Still waffling? Try these sourdough waffles

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.

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!


  1. chocolatechic

    I, sadly, don’t even own a waffle iron.

    Alas… Did you know you can make fudge waffles? Or take brownie batter and cook it in a waffle iron to make this chocolate-y, gooey-crisp…. stuff? – PJH

  2. Cathy

    Okay, I’m convinced. I’ve had a sourdough starter for more than 4 years now and I’ve made everything BUT waffles. (I’ve even made dog biscuits.) I gave away my waffle iron before our last move. Next time I’m at Target, I’m buying a new one.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Rina

    We love these waffles… they are standard Sunday morning fare here.

    I’ve been makiing them since I got my KA starter a few years ago.

    Since I’m only cooking for two now, I make half the recipe right in my 4 cup glass measuring cup. Start them at night and put a bowl cover on the measuring cup and finish up in the morning… easy, and very little cleanup!

    Sometimes we have a few leftover. I wrap them in wax paper and freeze them in azip lock bag. They can be warmed in the toaster for a quick treat… thinking vanilla Ice cream here. 😉

    …and fudge sauce… 🙂 PJH

  4. Patti

    Fudge waffles? Sign me up! I’m inspired. Now, I just have to get a sourdough starter without my husband catching on. 😉

  5. breadchick

    Evil woman 😉

    Here I was all excited this morning because. after breakfast, I thought had cleaned the kitchen for the last time before leaving on vacation tomorrow (pizza delivery is the night before vacation staple here).

    Now, I’m going to have to leave on vacation with a belly full of sourdough waffles…

    Awwwww, life is tough, Breadchick… 🙂 PJH

  6. Lisa

    Sadly my Waring Belgian waffler is not working. And I keep forgetting to mail it back to them. I need waffles. Chocolate belgian waffles, now that is opening up a whole new world!

  7. David

    I’d been using this recipe for months for pancakes — also delicious (add blueberries). A few weeks ago, I finally got a waffle iron — old fashioned cast iron job — and made waffles. Fantastic, and a great way to feed the starter.

  8. Alissa

    I’m sold. I LOVE waffles but haven’t found the perfect ones yet. I’m ordering the starter (and the boiled cider from the blog a few days ago) right now. (I’ll have to try those at the Venetian. The Venetian is my favorite place for breakfast in Las Vegas but usually I get those wonderful Italian donuts!) And thanks for the suggestion to make brownie batter in the waffle iron!

  9. Dana Booth


    More information on converting brownie batter to a chocolate waffle please. Will this work in traditional irons as well? (I do have, and use, one, but I don’t have a belgian waffle iron). Will it work for most all brownie batters?

    Needing a chocolate fix lately (I just splurged on a Sharfen-Berger bar, which I’ve never done. omg, was that heavenly 🙂



    p.s. Another thing to do with sourdough – Amish Friendship bread. I’m getting ready to throw two loaves in the oven right now.

    Dana, I have no more info. on waffled brownies other than to experiment. I did some experiments long ago and recall that it was messy till I figured out not to overfill the iron. Just make some brownie batter and give it a try. If you make enough for a 9 x 13 pan, you can always experiment a bit with the waffle IRON and still make a 9 x 9 pan of brownies… And yes, I remember Amish friendship bread – it’s a sweet quickbread, right? – PJH

  10. Gabby

    We actually own three waffle irons and have waffles every weekend for our family of five. We use the KA basic mix recipe but these look delicious!
    Any chance you have a recipe for those waffles with chicken you mentioned?

    I don’t use a specific recipe, Gabby. Way back when, in FDR’s time, waffles with chicken was basically chicken a la king served over waffles. SOS would be equally tasty (creamed chipped beef, for those of you not familiar with the military term). Take a look at this recipe. These days, it’s chicken with waffles on the side. E.G. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in L.A. serves waffles with Southern-style chicken, and waffles with chicken smothered with gravy and onions. Sounds good, huh? – PJH

  11. Kat DeFonce

    Brinna turned me on to waffles a long time ago. Since then, I’ve always made waffles instead of pancakes. (Especially for dinner!) My late husband always thought that I was making him something very special when I did waffles. He never knew that it was just as easy as making pancakes! I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! They look heavenly; my mouth waters for the tongue play of maple syrup sweet and sourdough tang!

