Our floor lamp in the great room is on an automatic timer. I generally try to have it come on a little after sunset, when the skies give up their light at the end of each day. We’ve been doing this “chasing the sun” schedule for nearly 13 years now, but I still feel a boost of giddiness when I get to start setting the timer for later each day. It’s not that I don’t love winter, because I do love it very much. I just think with a little over 3 weeks left of official winter, I’m looking forward to spring backcountry skiing, longer days, and hopefully some big ass spring storms to replenish that high country snowpack. In the meantime, we are dutifully logging our ski days as best as we can. And Neva is definitely happier for it.
little neva lives for the dog-friendly nordic trails
happiest pup on the planet
When I first read the care and maintenance instructions for my starter, Wheatley, I thought there was a typo. It said to take a small fraction of the starter, feed it, and discard the rest – either in the trash or the compost, but don’t pour it down the sink as it could grow and clog up the pipes. Discard? Food? I soon understood that keeping it all would be an exercise in madness. In an effort to reduce waste, I began to take the very smallest fraction (5 grams) of starter for feedings before bread-making and save the discard in the refrigerator for things like delicious, fluffy waffles.
flour, starter discard, eggs, butter, baking soda, salt, sugar, buttermilk
Waffles and pancakes are a great way to use up discard or unfed starter. This recipe uses a cup of discard and easily doubles if you want to freeze waffles or pancakes for quick breakfasts on weekdays. It does require a little planning, which may present difficulty for the non-planners, but the rest of you will be just fine. The night before you make waffles (or pancakes), stir the discard, buttermilk, flour, and sugar together in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter overnight at room temperature. That’s called the sponge.
combine the discard, flour, sugar, and buttermilk
cover with plastic and let sit out overnight
By morning, the sponge should be larger and a little bubbly. This is good. Now you’re ready to start making waffles. First beat a couple of eggs in a bowl or measuring cup. You can use vegetable oil or melted butter – I chose butter, naturally – but if you use melted butter, do let it cool enough so it doesn’t cook the eggs when you stir them together. Slowly incorporate this buttery egg mixture into your sponge. If you stir too enthusiastically at the start, the butter mixture can slosh out of the bowl and possibly onto you. When the batter is mixed, stir in the salt and baking soda.
the sponge will have expanded and there will be some bubbles
add cooled melted butter (or oil) to the eggs
stir the butter mixture into the sponge
add salt and baking soda
I used to make waffles in an electric waffle iron until I needed a Belgian waffle iron for a client shoot. The one I purchased is a stovetop Belgian waffle iron (made by NordicWare – this isn’t an ad) and I love it because it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and stows away smaller than an electric appliance. Those big pockets hold lots of fruit, syrup, butter, whipped cream, whatever you load onto your waffles! One batch of batter gets me about 5 full 8-inch square waffles or 6 lazy waffles (when I don’t try to get the corners filled). [Also? I just went to Amazon to look up the dimensions of my waffle iron and saw the egg waffle pan. I did not know this was a thing. WHY DIDN’T YOU PEOPLE TELL ME?!]
cook your waffle according to your waffle iron’s instructions
crisp outside, fluffy inside
a stack of four (we ate the fifth one)
We are completely sold on these waffles. They are better than any waffles I have ever had in a restaurant – and I’ve enjoyed some really good ones. The wonderfully crisp exteriors, super fluffy interiors, and the yeasted flavor are the perfect combination. I can’t wait to try a batch with huckleberries in the batter! So if you’re distressed over starter discard, make a batch or two of these delicious sourdough waffles and freeze any extras for your future self.
piled with berries
sourdough starter discard makes the best waffle
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
2 tbsps (25g) granulated sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup (240g) sourdough starter, unfed/discard
2 large eggs
1/4 cup melted butter (cooled) or vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mix the sponge the night before: Stir down your refrigerated starter to release any air bubbles. Measure out 1 cup of the starter. [At this point, you can feed the remaining starter if necessary.] Mix the flour, sugar, buttermilk, and 1 cup of sourdough starter together. Cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature overnight or 8-12 hours.
Make the waffles: Uncover the sponge. Beat the eggs and stir in the butter (or oil). Stir the mixture into the sponge. Add the salt and baking soda to the batter and stir to combine. Cook your waffles according to the waffle iron instructions or make pancakes with the batter as you desire. Makes 4-6 Belgian waffles or a dozen 8-inch waffles or 2 dozen medium pancakes.
To freeze: Allow to cool completely. Layer with a sheet of wax paper and place in gallon ziploc bags. Freeze for up to a couple of months. Reheat in a medium oven (350°F) until outside is crisp.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|waffles||huckleberry waffles||sourdough bread||raspberry buttermilk pancakes|