8.31.2016

Sourdough Waffles, Without Conflict

There is an art to living with another human.  It is a delicate dance of neuroses.  A safari of previously hidden late night eating habits, secret cigarette stashes, and video games, exhumed. The migration of two people into one space inevitably unearths certain questions.

How many bottles of mezcal can be comfortably housed in one 500-square-foot apartment?

Does one find the practice of yoga in the living room charming or repulsive?

Is it acceptable to leave a trail of breadcrumbs in the jar of mayonnaise?  (It is not.)

Can a meal of beer or ladyfingers or cheese be consumed for dinner without judgment? 

Must one wear pants while doing so?

Where does our loose change go?  Does it get combined into a repurposed tin? Become stacked side by side in arranged identical piles?  Get tossed in the trash to avoid the discussion altogether?

The answers to such questions—minus the mayo contamination, which is unforgivable—are a barometer of insanity.  Best to know if your lunacy matches up before buying bed frames together.

All this to say Brett officially moved in today. (!)  While we don’t have all our personal peccadillos unpacked just yet, we typically agree on matters that matter.  And we are a solid match when it comes to breakfast.

So waffles are a safe bet.

We have a semi-regular weekend routine wherein Brett cooks the softest scrambled eggs in the slowest and loveliest of ways with the care and craft one might take to build a bird’s nest.  If we have cheddar cheese on hand, shreds of it get swirled into the eggs during their final moments in the pan.

Meanwhile, I press three waffles using batter prepped the previous night.  The first waffle always sticks a bit—which typically causes cursing as I prod it out of the iron using a fork, with the patience of a kindergartener.   (Ample greasing and preheating usually prevents this problem.)

If we are feeling fancy there is also bacon or hollandaise to be had, or maple syrup if I am too fragile or tired to deal with egg yolks or pork grease.

The waffles puff up like Belgians, offering crispy exteriors and fluffy insides with a slight tang. Like most things worth waiting for they require some forethought and, unfortunately, some sourdough starter—which necessitates tracking down a human that has some.  Or, perhaps, make your own.  

It is worth it.  These are waffles of finest quality. And they are highly unlikely to cause any cohabitation conflicts.  Unless it is about who gets the last one.

Sourdough Waffles

Ingredients:

1 cup (200 grams) sourdough starter (not fed)
½ cup (55 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp olive or canola oil

Instructions:

The night before

In a large bowl, mix the starter, flours, milk, and sugar until well combined; cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (ideally 10 to 20 hours ahead, see note below).

The day of

To the starter mixture, add the egg, salt, baking soda, and oil; stir to combine. 

To make the waffles, heat your waffle iron.  (Cooking instructions may vary slightly depending on the type you are using.  I have a Nordic Ware stovetop Belgian waffle maker and after greasing it with canola oil, I preheat each side a few minutes on the stovetop, flipping halfway through.)

Once the iron is preheated, pour in about 1/3 of your batter (or roughly 2/3 cup).  Close the iron and cook until the waffle is golden brown on both sides.  (If you are using a stovetop iron you’ll want to flip it after a few minutes to cook both sides evenly.)

Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes three 6-inch square waffles

Notes:
-The whole wheat adds a nice nuttiness and I’d definitely encourage it.  The milk type can be swapped depending on your preference.

-Because the sourdough mixture rests in the fridge overnight, it benefits from being left on the countertop an hour or so to let the microbes warm up; this helps the waffles rise better. (But this is a living product and may need some individual tweaking.)


-They are best eaten the day of, but leftovers will keep a day or two in the fridge and can also be frozen.


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