    Perfect flavor balance, Kat – PJH

  12. Jennifer

    Well, It’s a good thing I was able to revive my starter. I’ve made the waffles and bread before but the chocolate cake, I will have to make. So today is baking day!!!!

  13. John Lloyd-Jones

    I make sourdough pancakes more often than waffles, but it’s (almost) the same batter. My recipe uses durum wholewheat flour and the overnight sponge contains only starter, flour, water and a tsp of (diastatic) malt. For pancakes I cut the sugar down to a half of what I use for waffles. For non-egg eaters, substitute the egg with a tbs of lecithin granules.

  14. Carol O'Donnell

    Do you think I could use the white flour recipe and just substitute whole wheat flour, maybe white whole wheat?

    I do believe you could, Carol. White whole wheat would be especially nice. Let us know how they come out- PJH

  15. JoAnn Armacost

    I thought I new what waffles were until I made the sourdough waffles. They are unbelievable, and you do most of the work the night before. So wake up Sunday morning , turn on your waffle iron, stir in a couple of eggs, melted butter and soda, and oula increible !!! My family is crazy for them.. A must try!!!

  16. Laurie George

    I have read that buttermilk can be used in place of water when feeding your sourdough. Have you tried this, and will you get better flavor using this substitution?

    I haven’t tried it. The flavor might be more complex, but you’re introducing a whole other element – milk protein. Plus, something that has the potential to spoil, if the acidity level isn’t kept high enough. If you have directions somwehre for how to do it, go for it – and let us know what happens. Good luck – PJH

  17. jacqueline

    I love old school waffles – Belgian style is like dessert to me. What I wouldn’t give for my Mom’s ancient waffle iron.

    This same recipe will work for pancakes? Good ol’ cast iron pan will do, I’m sure. Also, just thinking, ghee (just made some for my first Indian meal from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries) would be great for oiling the pan – smoke point is raised by removal of milkfat solids – buttery sourdough pancakes.Mmmmm can’t wait!
    – Jacqueline

    Yes, should work for sourdough pancakes just fine. You’re making me hungry here! – PJH

  18. Gert Martel

    I purchased a packet of Lalvain du jour (French sourdough starter) (LA-4)some time ago and keep it in my refrigerator but unfortunately, there are no directions on the package and I would love to make a starter and try all these great recipes. I remember you only use very little of this to make the starter but how much? Can you help me out? I enjoy all the hints recipes that I find on this blog–keep up the good work.
    Gert, I will send you the starter directions under seperate cover. Frank from KAF

  19. Sue

    My sourdough and crock are on their way, and now I’m scared!
    I was seduced by these waffles! Do I need a belgian waffle iron, or will my classic work?
    I am excited, and I keep saying to myself–“it’s only flour and water’. Am I being silly?

    Not silly at all, Sue – I was scared, too. Just follow our online step by step instructions for getting the starter ready; it also comes with written instructions. And as it turns out- it’s just flour and water! Really. I found out it’s not fussy at all. To bake with it, the basic premise is first, feed it: remove 1 cup, add 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup water. (Why remove 1 cup first? Well, otherwise it would soon overflow your fridge!) Then, to use it, remove what you need (often 1 cup), feed again with 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup water. Starter out; flour + water in. I thought once I got through this project I’d just kinda forget about my starter, but didn’t I go and make a few more loaves of bread yesterday, just because it was so straightforward and makes such tasty bread!

    And of course, your standard waffle iron will work just fine. You’ll love the waffles…

    Trust me. Sourdough is easier than it sounds. If you can read, you can bake with sourdough, because it’s just following directions. And it’s “just” flour (my favorite tool!) and water. Relax and have fun! – PJH

  20. cindy leigh

    I have been making sourdough waffles from this KA recipe for a few years now. I’ve made a few modifications- to come up with “mulit grain, whole wheat” I use part white whole wheat and the KA multigrain flour, and I stir in some ground flax seed, wheat bran, and wheat germ. In the morning when I stir in the eggs, I add a tsp of vanilla, a tsp of butter extract, a tsp of maple extract, and a tsp of pecan extract. I add ~ 2 tbsp of cornmeal for crispiness, and about 2 Tbsp of splenda or sugar to balance the tangyness.
    I also found that they stay crispy if I place them on the oven rack in a 170 degree oven when they come out of the belgian waffler. If you put them right on a plate, they sometimes get soggy.

