Why are waffles on the very outside edge of the breakfast landscape?

I mean, even on the weekend, pancakes are about as fancy as you get, right? Or maybe an omelet. Or a coffeecake. All good choices, for sure. But I’ll bet waffles seldom (if ever) enter your mind.

Maybe it’s because waffles have evolved into a restaurant treat vs. something you make at home. There’s not a self-respecting breakfast place that doesn’t offer waffles. Sliding up the fanciness scale, you go from homestyle waffles with butter and syrup to Belgian waffles with whipped cream and strawberries. Or, as at the Venetian in Las Vegas (our Buy vs. Bake comparison), with Tahitian vanilla bean butter.

Or maybe waffles are on the outs because your waffle iron is on the very top shelf of the cupboard, and it involves climbing up on the counter to retrieve it, and then it’s kind of dusty and sticky from a year ago, which was the last time you used it, and you need to clean it first…

Whatever the reason, I’m throwing down the gauntlet. Right here, right now, find that old waffle iron and get it in shape. Because once you taste these sourdough waffles, you’re going to want to serve them for breakfast (with the obligatory butter and syrup); brunch (got any Tahitian vanilla beans?), and dinner (as in chicken and waffles, a venerable favorite of Amish country, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, AND much of the South. To say nothing of the FDR White House, where chicken and waffles were served to visiting foreign dignitaries.)

These sourdough waffles are ultra-light and crisp, with a lovely moist interior. They’re pleasingly (but not overwhelmingly) tangy. And they make great use of that cup of starter you’re supposed to discard before feeding. Ready? Let’s waffle.


OK, pay attention now: you need to start this process the night before you want to make your waffles. Take your starter out of the fridge, stir it down, and remove 1 cup. (Note my messy bowl. I hope you keep your refrigerated starter in a nicer container than I do!) The 1 cup of cold starter is what you're going to use for the waffles; no need to feed it. But DO go through your usual feeding process for the remaining starter.


Mix the 1 cup of cold starter with flour, sugar, and buttermilk.


Mix till well combined, then cover and let rest at room temperature overnight, up to about 14-15 hours or so.


The next day, it should be nice and bubbly.


Add eggs, vegetable oil, and salt, stirring to combine.


Then stir in the baking soda. COOL! A bubbling cauldron of batter...  By the way, you should be preheating your waffle iron while you're preparing the batter.


Pour batter onto your hot greased iron. I'm using our Waring “flip over” Belgian waffle iron; it makes REALLY nice waffles—crisp outside, moist inside.  And the waffles don't stick, either—always a plus.


I don't know about your iron, but the Waring should be filled almost full—like this—to produce a nicely shaped waffle.


And here it is, after its 5-minute bake. Light—crisp—delicious!


Serve with strawberries, if you like. Whipped cream is always a plus, too. Note the deep pockets—perfect for collecting melting butter and maple syrup, if that's your preference.


See how light and airy the interior is? Sourdough starter really gives the leavening a boost here. And it adds mild tang, a tasty complement to the sweet syrup.

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Sourdough Waffles.

New to sourdough? Find the help you need for all of your sourdough baking at our Sourdough Essentials page.

Filed Under: Recipes
PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!