I cringe at the idea that waffles should be nothing more than a vessel for syrup and butter. Don’t get me wrong, that creamy and sweet “waffle juice” is nothing short of nectar of the gods, but having super sugary waffles just makes the experience a little too sickly-sweet for my taste.
I also like the idea of having waffles that have an actual flavor to them (no, plain sugar is not a flavor). Something that could be eaten simply with butter, if you wanted to live dangerously like that. The times I make waffles, I usually make extras to be frozen. The boys then pop them into the toaster for a quick and tasty breakfast, and that is exactly how they eat them.
Waffle recipes worth speaking of that suit my tastes have been hard to find. So I’ve had to do a lot of tinkering to get a good balance of texture and taste. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find some recipes for that used sourdough starter (something I always have on hand, and you can, too, just click here or here!), but still somewhat disappointed in that they were otherwise pretty plain. It’s amazing what a little tweaking of the ingredients can do!
The first time I made these, we were sold. I think the words my oldest said were “these are AMAZING!” Then he shoveled another bite into his mouth. Everyone else was too busy eating to say more (I did teach them not to speak with food in their mouths), but a chorus of “mm-hmm” was heard around the table. It does take some planning ahead because you do need to have time for making both enough starter, as well as the “sponge”. A day in advance is really all you need.
“AMAZING” Sourdough Waffles Recipe
For the “sponge”:
- 2 c. active sourdough starter of your choice (I have two to choose from: this or this)
- 2c. water
- 2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
For the rest of the waffle batter:
- 11 Tbsp. salted butter
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (or try 3/4 tsp. orange or lemon extract)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup any one of the following: ground flaxseed, almond flour, coconut flour (optional, but really tastes great)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
Feed your sourdough starter 24 hours before you intend to make your waffles, making sure to have enough starter for the recipe plus extra for saving. If you don’t have starter ready, you can use my “cheater’s” version, but will still need to start it at least 24 hours before you plan to make the waffles. You will need to double the recipe to have enough for the waffles. It takes only about 5 minutes to do this!
Make the “sponge” the night before you want to make the waffles. Mix all the sponge ingredients in a large non-reactive mixing bowl, cover, and set aside out of any drafts.
When you are ready to make the waffles, put the butter and honey into a small pot or microwave proof bowl and heat until the butter is melted. Mix the honey and butter together until combined.
In another bowl beat the eggs with the salt and extract. Slowly drizzle in the butter mixture as you beat the eggs until they are all mixed. Add the baking soda and mix.
Add the almond/flaxseed/coconut flour, if using, to the sponge along with the butter/egg mixture. Gently stir it all together until combined. Once it is incorporated, stop mixing! The baking soda will start reacting immediately with the acid from the sourdough and if you continue to stir you will release the gases that will make your waffles light and fluffy.
Allow the batter to sit for just a few minutes while you preheat your waffle maker to your desired setting. These waffles are pretty buttery, so it is not likely that you will need to add any non-stick spray. Once your waffles are done, place them on a cooling rack instead of a plate so that any moisture coming from them won’t make them soggy. Serve right away with butter and syrup of your choice, or even jam or jelly.
If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool completely on a rack. Once cooled you can break apart the segments and then place them in a large plastic tub or zip-type plastic bag. They are ready to pop into a toaster to reheat whenever you want!