  21. MaryJane

    My biggest hint about using the Belgian waffle iron is to place a piece of foil, or parchment under the ‘head’ of the iron, to catch those drips when you over fill. I know they give you a little tray, but then you have to wash the tray. With the parchment, you just toss it away!
    MJ @KAF

  22. Peter

    Hi! I love waffles and make them occasionally, until my waffle iron died. I have recently purchase a Waring, and am wondering if anyone can tell me the best way to grease it prior to use.
    I have also just ordered the sour dough starter and can’t wait to try these.

    Hi Peter – you’ll love the sourdough waffles, AND the Waring. I grease ours with non-stick vegetable oil spray. We use EverBake here in the test kitchen. Good luck – PJH

  23. Josie

    Very sadly my waffles turned out poorly. Rubber-y would be the closest description. I went back over the directions and can’t see where I might have gone wrong. I had a beautiful, bubbling batter, and don’t believe I omitted anything. Taste was lovely (slight tang from sourdough came through), but texture ruined it. Any ideas where I may have made a misstep?Josie, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get the texture you wanted. Two things come to mind. The baking soda in this recipe contributes greatly to the texture. Did you remember the baking soda? And if you did, did it add bubbles? If not, it may have gone “off”. The other culprit might be overmixing of the batter. If neither of these sound applicable for your situation contact us at the Baker’s Hotline, and we’ll walk through this with you. Frank from KAF.

  24. Eve Erwin

    loved these waffles! But I barely got any because the family ‘wolfed’ them down as fast as they came off the iron. And we were in a hurry and pancaked the rest of the batter with tremendous success!
    ~eve in idaho falls

  25. Noni Shearer

    I just found a starter recipe and made it up and was searching for uses when I found these waffles. So odd, after more years than I care to think of wanting a Belgian waffle maker I went to a garage sale and found a brand new one still in the box. I can hardly wait to try this!

    Hey, Noni – sheer serendipity! Have fun- PJH

  26. Noni

    I’m back again. I made these the following morning after posting the above message. WOW! Since there is just two of us I baked the rest off and froze them. My waffle maker suggested use it to reheat so this a.m. I did. Just as good as when first made. NEVER A BOX FROZEN WAFFLE AGAIN IN THIS HOUSE!
    I’m having a blast with my new starter and the sourdough experience.
    The bread I baked the same day came out sooo goood!
    Thanks for having such a great sight and wonderful products.

    You’re welcome, Noni – thanks for baking! Sourdough is a real eye-opener, isn’t it? PJH

  27. Yvonne

    I tried making pancakes with my KA sourdough starter. They were very thin, much like a crepe. I prefer a thicker pancake. Did I do something wrong? Is there a modification to the recipe to get thicker pancakes. I would really appreciate any insight.

    Yvonne, how thick was your sourdough starter? It should have been like very thick pancake batter, to which you then added flour, sugar, and buttermilk, and it still would have been thick. It may thin a bit overnight, but not much. Then, adding the eggs and butter/oil (salt/soda) the next day should have made it a pourable batter, but still thick – thicker than heavy cream. If your batter was thin like crepe batter and made thin pancakes, then something went wrong along the way. I’d say next time, when you make the overnight batter, add the flour to the starter plus just enough buttermilk to make a very thick batter – then take it from there. Hope you try it again – PJH

  28. Chuck

    I realize this is some what after the blog was first posted, but had to wait on my sour dough starter to arrive before I could try them. I made them for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. They were so light and fluffy I almost had to hold them down with my fork while I poured on the maple syrup. Absolutely the best waffle I have ever eaten bar none.

    YEAH, congratulations! Glad you got through the whole process. Now you know you can have good waffles whenever you want -PJH

  29. Marcia

    My sourdough is ready to use: got to wash the waffle iron which has not been used in 10 years.

