There is something about waffles that makes me crave them every once in a while, I guess it is the combination of fruit, syrup and bread.
I have tried dozens of different waffles, from pre-made, frozen discs to the most elaborate, from-scratch recipes but, my favorite so far is made with sourdough starter.
If you are familiar with bread making you are familiar with sourdough and with its starter. Starter is made of flour and water that you let sit until it ferments. The result is a colony of microorganisms including wild yeast and lactobacilli that helps produce a vigorous leaven and develops the flavor of the bread.
This is a technique older than time. Before commercial yeast was invented, bakers all over the world made bread using this method. Unfortunately, with globalization and mass production, this technique is no longer viable for bread making but a few local, artisan bakers still use natural leaven.
There are hundreds of recipes and techniques online to make starter. I will not be covering how to do that on this post but it is coming up on a later post. I will however, cover how to prepare the starter for this recipe.
I almost gave up when I first started experimenting with ingredients to come up with a good sourdough waffle recipe. I switched wet to dry ingredient ratios, tried different brands of flour, changed the amount of starter and nothing seemed to help. My waffles had good flavor but were stale and not chewy enough. After a few tries I realized I was doing something wrong.
I always try to cook everything last minute so everyone gets their meals at the right temperature, well, with waffles that doesn’t always work. One of the things you have to avoid while making either pancakes or waffles is develop gluten in your batter. The more you let your batter sit on the counter after you mix it the more gluten starts to develop. That was my problem. I was mixing my ingredients too soon, not hours, but even 15 minutes make a good difference in the final result, so, wait until the last possible minute to mix your ingredients.
Since you have to make your leaven the night before, you have to plan making waffles in advance but trust me, your planning and patience will be rewarded. All I’m gonna say about this waffles is that the difference between any other waffles and these ones is night and day. You will be glad you took the time to make them.
To make the leaven, mix 1 tablespoon of your starter, 75 grams of all-purpose flour, 75 grams of whole wheat flour and 150 grams of filtered or purified water in a non-reactive bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest overnight on your counter (do not refrigerate). In the morning, weigh 8 oz of leaven and discard the rest. Make sure to save 1 tablespoon of your mixture and feed it to keep your starter going.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
- 3 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup Milk
- 8 oz Sourdough Starter (by weight)
- 3 tablespoons Butter (melted)
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl
- In separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Add starter and whisk until completely blended
- Incorporate flour mixture and butter and stir until combined. Add flour or milk as needed to adjust batter consistency
- Cook in waffle maker according to manufacturer's instructions