When I was a youngster, my grandparents returned from a trip to San Francisco with a gift package of sour dough starter. For many years our family has enjoyed Bread, Biscuits, Doughnuts, Pancakes and Waffles made with Sour Dough starter.
The available recipes for Sour Dough Waffles call for adding salt, soda, sugar, vegetable oil, flour and water to sourdough starter. In other words Sour Dough Starter + [everything in a normal waffle mix] = sour dough.
So here is the Hack...
Start with a batch of Waffle Mix, make it per the recipe on the box, then add Sour Dough Starter.
THE RESULT IS SURPRISINGLY GOOD!
- The acids in the starter react with the leaven to create a very foamy batter.
- The resulting waffles were very tasty.
- The sour flavor increases if the waffles are frozen and toasted later
- Making waffles is easier/less time consuming than making bread.
- I can use a cup of starter, and make room for feeding my little colony of yeasties.
Step 1: Obtain/Keep a Health Sour Dough.
You don't have to go to San Francisco to obtain an authentic starter. My current starter was purchased in a health food store somewhere in the desert South West.
The care and feeding of a batch of starter is very important, but pretty simple:
- Feed it a good flour at least every week or so.
- Give it pure water.
- Let the little critters have a warm place to grow from time to time.
- Keep contaminants away.
- Store it in a non-reactive container. (I prefer containers made glass, with a non-metal lid.)
The most common killer of a sourdough starter is contamination by mold. Only use only a clean wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir your container of starter. Most of the time, I mix mine by sealing the lid and shaking it (over the sink -- to avoid a spill). With the lid sealed, I clean the outside of the container.
I only use bottled water. Tap water contains chemicals that are intended to protect our health by killing little critters like bacteria and yeasts. I have had much better success since switching to bottled water.
The other common killer of a starter is neglect. Having an opportunity for great tasting waffles (or pancakes) is a great excuse to pay attention to your starter.
Step 2: Make a Batch of Waffle Batter According to the Recipe on the Box/bag.
I use a good local waffle mix. There are several available.
Mix the batter in a bowl that is a little more than twice the size you would need for the batter alone. There will be some expansion.
Most waffle recipes just add a little vegetable oil to a standard pancake recipe. A scratch recipe would be fine also. Just remember to hold off on adding the sour dough until the griddle is hot.
Step 3: Warm Up Your Griddle
If you haven't already done it, get your waffle iron or pancake griddle up to temperature.
Step 4: Stir in Your Starter
Add your starter to the batter. Since an active starter should be about the consistency of waffle batter anyway, the amount can be imprecise. This is going to expand, so watch that you don't add too much.
Gently mix until well blended.
Enjoy watching the bubbles...
WHILE YOU RAPIDLY PROCEED TO THE NEXT TWO STEPS!
Step 5: Brush/Spray the Griddle With Vegetable Oil.
Lightly oil the griddle, and rapidly proceed to the next step.
Step 6: We Are Making Waffles!
Add an appropriate amount of batter to the waffle iron/griddle.
Close/Flip as required by your device.
Watch for steam to slow, lights to go off/on the same as you normally do with your particular device.
Volume, Time and Temperature are all variables you can experiment with in your quest for the perfect waffle.
Remove the results to a cooling rack.
Re-oil and repeat!
Step 7: Feed Your Starter
While you are waiting for the next batch, go ahead and feed your starter.
You are going to want to do this again soon.
Step 8: Garnish and Enjoy!
- Butter and Maple Syrup
- Butter and Jam
- Fresh made Fruit Compote (Frozen berries and sugar, microwave 45-90 seconds)
- Peanut Butter and Syrup
- Fruit Yogurt
- Heart shaped Strawberries and Ice Cream.
(Cut the stem out with a "V" cut, Slice in half perpendicular to the "V" resulting in a heart shape.)
Sorry no strawberries in the house right now, so I can only describe the process.
Step 9: Freeze the Leftovers -- Toast Them Later
If there are any leftovers, bag them flat and freeze them.
They taste even a little more sour after a few days in the freezer.
My waffle iron seemed to be exactly the wrong size for making toaster size waffles.
Eventually I figured how to re-orient the pieces and toast one waffle in a two slice toaster.