    Cooking for one is not easy, but I saw where someone posted to reheat in the waffle iron. I will try that as mine makes 4 waffles. I really want a small round one! GoodWill here I come.

  30. Guyla Mayo

    I’m new to sourdough and have tried these waffles twice. The first time they were fantastic and the 2nd time they were tough. Any ideas before I go for number 3? Also, I usually need more liquid than most recipes call for in bread baking. I live in OK and assume the dry air is to blame. Anyone else have these issues? Thanks for any feedback.

    Hi Guyla – Tough may be a result of your iron not being hot enough. Or it may be you simply mixed/stirred the batter too much? Or you’re adding too much flour to the overnight sponge: 2 cups of flour should weigh 8 1/2 ounces. If you’re filling the measuring cup by plunging it into the flour canister, rather than sprinkling the flour into the cup, you could be putting up to an extra 1/2 cup of flour into those waffles, which would make the batter dry, and the waffles tough. Take a look at our directions for measuring flour. PJH

  31. Mark London

    Great success with this recipe (especially after I learned my lesson about weighing the flour from the Rustic Sourdough recipe).
    Our waffle iron (Waring) broke last week and we used the remaining batter to make pancakes. Good, but not as great as the waffles. Our new waffle iron arrived on Friday – back in business!!
    Two questions:
    Buttermilk – We have been using regular buttermilk. What should we expect if we try the low-fat variety? Is it noticeable in your experience?
    Pancakes – Do you have any suggestions on altering the recipe to make it similar to the Original Pancake Kitchen’s 49’ers?

    Mark, I’ve never seen or used anything BUT low-fat buttermilk; I didn’t know there was a full-fat variety. In fact, it would be kind of oxymoronic, as buttermilk is supposed to be what’s left over after the fat is removed from milk to make butter… though these days, I’m sure it’s made by some other process. Still, if you find “full fat buttermilk,” I’m sure it would be delicious – just like sour cream would be.

    As for “Original Pancake Kitchen’s 49’ers” – never heard of ’em. Describe, please. I’m assuming they’re sourdough pancakes? PJH

  32. Mark London

    Buttermilk – I purchased Guernsey dairy (Michigan) buttermilk at the grocery store, thinking it was the only kind/brand. It’s labeled “cultured buttermilk”. The nutrition information shows that it is high fat 9 gm and 150 calories per cup. I found another brand – Organic Valley today that is “cultured low-fat buttermilk” 2.5 gm and 100 calories per cup. With your answer, I will change to the low-fat version. I’m betting that the taste difference will be minimal.
    Regarding the 49er pancakes, they are more like a crepe – very thin and chewy sourdough based pancake. It has been difficult to find a recipe so I figured you might be a source.

    Mark, add more water or buttermilk to the batter to make a thinner, crepe-like pancake. See how that works and if it comes close, make whatever adjustments you need – or ask me what you might try. But try just making a sourdough near-crepe first. PJH

  33. Guyla Mayo

    Thanks for the tips! I finally had the chance to try again and my waffles were tender and delicious! I made sure the waffle iron was very hot and stirred just until mixed. I double checked my measuring procedures. Next I’ll try the chocolate cake.

  34. maggie

    I’m practically drooling, and my sourdough starter is ready, but where are the ingredients and the amounts for this recipe? The pictures are beautiful.

    I usually just dump stuff together, but…

    Here is the recipe: Sourdough Waffles. Frank from KAF.

  35. Cristina

    Note on Freezing Waffles: If you have a square or rectangular waffle iron, use it for the waffles you will freeze and they are easier to toast. (We got ours on Ebay, the Manning-Bowman ones from the fifties work great–more watts and more weight makes a better waffle. You have to butter them, though.) Cool slightly on a cookie-drying rack, so they are not too wet on the surface, and put a small square of wax paper between the waffles so you can get out one at a time. Otherwise they stick together as they freeze and you have to thaw all of them at once. We have 2 parents working, so this is how we have home-made waffles for the kids to eat in the car on the way to school.

  36. Pingback: Now That You’ve Rounded Up Your Waffle Iron and Whetted Your Appetite, Weren’t You Wishing You Could Serve Those Yummy Restaurant-style Sourdough Waffles at Home? : Boomers Magazine

  37. Joan Williams

    How many waffles will your recipe make? I have the same kind of waffle iron you used.

