the waffles to be cooked to order in just a few minutes. The baking powder leavened waffles are now recognized around the world as authentic Dutch waffles.
What Makes Dutch Waffles Different?
There are several key differences between Dutch waffles and American waffles:
Thickness: Dutch waffles are much thicker and fluffier. They are typically 1-1.5 inches thick compared to 1/2 inch for American waffles.
Shape: Dutch waffles have deeper square pockets compared to the shallow round pockets of American waffles.
Ingredients: Dutch waffles are made from a yeast-leavened batter. American waffles use baking powder as the leavening agent.
Texture: Dutch waffles are crispier on the outside but fluffy and light inside. American waffles are more uniform in density.
Flavor: Dutch waffles have a milder, eggy, and buttery flavor from the yeast batter. American waffles tend to be sweeter.
How Are Dutch Waffles Made?
Authentic Dutch waffles are made from a yeast-leavened batter. The yeast allows the waffles to rise and become thick and fluffy. Here are the basic ingredients and steps:
- All-purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Activate the yeast by dissolving it in warm milk with a bit of sugar.
- Let the yeast mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and about half the flour.
- Mix well until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually stir in the remaining flour until a thick, coatable batter forms.
- Cover the bowl and let the batter rest and rise for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
- Heat up a waffle maker and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour batter onto the hot waffle maker and cook 3-5 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
- Repeat with the remaining batter until it’s all used up.
- Serve the Dutch waffles warm with your favorite toppings!
The yeast allows the batter to rise and develop air bubbles, creating the signature light and fluffy texture of a Dutch waffle. Using baking powder instead of yeast speeds up the prep time significantly.
What Do You Put on Dutch Waffles?
One of the best parts of Dutch waffles is loading them up with delicious toppings. Here are some traditional and creative topping ideas:
- Fresh fruit – strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc.
- Whipped cream
- Powdered sugar
- Chocolate sauce or chocolate hazelnut spread
- Caramel sauce
- Sliced almonds or pecans
- Sliced banana and nutella
- Berry compote
- Lemon curd
- Ice cream and hot fudge
- Whipped butter and maple syrup
- Bacon and scrambled eggs
- Sliced apples and cinnamon sugar
The options are endless when it comes to Dutch waffle toppings! Part of the fun is loading them up with your favorite fruits, sauces, ice cream, nuts, and other tasty treats.
Where Can You Find Dutch Waffles?
Here are some places you can find authentic Dutch waffles:
- The Netherlands! Dutch waffles can be found all over the Netherlands at street fairs, farmers markets, restaurants, and food trucks.
- Dutch bakeries and cafes in the United States and worldwide.
- Many breakfast restaurants and diners serve Belgian and Dutch style waffles.
- Food festivals or events celebrating Dutch culture.
- Specialized waffle shops and food trucks.
- Made at home with a Dutch waffle iron which makes the large, deep pockets.
You can also find Belgian waffles at many restaurants and cafes which are very similar to Dutch waffles. Brussels, Belgium is right next to the Netherlands and shares a very similar waffle culture.
How To Make Dutch Waffles at Home
Making authentic Dutch waffles completely from scratch does take some time and effort. But you can also use a few shortcuts to make homemade Dutch waffles much quicker:
Quick Dutch Waffle Recipe:
Makes 4 large waffles
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined (do not overmix).
- Ladle the batter onto the preheated waffle maker and cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
- Serve the waffles immediately with your favorite toppings.
This quick batter comes together in just 10 minutes thanks to the baking powder leavening. The melted butter also helps add a nice richness and flavor. Top your homemade Dutch waffles with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and anything else you love!
Common Questions About Dutch Waffles
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Dutch waffles:
Are Dutch waffles the same as Belgian waffles?
Dutch and Belgian waffles are very similar – they are both thicker, crisper, and fluffier than American waffles. However, there are some small differences. Belgian waffles tend to be lighter and sweeter due to using more egg whites. Dutch waffles are made with whole eggs for a more eggy, buttery flavor.
What is the difference between a waffle and a pancake?
