Gingerbread Sourdough Waffles use your leftover/discard sourdough starter and are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch. They require an overnight fermentation, but are otherwise very straightforward. The blender ginger-date syrup is an excellent whole food way to sweeten up your waffles.
I love making my own sourdough bread. Ever since my friend Karen gave me some of her starter earlier in the year I have been hooked. Or rather, re-hooked. I’ve had a previous on-off flirtation with this miraculous creature made of water and flour, but the affair ended badly. As in I killed it.
But, like my starter, I am more mature and better able to handle the responsibility of keeping this long-term relationship alive.
While my sourdough mainly goes towards making a crusty, holey loaf (see above), I often branch out with other baking projects. I’ve made cakes, American biscuits, Staffordshire oatcakes (these are like savory, holey pancakes, but even better imo), crackers, bagels, (spectacular but uuuuugly) pretzels, and crumpets. Crumpets are my most frequent bake as they are just a scoop of “unfed” starter with a little soda bic and some sweetener. If you want the recipe, go check my Instagram post for the full recipe and method. Or contact me if you don’t have Instagram. These are easily made into something called pikelets if you don’t have crumpet rings (or those rings you can fry eggs in).
But today it’s all about WAFFLES! I’ve adapted a recipe from the King Arthur website and I’m hoping you might find it useful over the festive period. If you like your waffles fluffy, slightly tangy (just a teensy bit, mind) and with delectably crisp edges, this is definitely for you. The gingerbread spicing and the ginger-date syrup just make them extra special, with no real additional effort.
How to make – and eat! – sourdough waffles
First of all you do need a sourdough starter. If you don’t have one on the go, use the idea of this – the gingerbread spicing and the syrup – to jazz up your own favourite recipe, or even box mix (no shame in a Bisquik mix!).
If you have the sourdough starter, fantastic. All you do is take your starter out of the fridge and give it a good stir before scooping out the 120 grams needed. If you work with a small starter (and taking this amount will leave you short), go ahead and feed it double (or triple), then let it sit in a 21C room to get bubbly. Hopefully this will only take up to three hours, but it may take longer if it has been stored for more than three or four days without use/feeding. You can use this larger – fed – starter right away, or pop it into the fridge to develop its characteristic taste even more, using as described in the recipe. You won’t really go wrong with using a fed starter, it’s just that this is a good use for excess/unfed starter.
The yogurt and the cornflour are the other keys to making these so delicious. The yogurt (or buttermilk) keeps the waffles tender, while the cornflour keeps them light. Rice flour works too.
If you want to make these up ahead of time, either cook them fully and cover with a tea towel until briefly heating in a hot oven, under a hot grill/broiler, or in your toaster on a low setting. Or you can freeze them and heat them as from fresh, using a frozen setting if toasting.
What about the gingerbread spice mix? The spice mix is super easy and useful for making spice cookies, cakes and even dusting on porridge. I also make granola with it (above – makes a fab Christmas gift in a pretty Kilner-type jar) . Find it in this recipe for (above) Lebkuchen Chocolate-Orange Cake. You can of course eschew the gingerbread spice mix and just use 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Or even just the same of vanilla extract or powder. I sometimes add cocoa powder to this mix too. Controversial!
Other topping ideas you might wish to try are warmed-to-bursting frozen berries (blueberries are fab); yogurt mixed with beetroot powder and ginger powder; grated or thinly sliced apples or pears.
** Do you have a sourdough starter? If you don’t, do you want to get some, or learn how to make no-knead (!), foolproof, sourdough bread? If so, head over to foodbodsourdough.com. Self-taught baker Elaine has developed a fantastic, straight-forward method that will get anyone baking beautiful bread in no time. She also has a super-friendly, jargon-free Facebook group where she shares her experiments and answers questions, too. I can’t recommend her highly enough.**
Will you be making sourdough waffles over the Christmas and New Year stretch? I know I will be experimenting some more, and sharing over on Instagram with informal images and stories. Join me over there, and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more wild yeast adventures!
Gingerbread Sourdough Waffles
Gingerbread Sourdough Waffles for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch. Adaptable to non-sourdough recipes, too! Note: this recipe requires 12-hour (overnight) fermentation.
The Overnight Sponge
- 120 g light spelt flour or plain/all-purpose
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 225 ml yogurt or buttermilk
- 120 g sourdough starter unfed/discard
- Overnight Sponge
- 2 free-range eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda US: baking soda
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 2 tsp Gingerbread spice mix Lebkuchen spice mix
- extra oil for greasing the waffle iron or use an oil spray
- 8 g gingerroot, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp anise seeds optional but fabulous here
- 12 Deglet Nour dates, pitted or 8 Medjool dates
Mix together the Overnight Sponge Mix. Cover and let sit out at a cool (16-18C) room temperature for 8-12 hours.
The next day, beat the eggs and liquid fat into the sponge mix, along with the salt, bicarbonate of soda and the gingerbread spice mix. The mix should aerate a bit and "feel" lighter.
Heat and oil your waffle iron as directed by manufacturer for waffles. Dollop on your waffle batter and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions. Serve hot with the ginger-date syrup, or maple syrup.
Soak the dates in hot water for 15-30 minutes (longer time for dry dates). Pour off the water and add the dates, 200 ml of warm water, ginger and anise seeds to a blender or food processor (high speed blender works best). Add more water if you want a thinner syrup.
To make as non-sourdough waffles, use a standard waffle recipe for 6, 8-inch waffles, adding the Gingerbread/Lebkuchen spice mix.
The waffles freeze well if interleaved with parchment paper and storing in food bags. Heat from frozen under a grill/broiler or in a toaster on the appropriate setting for your toaster.
The Ginger-Date Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for four days.
Pin for trying later. Be sure to rate it if you make it! Thanks 🙂
RIPE FOR PINNING!