    I think it makes about 10 waffles, Joan. PJH

  38. Rachel

    Help!! The link to the recipe is not working!!!!! I love these waffles and am going to be very disappointed tomorrow morning when I can’t have them!

    You’re right, it’s not working and I can’t fix it from home. But try this Sourdough Waffle recipe. it’s basically exactly the same just using a cup of whole wheat flour in place of the AP. Use all all-purpose flour if you like. We’ll get that link fixed ASAP, but not tonight – after all, it’s Saturday night, we’re supposed to be out having fun! Sorry about that. PJH

  39. Bobbi

    A friend was regaling us with tales of her growing up Sunday after-church dinners, which were inevitably sourdough waffles. I’ve been scared of sourdough for years . . . it sounds so complicated! But she inspired me to the point that I finally have my very own KA sourdough starter in the fridge and I’m ready to roll!

    My question: (I have three teenage boys) To double this recipe, do I need to use double the starter? or just double the other stuff in the overnight sponge? Or . . . ? Ahh, teen age boys … locusts, only loveable! I remember those days when food just disappeared. I would double everything in this recipe. Have fun with it. Mary @ KAF

  40. Jeri Hurd

    I was just refreshing my starter. It kills me to throw half away and I thought: I bet KAF has a sourdough pancake on their site. You guys always come through!

    Your description of dust-encrusted waffle irons made me laugh, and I have to tell you my version.

    I used to teach at a school in Turkey. When I left, one tradition is for the teachers leaving to sell the stuff they leave behind to incoming teachers, to help ease them in. I sold my waffle iron.

    Three months later I get an email from a friend still in Turkey. The people who bought the waffle iron finally brought it out to use it—and there was still a waffle in it! Everyone there started laughing and said “That’s so Jeri…” My reply: No extra charge for the waffle!

    Gee, Jeri, I bet you were wondering all that time where that missing waffle had disappeared to… 🙂 PJH

  41. Jennifer

    Wow!!! I just finished up making a batch of these and ate the last 2 of the bunch that I made for lunch. I knew if I did not eat some for lunch that I’d be listening to them call my name all afternoon!!

    I have to say I was very leary of leaving this out all nite because of the buttermilk that’s included in the first, overnite step. I figured though, if everyone else was doing it and surviving, why shouldn’t I?!?

    I did not have buttermilk on hand so I used my powdered buttermilk. I measured out enough powder and whisked it in with the dry ingredients and then added 2 cups of water…sometimes that buttermilk powder can be so hard to get mixed thoroughly and I find that this works so much better when I use in baked goods. When I woke up it was wonderfully bubbly and I followd the rest of the instructions…couldn’t be easier to make amazing waffles.

    My waffle iron does sit unused for the most part because nothing ever tastes that great out of it…at least to me…now, I am thinking of getting a Belgian waffle maker because of this recipe. My waffle maker is a small, round one that yields a fairly thin waffle…the thought of a nice, thick Belgian style waffle with this batter just may make me finally go get one!

    Thanks for the step by step pictures and all the comments…not sure if I read it here or on the acutal recipe page but I did lay the waffles out on a towel to reduce sogginess and I will now be freezing the rest. I have them stacked individually in between sheets of plastic wrap and ready to go in a zippy bag…love all the info that these blogs and comments pass along. I’ve only been using my sourdough for a little over a month now and the results just keep getting better and better!!!

    Good for you, Jennifer, jumping into sourdough so enthusiastically. Thanks for sharing your success here – PJH

  42. Sharon McCloud

    I had KA’s sour dough waffles at a friend’s house. They were so good I got inspired and took home a starter from her. I plan to make them for myself for tomorrow’s breakfast.

  43. suechef

    WOW!!! I made a half batch of these today. Put the sponge together first thing this morning, picked up a bottle of real maple syrup on my way home tonight, and had them for dinner. These are the best waffles I have ever had. Incredibly light and delicious. I think i’ll try to make this recipe weekly. It’s a great way to use starter, especially now that summer is coming. Changes? I added a TB of vanilla extract. I think I’ll try malt in the next batch.

