Sourdough Waffles

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I am guilty of many things in life – one of which has been, until recently, neglecting my sourdough starter with varying degrees of severity. I mean, if wild yeast abuse was an actual thing, hoo-boy would I be in trouble! Sure, there were weeks at a time when Chad (my starter) would be happy, healthy, and well-fed. Unfortunately, equally frequent were the spurts when I just didn’t have time to make or think about bread, and Chad (as we like to call him) would become lost to the oblivion that is the back of our fridge. When I did eventually rediscover his existence, I would find him in a sad state indeed: slumped, sour, and malnourished. I would then nurse him back from the clutches of death – only to repeat this rather demented cycle a short time later. Now, it’s not like I’m a bad person. This wasn’t intentional torture, it’s just that sometimes Chad just didn’t make it onto my priority list – life, amirite? Well, let me tell you – these sourdough waffles have changed all that!

This recipe is good news for anyone who, like me, loves baking and eating bread. It’s even better news for your sourdough starters! This recipe not only motivated me to start taking better care of Chad, it had me eating waffles on a weekly basis. The trick is that not only is it spectacularly simple, it’s also unbelievably forgiving, making it a breeze to squeeze into any schedule.

The batter from the waffles is a mix of sourdough discard and a few other basic ingredients. Inspired by a similar approach for yeasted waffles, it can be fully mixed the night before, kept in the fridge and will be ready to go the next day. Even better – we found that the batter could keep for a few days in the fridge with no noticeable side effects. This meant that I could feed Chad at some point mid-week (either as a first step toward getting him pumped to make some bread, or just to keep him alive during his fridge hibernation), and have waffle batter ready to go for the weekend. The beauty of this approach is that it uses discard as opposed to requiring an active (recently fed) levain. So Chad gets fed, I get fed, and I avoid that guilty feeling of tossing out a pile of starter on a regular basis. In case you’re not sold yet, I should mention that additional side effects of using sourdough in your waffles are: pleasant tang, chewy texture, and even a rumoured superior browning compared to those made with chemical leavening agents, owing to the addition of (wild) yeast.

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Ingredients:
195 g sourdough discard*
200 g milk**
55g butter, melted***
95 g all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together until fully combined.
2. Cover and put the mixture in the fridge to rest overnight, or longer.
3. Don’t forget to feed your starter!
4. Make waffles the next day (or the next, …). No need to take the batter out ahead of time.

Notes:

  • *I feed my sourdough starter with a 50/50 mix of flour and water (described in more detail here). If you maintain a different hydration, you’ll likely need to adjust the flour/milk quantities slightly.
  • **Or buttermilk, even better!
  • ***You can substitute oil for butter if you’re in a rush without fear of major repercussions, but it’s definitely better with butter! Conversely, it might be nice to try using browned butter if time allows.
  • There are a ton of variations I’m looking forward to trying out with this base recipe, including add-ins and alternative flours. Keep an eye out for updates!

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