Over the week-end I’ve been finally baking with my revived sourdough starter again. I’ll keep my first attempt for tomorrow, since I need to check a few details. So today, as a starter, if you want, I’ll introduce a “side-product” of sourdough baking. One of the disturbing aspects of keeping a starter is, for me, the constant removal of a part of it: each day a share of your starter, if unused, ends up in the toilet. What, first I have to grow it as if it were my own son, and then I have to dump it? Are you kidding? Problem is, if you don’t and if you don’t bake every single day, you’ll end up with a gigantic amount of starter taking up all your space. Just imagine going to your landlord and telling him you’ve sub-leased his flat to two hundred cubic meters of starter! Consequently, throwing away part of my starter every day is the only solution. I do keep my eyes closed when I flush it though.
Is there a way to stop this waste? Well, at least in part there is. Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery has a handy chapter at the end of her book with possible non-bread recipes using sourdough starter. My first choice would have been the onion rings but since I didn’t feel like frying I picked her Sourdough Waffles. This is the first recipe I tried that really gave crispy waffles: at least as long as my waffle iron was really hot and they didn’t sit around too long. Ideally one person should make the waffles while the other eat them: cruel, I agree, but the waffle maker can always pick up the nicest ones for himself as perks and eat then while cooking the rest. They have a nice tart taste which is great match to maple syrup, marmalade and, obviously, Nutella. I actually find they taste great in a savoury version too, with ham or a simple cheddar for example. The only down-side is that it might happen, as it did to me, that one of your breakfast guests bites into one expecting a sweet waffle and ends up making a disgusted face. Better make it clear from the start that these are not sweet or maybe add some sugar to the batter just before making the waffles.
Sourdough Waffles (from Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery)
Heat the following in a pot till butter is melted and let cool to room temperature
4 oz (115 g) butter
8 oz (225 g) milk
Add the milk-butter mixture to
9 oz (255g) starter
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar
6 oz (170 g)all purpose flour
Mix these together to form a thick batter, cover with wrap and let stand for 8-14 hours. If you do this before going to bed, you’ll have the dough ready for breakfast next day.
Once the time’s up heat your waffle iron (for at least 10 minutes) and, if needed (mine is non-stick), slightly brush the iron with oil. Whisk 2 large eggs and 1/4 tsp baking soda in the dough. Pour 1/2 to 3/4 cups of dough on the waffle iron and close the lid. Let cook for 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 8-10 round 8 in waffles
Notes: I found that my waffle iron needed some time between each waffle to heat up again, about 2 minutes. If I skipped this step the waffles turned up not as crunchy.