Sourdough Belgian Waffles
Belgian waffles originated at The Brussels World Fair Expo ’58, and were introduced in North America in 1962 at the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle. Belgian waffles typically are made with yeast, which makes them crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. While a partial rise is provided by yeast, baking powder is also used to speed up the rise.
The recipes we are more familiar with use baking powder only, or baking powder and baking soda, without using yeast. (If you would rather make regular (not sourdough) waffles, you can get very good results with my other recipe for Waffles ).
Belgian waffles have those deep square indents that we love to fill with butter and syrup, and they’re also great topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. An easy way to make original yeasted Belgian waffles is to use some of that sourdough starter you have bubbling away on your counter or in your fridge. The beauty of using sourdough for waffles is that the starter doesn’t have to be completely active to still make a nice waffle. It’s used for flavor more than anything else, so a sleepy starter from the fridge, or an actively bubbling starter on the counter, or a new starter that’s not quite ready—they’re all just as good. Really, it’s the the baking powder in the recipe that provides most of the lift.
The flavor you end up with will depend on your starter. A really mild starter will be much less assertive in the waffles than if you’ve got a seriously sour starter brewing. (I didn’t even notice it in the waffles I made.) Either way, it’s a great use for sourdough starter, particularly if you’ve been aggressively feeding, your jar is threatening to overflow, and it’s not a convenient day for breadmaking. If you are a sourdough bread baker anyway, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try. It might just become your favorite way of making waffles!
Give your sourdough starter a good stir, then measure out the required amount.
This is the time to turn on your waffle iron too, so that it has a chance to pre-heat.
Put the starter in a medium bowl and whisk it together with the oil, milk and eggs.
Add flour, then sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar over the flour. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add a little more flour if necessary to thicken, or milk to thin. Do not over-mix!
Make sure to spray both top and bottom of the waffle iron before cooking each waffle. This batter is a little harder to work with than one without yeast, as it tends to stick together because of the gluten in it. It doesn’t spread as easily over the waffle maker like regular batter does, so here is my trick to getting a full waffle. I put a spoonful of batter into each quarter of the waffle iron, then spread it around out quickly with the back of the spoon to fill in the whole circle. Then put the lid down, and you will get a nicely formed, full waffle that way. Cook until the steam pouring out of the waffle iron slows down a lot, about 3 – 4 minutes. The waffle should be a uniform deep golden brown, and it should stay crispy in a warm oven for 10 minutes or so. Put the finished waffle directly onto the rack of a warm oven. If the waffle edges go soft almost right away, it means you haven’t cooked it long enough. Simply put the waffle back into the waffle iron and close the lid, letting it cook for another couple of minutes.
Remove with finished waffle with a fork, and keep it warm in the oven while the next one cooks. Eat as soon as possible. YUM!
If you have some waffles left over, the best way to warm them up is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and put the waffles directly onto the oven racks, in the same way you kept them warm after cooking. This allows the hot air to circulate completely around the waffle, and crisps it up nicely. It only takes 5 – 6 minutes to reheat and crisp up nicely in the oven.
What a great use for sourdough starter! This recipe is for the original type of Belgian waffles from Brussels. They are made with yeast, which results in a waffle that is crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. Using a sourdough batter gives these waffles just a hint of the tangy flavour found in sourdough bread, and makes it every bit as quick and easy to make as regular baking powder waffles. If you have a Belgian Waffle maker, your waffles will have those deep square indentations that are equally good filled with butter and syrup, or topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Make it a special morning by whipping up these easy sourdough waffles.
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Preheat waffle iron.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sourdough, oil, milk and eggs.
- Add flour, then sprinkle baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar over the flour. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add flour if necessary to thicken, or milk to thin. Do not over-mix!
- Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter on the waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.
Depending on the consistency of your sourdough starter, a little more or less flour may be needed to achieve a waffle batter consistency. These waffles are best when served straight from the waffle iron. They can be kept warm in a 175 degree F oven, but don’t put them on a plate, as some of the crispiness will be lost the longer they wait. The best way to keep them warm while you cook the rest of the batter is to pre-heat the oven to warm (175 degrees F), and place each waffle directly on the oven racks rather than on a plate. Serve as soon as possible.
To reheat leftover waffles, preheat oven to 350 degrees F, then place waffles directly on the oven racks for 5-6 minutes. They will be crispy on the outside again, and ready to eat.