Pearl Sugar Waffles with Bacon and Plums
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To serve these for brunch without waking up at the crack of dawn, make the dough the day before and chill overnight, wrapped in plastic. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more for bowl
- ½ cup pearl sugar or demerara sugar
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 red plums, sliced into thin wedges
- Ricotta and chopped almonds (for serving)
Mix brown sugar, yeast, and ⅓ cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until yeast dissolves. Let sit until foamy, 5–10 minutes. Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix eggs into yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until dough comes together into a ball. Gradually add 1 cup butter, pausing often to allow dough to fully incorporate butter before adding more. Increase speed to high and mix until dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (dough will still be very soft and somewhat sticky), 5–10 minutes longer. Transfer to a buttered medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1½–2½ hours.
Just before dough is ready, bring syrup and cacao nibs to a simmer over low heat in a small saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Let cool.
Sprinkle pearl sugar over dough and mix in with a wooden spoon. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Heat a Belgian waffle iron until very hot; coat with nonstick spray. Place a piece of dough over each well (keep remaining pieces covered). Cook until waffles are golden brown and sugar is caramelized in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Let waffles cool slightly. Serve topped with bacon, plums, ricotta, and almonds and drizzled with cacao-nib syrup.