Is there anything better than homemade waffles? I didn’t think so, until I tried these sourdough waffles, and they blew my mind!
The key ingredient is sourdough starter discard.
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is the sourdough starter you have left over after you’re done feeding. Feeding a starter just means you take a small amount of your existing starter and add water and flour. (Don’t have a starter? Learn How to Make Sourdough Starter in Six Easy Steps!)
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But what happens to the rest of the starter that’s left behind – your discard?
You can discard it, as the name implies. Scrape it into the garbage, then rinse your container in hot soapy water.
You can add it to other recipes! This adds a boost of nutrition from your starter, and makes regular recipes more flavorful. For example, Belgian waffles are good, but sourdough Belgian waffles are amazing!
If you’re growing tired of feeding your starter, or if you’re planning a long vacation, consider drying your starter and storing it in the pantry. Check out How to Dry (and Revive) Your Sourdough Starter for Long-Term Storage for step-by-step instructions on both drying and reviving your starter.
One of my favorite discard recipes to date is these sourdough waffles. I’ve tried about a half dozen waffle recipes, and my husband (ever the critic) never really loved any of them, until these.
I use an Oster double-sided waffle iron that cost me about $50. Much like any new kitchen appliance, it took a little while to get used to the iron’s “personality”, including which heat setting I prefer, how much batter to use, and how many minutes it takes to make a perfect waffle.
One other thing to pay attention to: how fresh is your baking soda? If it’s been sitting in your pantry for a year or more, your waffles will come out more dense than if you had a fresh box. It’s worth the dollar to get new baking soda and have a much better end result. I personally try to replace my baking soda every six-ish months. I put the old box in the back of the fridge to keep it smelling fresh.
After you pull the waffles from the iron, place them on a cooling rack. This ensures they don’t become soggy on the bottom as they cool. We usually eat our pancakes and waffles with maple syrup, but these are so good they can be eaten plain, or with a little sprinkle of icing sugar. If you don’t have a waffle iron, you can also use this recipe as sourdough pancakes.
Don’t forget to include your kids in this process!
Making sourdough waffles is a fun experience for both kids and adults, so bring them into the kitchen and let them see how waffles are actually made! Invite them to help mix, to watch you pour the batter into the iron, and to see what they look like when you lift the lid and they’re fully cooked!
It’s definitely a “wow” moment for children, and you have the ability to give that to them! This will form memories for years to come.
Enjoy, and happy baking!
Check out The Web’s Largest List of Sourdough Discard Recipes for other sourdough discard recipe ideas!
The Night Before
- 2 cups all purpose flour preferably unbleached
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup sourdough starter discard unfed
The Morning Of
- entire overnight sponge
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon optional
- 1 tsp vanilla extract optional
The Night Before
- Overnight sponge: stir the unfed starter and remove 3/4 cup. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, buttermilk and the 3/4 cup of starter.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and leave on counter overnight, letting the sponge rest at a room temperature between 65°F – 70°F overnight, or 12 hours.
The Morning Of
- In the morning, start by preheating your waffle iron. Peek at your sponge and see how much it grew! (Older kids love this part.)
- Beat together the butter and eggs in a small bowl. Stir into the overnight sponge.
- Add the salt, baking soda and optional ingredients if using, and stir to combine. You’ll notice the batter start to produce bubbles – this is how you know it’s ready!
- Spray cooking oil on your preheated waffle iron and pour batter onto the plate. Close the lid and bake according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
- When waffles are done, remove with silicone tongs and serve immediately, or place on cooling rack, to guarantee crispness. Tip: Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet in a warm oven to hold your waffles as you cook the remainder. This will allow air to circulate around the waffles, preventing them from becoming soggy on the bottom.Tip: To freeze, allow to cool completely on cooling rack, then stack and place in freezer bags. Parchment paper in between waffles is optional, but not necessary. Reheat in microwave or toaster.