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How to Make Sourdough Waffles

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Make perfect fluffy waffles with sourdough discard, or active starter. this recipe makes excellent sourdough pancakes too!

Sourdough waffles on a plate with butter, berries, and syrup.

Sourdough has become incredibly popular over the last few years, and with good reason! So many of my friends find that they can tolerate wheat-based bread made with sourdough better than others.

It makes sense. The sourdough works to essentially “pre-digest” (not a technical term) the wheat, making it easier for your digestive system to process, and adding a prebiotic component.

With that said, this sourdough waffles recipe is incredibly versatile. While I recommend making your batter the night before you cook the waffles so it can ferment thoroughly, there are shortcuts you can use to get around it. Because let’s face it, we don’t always have the brain space left to add making breakfast ahead of time to your nightly routine.

pouring syrup over sourdough waffles

When you don’t have time to let it ferment overnight, you simply let it ferment for the time you have available – if any – and add some baking powder to the batter to make sure your waffles turn out nice and fluffy.

When I’m sharing old fashioned recipes like sourdough, I like to call back to how we did it growing up, or in my Amish community, or later, in school. You know, just so y’all know I’m not pulling these recipes out of nowhere.

But I hate to say it, sourdough waffles are relatively new to me. To tell the truth, we didn’t have a waffle maker. That Amish community I mentioned? No electricity. of course, I heard about waffle irons that could be used on your stove top, but we never had one. I don’t know if they were rare, or my mom just didn’t think it was worthwhile when we could just make pancakes instead.

In any case, the principles of baking science and sourdough fermentation still apply, and fortunately, with waffles, you can make a lot of practice batches in a fairly short amount of time. My kids, it turns out, love sourdough waffles. So I’m thankful for this little electric appliance called a waffles iron.

Is this a sourdough discard recipe:

Yes and no.

I have a little bit of beef with sourdough discard recipes. While they do have value, that value is minimal compared to properly fermented recipes.

Taking a bite out of sourdough waffles

First of all, I make my bread in such a way that I don’t have sourdough discard. After all, waste not, want not.

Secondly, the whole point of sourdough, for me, is that it actively ferments your wheat and makes it better for you. You don’t get a lot of that when you add inactive discard to a recipe and immediately cook it.

So while, yes, this can be made as a sourdough starter discard recipe, and I’ve included instructions for that in the recipe card below, I’ve also included instructions for making this as an overnight-proofed sourdough recipe.

Sure, sometimes you don’t have time to get the ball rolling twelve plus hours before breakfast, and a little sourdough is better than no sourdough. That’s when it’s time for a discard recipe for me.

Ingredients for making sourdough waffles

The ingredients for this sourdough waffle recipe are pretty simple and straight forward – and likely already in your pantry.

ingredients for making sourdough waffles

  • Sourdough starter
  • Flour
  • milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Melted Butter
  • Large eggs
  • Salt
  • Optional: Baking soda

Ingredient substitution

Like with most waffle or pancake recipes, there are a number of substations you can make and still end up with a good waffle.

For instance, sub oil, such as light olive oil, or melted coconut oil for the butter. Use honey or brown sugar instead of granulated sugar. You can also control the sweetness of the batter by adjusting the amount of sugar. Keep in mind that this will also affect how moist or dry your waffles are.

Use buttermilk. You can also use partly whole wheat flour, which adds a nice depth of flavor and heartiness.

How to make sourdough waffles

For overnight waffles, combine flour, sugar, active sourdough starter, vanilla, butter, and water together in a large bowl to form a thick batter.

butter, milk, flour, sourdough starter in a bowl

Cover and let ferment at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, whisk in eggs and salt.

eggs in waffle batter after it's fermented.

Heat waffle iron and bake waffle batter as normal.

For quicker waffles, stir dry ingredients together including baking soda, then whisk in wet ingredients, using either sourdough discard or active sourdough starter.

Let rest for 30 minutes.

sourdough waffle batter ready to cook

Heat your waffle iron and bake as normal.

sourdough waffles served with syrup and berries

Storing leftover waffles

Sourdough waffles are great for making ahead and freeze really well.

  • After making the waffles, let them cool completely. I like to lay them out on a wire cooling rack in a single layer.
  • Then, pack them up in ziplock bags, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing them up.
  • Once cooled and bagged, you can store them in the refrigerator for a week.
  • To freeze waffles: Lay them out on a baking sheet so that they’ll freeze in shape and fit in the toaster later on.
  • Put frozen waffles in a ziplock bag, seal, and freeze for up to about 2 months.
  • To reheat, unbag and place in the toaster, or oven, still frozen until hot.

More waffle recipes:

Topping ideas for sourdough waffles

There are no end of variations for waffle toppings! Some of my family are die-hard maple syrup lovers, while others will put nearly anything on their waffle.

I like to serve fresh berries or fruit with waffles, and sometimes for a treat, make homemade strawberry syrup, or blueberry soup to put on our waffles, depending on what’s in season. Chocolate chips and peanut butter are also really good.

Whipped cream is also a great addition! We recently discovered the joy of cherry pie filling and whipped cream on them.

More sourdough recipes to try:

 

Print

How to Make Sourdough Waffles

  • Author: Elise New

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup active sourdough starter (or sourdough discard for quick waffles)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (for quick waffles)

Instructions

For overnight waffles: 

  1. Combine flour, sugar, oil, sourdough starter, milk, butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl to make a thick batter
  2. Cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight
  3. In the morning, whisk in eggs and salt
  4. Heat waffle iron, and bake waffles according to waffle iron instructions. Mine lights up when it’t hot enough, takes 1/3 cup of batter per waffle, and lights up again when the waffle is done. 

For quick or sourdough discard waffles: 

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl
  2. Whisk eggs, and add to dry ingredients along with butter, sourdough starter, milk, and vanilla
  3. Stir until just combined, and cook according to waffle iron instructions. 

Enjoy!

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