Using leftover sourdough starter discard for waffles is one of the easiest things you can do. Make the batter overnight to enjoy in the morning, before your first sip of coffee! You’ll be the most popular person in the house.
Every weekend, like clockwork, my kids barrel down the stairs begging for waffles.
And if you know anything about me, there’s absolutely NO requests (or even the slightest muttering of words!) before a slow, thoughtful sip of my morning coffee. Preferably in silence.
I could obviously make things easy on myself and buy a box of frozen waffles for the kids to make themselves- Dillon is super into cooking these days.
But instead, we’ve been making these delicious sourdough waffles and they are absolutely divine.
Not Yo’ Mama’s Waffle Recipe
Want to know what makes this recipe extra special?
It uses leftover sourdough starter!
If you’re an avid sourdough baker, finding ways to use up any extra starter is not only practical and less wasteful, it adds the most wonderful depth of flavor to whatever you’re making. It’s a real treat.
But don’t worry- these waffles do not taste sour. As long as the leftover starter has been recently fed and is in good shape (doesn’t smell awful, like nail polish remover) your sourdough waffles be absolutely delicious.
And plus, something magical happens when you combine sourdough starter with baking powder.
It makes the waffles, or whatever baked good you’re making, lighter in texture. From what I understand, it has to do with how the bacteria within the sourdough starter reacts with the leavening agent.
I’m not sure of the exact specifics really, but I’ll take light and airy waffles without a scientific explanation any day!
How to Make Sourdough Waffles: A Few Tips
For the batter, I trust you already know how to combine wet and dry ingredients. So, I’ll skip the play-by-play here. I’ve included my personal favorite tips to up your game in the breakfast department:
1.) For Light, Airy, and Crisp Sourdough Waffles
Do not overcrowd the pan with batter. I use a heaping 1/2 cup + a few spoonfuls to fill a Belgian waffle-size pan. Pour the batter mostly in the center, working your way out as you go. When the lid goes down it will push the batter out toward the sides. If you end up overcrowding the pan the waffles will steam, become doughy, and eventually, turn rubbery.
2.) For Dairy Free/Gluten Free Sourdough Waffles
Swap out the milk for any plant milk your choice (we’ve tried it with unsweetened, vanilla almond milk- yum!) and ditch the melted butter for vegetable oil (vegan butter works too). For gluten free, use your favorite all-purpose GF flour. I highly recommend this GF flour by King Arthur. It’s not gritty at all.
3.) To Make-Ahead
Who doesn’t love breakfast that can be made in advance?!
Just mix the batter before you go to bed, and chill overnight in the fridge. In the morning, add a splash of milk to loosen up the texture if it seems too thick. This is usually the case as the flour tends to absorb extra liquid on the overnight. Easy peasy.
We like to brush our sourdough waffles with melted butter (just a little) and then press the pieces into a mixture of cinnamon sugar or even pumpkin spice. You certainly don’t have to do this- plain is fine, too.
Then drizzle the waffles with pure maple syrup, top with fruit, and tuck in!
PS: Cooked sourdough waffles freeze beautifully! Re-heat them (frozen) in the toaster oven or regular oven (350 F until warmed through). Top with vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of golden syrup for the ultimate, decadent dessert- it’s my husband’s childhood favorite!
Adapted from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, these crispy, perfectly light cinnamon sugar sourdough waffles are the ultimate, homemade breakfast treat!
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 1 tsp (3g) cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (120g) leftover sourdough starter (see note below)
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk, whole, 2%, or plant milk of your choice, plus more as needed to thin out the batter
- 3 tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (120g all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
- 2 tsp (10g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Cooking spray, for coating
- 1 cup (165g) cubed pineapple
- Handful of mixed seasonal berries
- 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flakes, optional
- Pure maple syrup, to serve
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add the leftover sourdough starter, milk, 2 tbsp (28g) of melted butter, and egg into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and continue to whisk until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk as needed to thin out the texture. *Note: The amount of milk needed will depend on the consistency of your sourdough starter.
- Lightly coat the waffle iron with cooking spray. Ladle some of the batter into the pan (don’t overfill; if will be a huge mess!). Cook for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Transfer to a cutting board and brush lightly with some of the remaining melted butter.
- Press the waffle into the cinnamon sugar to coat on both sides. Repeat to cook the rest of the waffles.
- To serve, top your waffles with the fresh fruit of your choice and coconut flakes, if using. Enjoy with sweet maple syrup on the side!
For best results, use a 100% hydration starter fed with equal parts flour and water by weight. Its batter-like texture is the perfect match for these sourdough waffles. If you’re using a thicker, low hydration starter you might have to adjust the overall liquid in this recipe.
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