Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sourdough & Sour Cream: Another Waffle Weekend

Unless you live in some weird alternate universe, the phrase "Honey, do we have to have waffles for breakfast again?" has probably never been uttered.... ever. Certainly not at my house. There simply is no such thing as waffles too often. However... that being said, waffles are the ideal brunch for weekends, Saturday mornings especially. Like they were made for each other. They're easy to make, messy as well, and utterly delicious. Seriously now, how can you top that? Well, around these parts: butter, real maple syrup and fresh fruit (especially berries) is the preferred method. However, I am as always, open to trying other waffle toppings.
"This is going to be fun! We can stay up late swapping manly stories, and in the morning... I'm making waffles!" - Shrek (the movie)
It pays off to think about  Saturday morning breakfasts on Friday night. On occasion. In fact, you kind of have to if you want sourdough (or yeasted) waffles. There's no other way around it, but it's easy and worth it. Mix a couple of things in a bowl and go to bed. How hard is that? The great thing about sourdough waffles is it's the perfect thing for using up the old starter when it's time to feed it. I always hated the thought of wasting that cup of starter each time I fed it... now I don't have to, I just make waffles with it! Unlike sourdough bread, sourdough waffles actually call for "spent" or hungry starter. How cool is that?

If you have no starter, it's not a problem! Choose an overnight "yeasted" recipe. It won't be as tangy as sourdough but will still taste great. If that's still too much trouble, get the tang from sour cream instead and leave Friday night to other pursuits. It's a great way to use up the last of the sour cream that's in the fridge.

There are so many variations on the breakfast waffle that you could make a different kind every Saturday for a year and never have any repeats. that sounds like a blog project for somebody. I wonder if it's been done? Waffle Confidential: My Year Of Waffling... One Wild Weekend At A Time. Why not? If you're going to commit to a blog project, it might as well be a tasty one, right?

Sourdough (Blueberry) Waffles
Adapted from Sourdough Nut Waffles, page 72, Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Breakfasts & Brunches (1997) 

Friday Night:
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water

Stir together the starter, flour and water in a medium bowl. Cover with a dish towel and leave on the counter or inside the oven (heat off!). Now go to bed!

Saturday Morning: 
1 cup flour
1 Tblsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Take out a 1/2 cup of the overnight mixture. Pour the excess back in your jar of starter (or start a new jar for a friend). In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the 1/2 cup starter mixture along with the egg and milk. Gently stir it all together until combined. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let sit for one hour.

Preheat your waffle iron and lightly grease it. Scatter some blueberries on and pour the batter over them. If using frozen berries, go ahead and use them straight from the freezer (if they thaw out first, they'll need to be drained before they can be used and that's more extra work than I'm willing to deal with in the morning, even on a Saturday). Close the waffle iron and resist the urge to peek! Waffle irons are all different, make a few batches and you'll get a feel for how much batter to pour and how long to cook each waffle for. 

I like to turn the oven to its lowest setting and place the finished waffles directly on the oven rack until ready to serve. If stacked on a platter, they can get soggy. There's nothng sadder than a soggy waffle. Serve them with your favorite toppings and dig in!

Other Sour Cream or Sourdough Waffles To Try...
*If these particular waffles sound really amazingly drool-worthy but you don't want to bother with the thinking ahead, overnight yeast rising part... these Brown Sugar Bacon Waffles also from Joy The Baker should do the trick.

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