It doesn’t get better than that: homemade sourdough waffles in a cast iron waffle maker for easy, delicious, and perfect waffles!
Do you love cast iron?
Are you enjoying the taste and health benefits of sourdough?
Today, I am showing how you can very easily make your own homemade sourdough waffles in a cast iron waffle maker!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Why cast iron?
Nowadays, most people know electric waffle makers. They come in a dizzying array of shapes, styles, and price ranges. Interestingly enough, the majority is of the non-stick kind.
However, here are many health concerns with non-stick. Thus, in our kitchen we don’t have any non-stick (sometimes called Teflon) cookware.
Before the advent of non-stick, every waffle iron was actually made of cast iron! Cast iron waffle makers have been around since the 9th century (source). It wasn’t until modern times that non-stick waffle irons became available.
It is so easy, though, to bake perfect waffles in cast iron! They key to make them come out easily is to
• first heat the iron
• next add your oil
• then add the batter
Yes, it is that simple! A cast iron waffle maker works is perfect in our somewhat minimalist kitchen. And what a joy to be using an heirloom that I found in my grandparents’ attic! I absolutely love using antique and vintage items!
Your sourdough starter
Obviously, you need a sourdough starter. You may already have one happily living in your kitchen. If not, check out my easy, step-by-step tutorial here.
I keep my sourdough starter in the refrigerator “packed” down with a lot of flour to make it somewhat “inactive”. Therefore, I need to take some out the day before, and water and feed it. It needs to have a thick but runny consistency. If yours lives on your kitchen counter, you can skip this step.
For 2 servings (please multiple for more servings) you will need:
• 1 cup fed sourdough starter
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1 egg
• 2 TBSP of melted butter
• optional: 1 TBSP of sugar
Notes on the ingredients:
I have talked about your sourdough starter in the previous paragraph.
As for flour, you can use your preferred flour. I cook and bake more by feel and encourage you to do the same! If you’re using whole grain flour, you might have to add a bit more buttermilk. Essentially, the waffle batter is very similar in consistency to a pancake batter. You can use wheat flour or Einkorn flour or your favorite gluten-free flour mix.
I like to use buttermilk for more depth of flavor but you can use regular milk as well.
Are you interested in learning how to make your own butter? Check my blog post here. We always try to get the best butter we can afford.
I listed sugar as an optional ingredient. We have not been using much sugar in our home and don’t miss it. Most commercial foods are way too high in sugar – and too sweet. It’s very easy to get used to less sweet! These sourdough waffles are great without added sugar, especially if you’re serving them with maple syrup or some other fruit or fruit syrup.
How to make sourdough waffles
I take my sourdough out the day before and feed it. If you’d like to make your sourdough waffles in the morning, I recommend having the sourdough ready the night before. This is when you add your buttermilk or milk, and your flour.
Preheating and greasing the waffle iron
When you’re ready to make your waffles, you need to start heating your cast iron waffle maker over medium heat. Cast iron takes a bit longer to heat but retains heat better, longer, and more evenly.
While your iron is heating, add the remaining ingredients to your batter. Again, you’re looking for a thick, somewhat runny consistency similar to pancake batter.
Once your iron is hot, you need to grease it. I like avocado oil for its high smoke point. Clarified butter (with the milk solids removed) works well, too. I am not a fan of non-stick spray but that’s just my personal opinion.
Baking the waffles
The oil will heat up pretty quickly. Then you add your batter to the waffle iron. You need to eyeball the amount depending on the size of your waffle iron. Close the lid and wait.
Waiting is key! It’s tempting to want to open the waffle iron too soon. That will result in your waffle breaking apart. Every few minutes you can test by carefully attempting to lift the lid. If there’s any resistance, the waffles need a bit longer. Don’t forget to flip the waffle iron so that it heats evenly from both sides.
You’ll know that the waffles are done when you can lift the top part and the waffles are not sticking to the iron. You will have beautiful golden-brown waffles!
Enjoy with a dollop of (homemade) butter and your favorite syrup!
You can freeze any leftover waffles in a ziplock bag (Ikea has some renewable, reusable ones made from the sugar cane industry). Just pop them in your toaster before eating!
Cast Iron Sourdough Waffles
- 1 cup fed sourdough starter
- 3/4 cup flour whole grain or white, wheat or Einkorn
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or regular milk
- 1 whole egg
- 2 TBSP melted butter
- 1 TBSP sugar optional
- oil for greasing the waffle iron I prefer avocado oil
- Have your fed sourdough starter ready. I suggest doing this the night before you want to make your waffles, especially if you want them early in the morning.
- Add the flour and buttermilk to your starter and let that sit (ideally overnight).
- When you’re ready to make your waffles, preheat your cast iron waffle maker over medium heat. In the meantime, add the egg, melted butter, and sugar, if using, to your batter. It should have the consistency of a pan cake batter. You can always add more flour if it’s too runny, or some buttermilk if is too thick.
- Once your waffle iron is hot, grease it with oil. I prefer avocado oil but you can use clarified butter (ghee) or canola oil. Heat the oil.
- Add your batter to the waffle iron. You might have to experiment with the amount of batter depending on the size of your waffle iron. Bake your waffle, flipping the waffle iron after a few minutes. Resist the temptation to try to lift the upper part too soon. When the waffles are done, they will not stick and come out easily.
- Serve immediately with some butter and your favorite syrup. You can store any leftover in a ziplock bag in the freezer and reheat them in the toaster.