These tangy sourdough waffles are crunchy and golden on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. If you are maintaining a sourdough starter you will likely have lots of sourdough discard. I feed my starter first thing in the morning and love making these crispy sourdough waffles with the discard.
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The batter comes together very quickly and doesn’t need any rising time since baking soda is used as the leavening agent. You can use either fresh starter or sourdough discard in this recipe.
What is sourdough?
Sourdough is a leavening method typically used for sourdough bread. Sourdough relies on the naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in flour to leaven baked goods.
As you get to know your starter you can adjust your process to suit your routine. Because I wanted to reduce the amount of discard I generate I have actually converted my starter to a micro starter which you can read more about at Cooks Illustrated.
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is the part of your sourdough starter that you usually throw away when you feed it. I feel guilty about throwing away food and am always looking for ways to reduce food waste.
Sourdough discard adds tons of incredible flavor to baked goods. The lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough discard adds flavor and tenderizes wheat proteins.
This recipe can use sourdough discard from any step in the sourdough starter process. It can be bubbly and freshly fed, dormant from sitting in your refrigerator, or anywhere in between. It also doesn’t matter what type of flour your starter has been fed with. All-purpose, whole wheat, or any variety of flour will work.
Sourdough Tip: Keep a glass jar in your refrigerator to store your sourdough discard. Continue adding to it until you have enough to make one of these sourdough discard recipes.
How to make sourdough waffles
- Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature and also preheat the waffle iron.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the sourdough discard, buttermilk, milk, melted butter, egg yolks, and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, begin whisking the egg whites. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until the egg whites form soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the waffle batter until just combined.
- Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. As they finish cooking transfer each waffle directly to the oven rack to keep warm and continue to crisp. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Top with the toppings of your choice and enjoy.
If you need instructions on how to whip and fold in egg whites check out the instructions in my original post for Crispy Waffles.
- Warm the buttermilk before combining it with the melted butter. If you don’t the butter will coagulate and you will be left with small bits of butter that won’t mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Waffle batter is similar to biscuit and pie dough. The less you handle it the more tender the end result will be. Do not beat your waffle batter. Stir until all of the ingredients are just combined. A few lumps are fine.
- Figure out how much batter your waffle iron will hold so that your waffles are not always overflowing. I own a standard American style waffle iron that holds a 1/2 cup of batter. A larger Belgian style waffle iron will require more batter.
- Add some chocolate chips or chopped berries to the batter for extra flavor.
- Use wooden or rubber utensils, not metal, to remove the waffles. This will help prevent scratches and preserve the nonstick surface of the waffle iron. I like these nylon tipped spring-loaded tongs.
Bonus Tip: This batter also makes delicious sourdough pancakes. Just cook the batter on a hot griddle instead of in a waffle iron.
Can you freeze waffle batter?
I wouldn’t recommend it. The freezing and thawing process would deflate the whipped egg whites. It would be better to cook the extra batter and freeze the finished waffles.
How long to cook waffles in a waffle maker
My waffle maker has an indicator light that turns green when the waffles are supposedly done. But I don’t think it is very accurate. The best way to tell when your waffles are ready is to wait until the steam has almost completely stopped rising out of the waffle maker before lifting the lid.
How to keep waffles crispy and warm
My biggest issue with waffles is that unless you have multiple waffle irons, you can only cook one waffle at a time. When making waffles for multiple people this just doesn’t work. Here’s how to keep waffles warm so that everyone can eat together.
- Set your oven to the lowest temperature possible.
- Place your cooked waffles directly on the oven rack to keep them warm and crispy while you cook the rest of the waffles.
I love waffles for breakfast. Top them with traditional maple syrup or try them with some yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit.
Feeling adventurous? Make up a batch of my fried sourdough chicken tenders (or baked if you prefer) and serve them on top of these sourdough waffles topped with honey.
Frozen homemade sourdough waffles make a quick weekday breakfast and taste so mush better than frozen store-bought waffles.
- Allow the waffles to cool completely.
- Place the waffles in a single layer on a wax paper or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for at least a couple of hours.
- Once the waffles are completely frozen, transfer them to an air-tight container or a zip-top bag. Label with the contents and date.
- Waffles can be frozen for up to six months.
- Remove the waffles from the freezer and allow them to defrost in a single layer on the counter for about 10 minutes.
- Reheat in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place the waffles directly on the oven rack for about 5 minutes.
- Reheat in the Toaster: If the waffles fit in your toaster, toast them on medium to low heat.
Sourdough Discard Tip: This recipe is designed for discard that is at 100% hydration. Depending on the hydration level (consistency) of your sourdough starter, you may need a little more or less flour to achieve the desired waffle batter consistency.
Looking for more breakfast treats?
- Ham Leek and Hash Brown Muffins
- How to Make Amazing French Toast Using Almost Any Type of Bread
- Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
- Sourdough Banana Bread
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