30g active dry yeast
450g whole milk warmed to 80 degrees F
100g light brown sugar
1000g bread flour
450g soft room temperature unsalted butter
20g vanilla extract
1. Mix yeast, milk, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir to combine. Allow to stand until the yeast comes alive and begins to bubble, about 20 minutes.
2. Add the egg and 100g of flour, and mix until just combined. Allow this sponge to ferment for 90 minutes.
3. Add the remainder of the flour, the butter, honey, vanilla, rum, and salt, and mix on speed 2 with a dough hook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to bulk ferment until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. Punch the dough down, and wrap tightly in oiled plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
4. After 1 hour, remove the dough and fold in the pearl sugar.
5. Portion the dough into 20 pieces, about 120g grams a piece. Round each piece and cover loosely with plastic. Allow to double in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
6. When the waffle dough is nearly finishing it’s final proofing, preheat the waffle iron. Check the temperature with an infared thermometer and make sure it’s over 175 degrees celcius.
7. Bake in the waffle iron for 3 minutes, or more if needed. If the waffle iron isn’t hot enough, the sugar won’t caramelize on the outside, and if it’s too hot, it will burn.