  44. ggriffi

    I have made a starter and tried the recipe today and had a little trouble with them, too thick. but after reading the posts I think that may be solved next time. Anyway, I had to buy a waffle iron since I didn’t have one and in the recipe booklet there was a recipe for Chocolate Brownie waffles. I know that this is blog is 2 years old but I thought someone might like the link. I hope it is ok to post.

    So, next time just add some milk if the batter is too thick, OK? And sure, thanks for posting the link – looks tasty! Did you know you can actually cook regular brownie batter in a waffle iron for “waffle brownies”? PJH

  45. Joetta

    Can I do my usual substitution for buttermilk (milk plus vinegar) for this recipe?

    I’d think so, Joetta – the flavor might be a bit different, but the rise/texture should be fine… PJH

  46. btappen

    Does this batter keep overnight if I want to make fresh in the morning instead of cooking all the batter in one shot?
    Yes, it should keep just fine. ~ MaryJane

  47. Michelle

    This recipe is great. Sourdough and “soaked” grains/flour are all the rage for better health. My family loves this recipe with the exception of my 2 yr old daughter. She doesn’t love the “tang.” I am wondering of I used regular milk instead of buttermilk if it would cut down on the tang enough to make it more palatable for her. Do you think this would pose a health risk such as bacteria growth with regular milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim) vs. buttermilk (which is cultured)? Even buttermilk requires refrigeration and it is ok left out overnight. I am assuming the bacteria in the starter takes the lead… I am just curious because I like the idea of the overnight sponge I just don’t want to get anyone sick in the process.

    Sorry, Michelle, no guarantees; simply because there ARE no guarantees when it comes to health issues. That said, I’m currently making a starter using 2% milk, cornmeal, salt, and sugar, and it sits at 100°F for 24 hours to ferment; so it’s not like milk is never used in starters, or sits out overnight fermenting. Why not just make your daughter a regular waffle recipe (not sourdough), since she doesn’t like the tang? Try our whole wheat waffles; everyone loves them, and you’d never know they were whole wheat. Cheers- PJH

    1. katiu


      This is my 2nd attempt to reply to your buttermilk question. When I hit ‘enter’ on the first, I got a bizarre screen that said ‘you are posting comments too quickly. slow down’, and lost my typing. Anyway…

      I keep dried buttermilk in my fridge (and dried egg whites in my cupboard). These are a couple of things I consider ‘staples’ for recipes, even though I don’t use them frequently. Both have a very long shelf life, and avoid rushing to the store for an unusual ingredient, or wasting ‘throw away’ ingredients (leftover buttermilk or egg yolks) for which I have no immediate use.

      Happy waffling! Haha!
      Farmington, MN

  48. ""

    Can I use fresh whole milk (from our local farm, pasturized) instead of buttermilk?? I normally would not buy the buttermilk but always have the other on hand. (and do not care about the sour flavor, just that the chemistry will produce waffles).

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Jane,
      To prevent any worries about freezing, bake all of the waffles and then freeze the cooled waffles for up to a month. Instant breakfast! ~ MJ

  49. Ellen Chandler

    This is great, although the timing is off. Just made Belgian waffles this AM and froze enough for several more breakfasts, but I’ve converted most of my bread and cracker baking to sourdough; will be great to add waffles to the sourdough list! Thank you.

  50. Miriam Wright

    I’ve been making this recipe for sourdough waffles most Sun. mornings for a couple of years. I cut it out from a catalog. I use 3 eggs and sometimes use 1/2 cup fine ground corn meal for half of the white whole wheat flour. They are the best waffles we’ve ever had. They are fine left over or frozen then toasted.

  51. Ronald Holt

    I tried this using my Cuisinart waffle iron and wasn’t satisfied. Not as crisp as the kink I make by folding in whipped egg whites. I do love them as pancakes though! And I’m not a big pancake eater. Great on weekends.

  52. Laura

    4 years after the original post and this recipe keeps on giving. I have joined the Cult of the Sourdough. I just made these waffles and … omg. I used a standard (not Belgian) 20-yr. old waffle iron and they came out absolutely perfectly. I have joined another Cult, the KAF Recipe Worshippers. In the relatively short time I’ve been “here” I’ve been consistently delighted with the recipes. Each I’ve tried has been 5-stars.