The main difference is that waffles are cooked in a waffle iron, which gives them their iconic honeycomb texture. Pancakes are cooked on a flat griddle or pan. Waffles also tend to be thicker and fluffier due to yeast or baking powder leavening.
Are Dutch waffles gluten free?
Authentic Dutch waffles are not gluten free because they are made with wheat flour. However, there are many gluten free waffle recipes made using alternate flours like almond, coconut, or chickpea flour.
Are Stroopwafels the same as Dutch waffles?
No, Stroopwafels are a different type of Dutch pastry. They consist of two thin waffles with a caramel filling in between. Dutch waffles are a thicker, sweeter version of the traditional Belgian waffle.
Should you put anything on a Dutch waffle?
Dutch waffles are excellent on their own but most people love to top them. Traditional toppings include fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, butter, or maple syrup. The possibilities are endless!
The History and Popularity of Dutch Waffles
Waffles trace their origins back to the Middle Ages in Europe. The first waffles were likely cooked between hot metal plates over an open fire. The Dutch refined and popularized the modern waffle starting in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Dutch waffles gained worldwide fame and recognition at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The Brussels Waffle booth introduced their waffles made with yeast-leavened Belgian batter. This yeast-raised waffle was based on traditional recipes from Brussels and the Netherlands.
The thicker, fluffier waffles were a big hit at the World’s Fair. Soon “Belgian Waffles” were showing up on American restaurant menus and food trucks. What Americans think of as Belgian waffles are very similar to the traditional Dutch yeast-leavened waffles.
Today, Dutch waffles are beloved around the world. People love their light and crispy texture, their ability to hold sweet and savory toppings, and their grab-and-go convenience. You can find Dutch and Belgian waffles at restaurants, food festivals, and street fairs everywhere from Amsterdam to Australia.
The Best Dutch Waffle Recipes
Once you get a taste of a delicious Dutch waffle, you’ll be eager to make them yourself at home. Here are some top-rated Dutch waffle recipes to try:
Classic Dutch Waffle Recipe
This authentic yeasted recipe produces crispy, flavorful waffles with a soft interior. The hint of lemon zest adds freshness.
Stroopwafels are essentially two thin waffles sandwiched with caramel. This recipe will show you how to make them from scratch.
Dutch Baby Waffles
Eggy, sweet Dutch baby waffles are crisp on the outside, puffy in the center, and delicious for breakfast or dessert.
Malted Dutch Waffles
The addition of malted milk powder gives these waffles a rich, nutty flavor and extra crispness.
Dutch Waffle Sundae
These Dutch waffles are topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and sprinkles for an over-the-top sundae.
Savory Dutch Waffles
Yes, you can enjoy Dutch waffles for lunch or dinner too! This recipe tops them with ham, cheese, and a fried egg.
Whole Grain Dutch Waffles
For a fiber boost, try this recipe made with whole wheat flour and bran cereal.
Tips for Making Perfect Dutch Waffles
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for achieving the quintessential Dutch waffle at home:
- Use a traditional Belgian or Dutch waffle maker. The deep grids make waffles with larger pockets.
- Heat your waffle iron thoroughly before adding any batter. Test it by sprinkling a few drops of water on the grids – they should sizzle.
- Don’t open the waffle maker until the waffles are fully cooked. Peeking too early will make them misshapen.
- Use softened or melted butter in the batter. This ensures even distribution for maximum fluffiness.
- Avoid overmixing the batter – just mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Overmixing deflates the rising batter.
- Cook on a medium-low temperature. Higher heat makes the outsides burn before the inside cooks through.
- Wipe down the waffle maker between batches. Built up batter can burn and ruin the next waffle.
- Let the cooked waffles rest on a cooling rack. This prevents them from getting soggy.
With these handy tips, you’ll be a Dutch waffle expert in no time!
Dutch waffles are a delightful and delicious breakfast food with a crunchy exterior, fluffy interior, and signature honeycomb look. Originating in the Netherlands, they are now popular all over the world for their ability to hold sweet and savory toppings. While yeasted Dutch waffles take more time, you can also make great baking powder versions at home with ease. Top with fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate sauce, or anything you crave! With a few basic ingredients and the right technique, you can recreate the joy of a fresh, hot Dutch waffle any morning.