I thought it would be fun to have my own sourdough starter to make breads, pizza dough, waffles, etc. with. I used a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. Their website has lots of recipes and tips for sourdough starter and what you can do with it. This one uses a packet of dry active yeast which makes it really easy to make. A couple weeks ago I tried to make with with grapes instead of yeast. It started out well, but it ended up dying on me – don’t ask me how or why. This one bubbled and brewed immediately – giving off a pleasantly funky yeasty aroma, attracting a fruit fly or two – and after a couple days I was ready to make waffles. One of these days I will attempt Nancy Silverton’s grape starter. I am sure it is excellent, but it sure does require a lot more care than this one.
Let me just say, these are the best waffles I have every had. Totally worth the time and effort to make the starter. These waffles are a two-part process (the recipes are in the high-lighted links above). The night before, you make a “sponge” by mixing one cup of the starter with sugar, buttermilk and flour. Be sure to “feed” your starter at this point. Let this sit out overnight and it will bubble and get nice and funky.
The next morning, add the eggs, baking soda, salt and vegetable oil (the recipe says you may use either vegetable oil or melted butter. I usually jump at the chance to use butter, but I read in Cooks Illustrated that vegetable oil makes waffles nice and crisp, much better than butter). Now just make your waffles according to the directions from your waffle iron. Be careful, these seemed to expand nicely and my first batched oozed out, Blob-like which has never happened with other recipes. You may want to put slightly less batter in the iron that you are used too.
The end result is a crisp, light, tangy, rich waffle. Notice all the bubbles in the center of the waffle, like a good bread. The starter gives it a wonderful tangy depth that other waffles don’t have. I love the traditional American butter and syrup, and Luisito loves them Euro-style, with Nutella filling in all the crevices.