    As mentioned in the post, this recipe did require a near-filling of the waffle iron to get perfect rounds, unlike a regular, non-yeasted batter. And I had to laugh at PJ’s comment about her messy starter bowl as it is the EXACT same one I have (and I use a clear glass plate as a cover).

    I hope these waffles freeze because that’s the next step in my process.

  53. Linda

    I’ve been making these buttermilk sourdough waffles for several years now, always with great results. However, when I was a young girl, my grandmother made pancakes/waffles with a starter she set the night before, but she used applesauce and old fashioned oatmeal in her recipe, and I remember she used buttermilk. I was wondering if I could use the basic buttermilk sourdough waffle recipe and add oatmeal and a touch of applesauce? I think she used to put the oatmeal in when she made the night-time sponge, and added the applesauce when she added the eggs, oil, and leavener. Is there a chance this would work?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Linda- First things first…those sound like DELICIOUS waffles. That is a good number of changes to the recipe so you are certainly in the realm of experimentation, but I think it would be worth a try and if you have any questions along the way, please give our Baker’s Hotline a ring at 855-371-2253 and we’d be happy to help you out. Best of luck and happy baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  54. Erica

    I’ve just started using this recipe and was so pleased with the results that I thought I would add a comment!
    I use milk kefir instead of buttermilk because I have it to hand and omit the sugar. Also I don’t have a waffle iron so I bought some silicone waffle moulds. I have 2 – each one makes 6 waffles and a half quantity of batter fills the 2 trays. I bake them in a pre-heated hot oven (on a baking tray) for about 8 mins, allow the silicone trays to sit out of the oven for a few mins which makes it easier to remove the waffles. Then I finish them under the grill, as per the instructions that came with the waffle moulds. I keep any spare and just grill them on both sides to reheat.

  55. Doug

    Why is it safe to leave the overnight sponge out at room temperature? Everything I read says milk (including buttermilk) has to be kept cold to keep safe?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Doug, when making yogurt, you often keep it for a number of hours at a temperature you’d think would breed bacteria – and it does, but it’s GOOD bacteria. So the “always refrigerate dairy products” isn’t a rule set in stone. In days gone by, women would deliberately leave milk out overnight to “sour.” I realize we’re a lot more careful these days, as far as food safety goes, but there are many instances where it’s OK to follow some of the old cooking and baking techniques are ancestors did, before the advent of refrigeration. In my opinion, this is one of them. Enjoy – PJH

  56. Stacey

    I know the recipe says to use unfed starter but I’m wondering what kind of a difference it will make depending on how recently it was fed. For instance, a week ago vs. two days ago?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Since the starter is primarily for flavoring (not leavening) you can use it at any point in the unfed state. It may be slightly more tangy at the end of a week, but will still be delicious! Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Katiu–you can use 1 cup of your unfed starter to make crêpes if you like–that’s a creative idea. Really, you can use it in a whole host of recipes. Sourdough starter is basically equal parts flour and water when measuring by weight. When substituting it into a recipe, 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water is equivalent to 1 cup of starter.

      So you can adjust our Parisian Street Vendor Crêpe recipe (a birthday-dinner worthy recipe with my family) to include the starter like this:

      1 cup sourdough starter (fed or unfed)
      1 cup (8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
      1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
      1 cup (8 ounces) milk
      4 large eggs
      1/4 cup (2 ounces, 1/2 stick) butter, melted but not bubbling hot

      You can prepare this recipe using the technique described in the blog with the waffles and allow the batter to rest overnight if you would like your crêpes to have a noticeably sour tang to them. Alternately, you can prepare the crêpes as described in the recipe here: Either way, you will be able to use some of your sourdough starter and have a thin crêpe perfect for rolling and stuffing with the filling of your choice. Good luck and happy crêpe-making to you! –Kye@KAF

  57. JKim

    I would like to know if I’m to follow the same guidelines for measurement as advised for the sourdough starter. This recipe calls for 2 cups of All Purpose Flour and 2 cups of buttermilk, do I weight these so they should be 8 ounces or can I simply use a measuring dry cup for the flour and a measuring liquid cup for the buttermilk to measure out two cups?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      You can go ahead and measure by volume. If you weigh, 2 cups of flour weighs 8 1/2 ounces; and 2 cups of buttermilk weighs 16 ounces. Enjoy your waffles! PJH

  58. josiej

    I just don’t have the mental outlook to maintain a sourdough starter. I’m a bad sourdough mother I guess.

    As a result, I just love the instant sourdough starter packets. Since I’m only cooking for 2, could I use 1/8 tsp of starter, 1 c. flour and 1/2 c water, (should make about 1 c starter shouldn’t it?) and then proceed from there with waffles/pancakes?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I think this should work, Josie, although you might want to let the starter mixture ferment for an hour or two before adding it to the overnight sponge. Barb@KAF

  59. josiej

    Thanks. I’ll try it. Only sorry I didn’t know about drying before my last starter went bad.

  60. Jani Ritschard

    This has become a quick stand by for me. No, I don’t always make it the night before, but I have. Sometimes I just go ahead and make it all at once. I always use home ground whole wheat flour, sometimes sprouted wheat if there’s no time to soak over night. I use kefir milk for the buttermilk. I love the use of “throw away” starter!

  61. Claudia

    I’ve had your sourdough starter a few times and make waffles every so often They freeze VERY well, so I never have to buy Eggos or anything similar. All my family has to do is pop one into the toaster oven and bake them for a few minutes and they come out delicious and crispy. I wouldn’t have any other kind.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You could certainly add some mashed bananas to the batter right before putting them into the iron. How many depends on how strong of a banana flavor you like and how many you’re making. So experiment, maybe start with one and go from there. You can always slice bananas on top to skip the guessing. Bryanna@KAF

  62. Art Fink

    I’ve used this recipe three or four times with great success. The waffles are the best I’ve ever tasted and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t bake every week but I do feed my sourdough starter each week. The last time I attempted to make these waffles, I noticed that my batter didn’t rise while left to sit overnight. The batter was quite active (gas bubbles) but the bowl wasn’t filled like the last three times I made these waffles. I tried making pancake and they were flat and not fit for consumption. Thinking I did something wrong, I tried again the following week and once again, great action in the batter but no rise even after sitting out for almost 36 hours. I’m guessing I’ve got plenty of acid (bacteria?) in the batter but very little yeast – am I right and what do I need to do to get back on track producing great sourdough waffles? Thanks much!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Art, it’s possible that your overnight starter is rising and falling before you have a chance to add it to the recipe, which may cause the recipe not to rise as well. In this case, giving it more time to rise is counter productive, as the starter will simply over-ferment. 12 hours or less should be about right for an overnight rise, depending on how warm your house is. The other possibility is that your starter needs a little TLC. You might want to give it a few feedings at room temperature (every 12 hours) until you see it doubling in size. This will help to revitalize your starter, even when you use “unfed” starter in a recipe. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jenn, the ingredient measurements are given on the recipe page. The link to this page can be found right below the title picture in our blog posts and is highlighted in orange. Here’s the recipe you’re looking for. Barb@KAF

  63. Michael J. McCoy

    The flavor and crispy texture of these waffles is extraordinary. Have never had waffles this good and even out of the freezer a week later they’re still “Best Ever”

  64. lili

    I have a active rye starter but my overnight mix didn’t look bubbly. What could have happened? 🙁 thanks

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lili, your rye starter might be a different hydration than the starter used in this recipe (it’s made of equal parts flour and water). Your starter should be relatively thin and resemble thick pancake batter at first. Other factors that can make your overnight mix less bubbly is using too much flour. Be sure you either measure by weight using a scale, or fluff and sprinkle your flour into the measuring cup like this. Leave the mix someplace relatively warm overnight. If this still doesn’t help, you can add a tiny pinch of yeast to kick-start the activity. Good luck and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  65. lili

    I did it again. Rye starter and all-purpose flour and it worked I got my bubbly sourdough overnight. Yeah! (^.^)

  66. C. Washington

    I now have a great Starter and prepared The Sponge from this Recipe. This Recipe looks Delish! Can’t wait to surprise my hubby tomorrow with Chicken and Waffles (His Fav) for Dinner! I will share Photos!


Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *