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Introduction To The Waffle Recipes

Updated 1/12/22


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 National Waffle Day is August 28th

I like pancakes and waffles. The benefit of waffles over pancakes is that you can freeze waffles and heat them in the toaster and they taste pretty good. You actually can do the same with pancakes, but they don't taste as good as when you make them fresh.

I have tried many types of waffle irons and got started on a family iron that dated to the early 1950s. When my parents took me to the 1968 World's Fair in New York, I was introduced to Belgian waffles. They were thicker than regular waffles and the inside remained a bit moister than those made with the standard iron. As an interesting note, my son, who has a milk allergy could eat waffles containing milk made on the 1950s, standard iron, but had an allergic reaction to the same recipe made on a Belgian iron.

Most irons have a light on top that tells when the iron is hot enough. One heart shaped iron (that I no longer own) just doesn't seem to get hot enough so I had to give it more time when the light told me it was ready. There are some great irons that make neat shaped waffles. You can get a Mickey Mouse waffle maker and a Warner Bros. Sylvester and Tweety model. I bought a Grinch Who Stole Christmas model that made "Whoville" swirl Belgian style waffles. But, the waffles didn't taste as good when made with this Whoville machine (not hot enough?). Heart shaped irons are available in most appliance stores or at any of the good cook supplies websites.
You can use water in any of these recipes if you have a milk allergy. Butter and milk give waffles a darker color and bolder flavor than if you just use water in their place. America's Test Kitchen has a recipe that adds a tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk to give it a buttermilk flavor. We use low fat or non-fat milk for most of our recipes. You can also just use the egg whites and use oil instead of butter if you want to cut down on cholesterol.

I don't use much syrup on my waffles due to the high sugar content, so I add cinnamon, ginger, and occasionally other spices. I want to taste the flavors in the waffle. Sometimes when I see people pour on the syrup and slather on the butter, I know that the waffle is just a carrier for the syrup and butter flavors. These people are missing the flavor of the waffle itself. These recipes will produce flavor filled waffles that will taste good alone. I actually love the taste of maple syrup so I certainly don't begrudge anyone adding some to these waffles. Most recipes are just a starting place. Try other variations, if you dare.

Please email me any great waffle recipes that you discover.

Waffle Recipes:

 Table of Contents:
Ginger Waffles
Sourdough Waffles
Yeast Powered Waffles
Egg Powered Waffles
Buttermilk Waffles
Buckwheat Waffles
Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Waffles
Starchuk Waffles
Talia's Lemon Waffles
Milton's Waffles
Crispy Sour Cream Waffles


Ginger Waffles:

2 cups of flour
2 or 3 Eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk or buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger or 1 tsp. of dry ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 oz applesauce
1 tsp. baking powder (powder reacts with heat, baking soda reacts with acids)
1/2 tsp. salt
If you like sugar in your waffles, add a few tablespoons of molasses
3 to 8 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter


Sourdough Waffles: (Light and crisp with incredible flavor)

This recipe is a variation of one that was found in Fur-Fish-Game Magazine and is used by back country trappers and hunters to have a source of yeast for bread and pancakes. The sourdough starter adds flavor and crispness to the outside of the waffle. You can make variations by adding other kinds of flour (we grind wild rice to make wild rice flour) to the mix and adding a bit of water or milk to get the consistency right. The milk and butter help the waffle brown. Without milk, which works just fine, the waffles will be lighter colored.

2 cups of Sourdough "Starter"
2 Eggs
1/4 cup of milk (You may want to add about a 1/4 cup of flour so that the consistency is that of a slightly thin pancake batter. By the way, you can make pancakes if you want to.)
1 tablespoon fresh ground ginger or 1 tsp. of dry ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda (baking powder reacts with heat, baking soda reacts with acids)
1/2 tsp. salt
If you like sugar in your waffles, add a few tablespoons of molasses
3 to 4 tablespoons of cooking oil or melted butter

The sourdough mixture is slightly acidic so the baking soda reacts and adds the bubbles to lighten the mixture. You can use the sour dough starter in any waffle mix to give it a bit more flavor. Once you taste one of these, you may never go back to ordinary waffles. We make about a dozen waffles at a time and freeze the extras. When you want a waffle, just take a frozen waffle and pop it in the toaster and in a few minutes you have a crisp sourdough waffle.
Sourdough Starter: you can buy commercial starter mix - health food store or look on the Internet. Here is a link to take you to a nice source for Vermont or San Francico Sourdough starter, Armchair World Gourmet or King Arthur Flour - or make your own. To make your own, take one cup of warm milk and one cup of flour and mix them together in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Let the mix sit on a counter in the kitchen at room temperature for a few days or better yet, let it sit uncovered outdoors (if you don't have hungry squirrels to disturb it), and mix it once a day. Mix any hardened crust that forms on top into the rest. (If you want it to go a bit quicker, drop in a red grape or two. Find grapes that have a light whitish coating on them. The whitish coating is wild yeast. Don't squash the grapes. Take them out after a day). You should see bubbles starting to form. After three days it should smell sweet and yeasty. Add about half a cup of flour and half a cup of warm water and let it sit for another two days at room temperature. It should start to smell pleasantly sour. This is your Starter. You can continue adding flour and water for a few days more to encourage a nice sour flavor. If you won't use it at once, Store it in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a paper towel over the top, held on by a rubber band (you want it to breath).
Use it as follows: The day before you make waffles, pancakes, bread, etc. take the Starter and empty it into a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add two cups of flour and two cups of warm water and mix it together. Let it remain on a counter overnight (12 to 36 hours - longer is better). The next day you have 3 cups (you can increase the flour and water to make as much as you need) of Starter, hopefully with bubbles indicating it is alive. Always return one cup of Starter to the jar and store it in the refrigerator if you are not going to use it for a few days. Use the other two cups. If you can not use the refrigerated Starter for a few weeks, just keep it alive every so often by taking out a few tablespoonfuls and replacing that with a few tablespoonfuls of flour and water. NEVER add anything to the starter (that you are saving) except flour and water.
Tip: Be vigilant about returning one cup to the jar. I had a starter that I made and used for almost 2 years and then I forgot to return one cup to the jar and used it all in the waffles. It took 3 months for the next starter to get flavorful and active enough to resemble the first. It gets better with age.
The Starter should always smell sort-of-sweet. If it starts to get any dark mold on it or smells nasty, throw it out and start again. A liquid will separate to the top and it may be a bit darker than the white flour. Don't worry, it is still fine.


Yeast Powered Waffles:

The yeast will add flavor similar to the concept of Sourdough Starter. The day or night before, dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water, mix with the flour and salt and let it stand overnight. Add the other ingredients the next day and cook.

1/2 package of yeast
2 cups of whole-wheat flour (or you can use any combination of different flours)
1 Egg (if you don't mind the waffles being a bit flaky, you can leave out the egg.
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 to 8 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter


Egg White Powered Waffles:

Separate the egg whites and save the yellows and let them come to room temperature, if possible. Beat the egg whites until they have soft peaks, but not too dry. Mix up the other ingredients separately and slowly add them to the beaten egg whites and blend them together gently with a spatula so as not to knock all the air out of the egg whites. They do not need to be completely mixed, just nicely blended.

2 cups of flour (you can use any combination of different flours)
2 Eggs (separated)
2 cups of milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3 to 8 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter


Buttermilk Waffles (adopted from Cooking With Whole Grains by M. Orton, 1971):

2/3 cup of Corn Meal
1 1/3 cups of wheat flour
2 Eggs or just the egg whites
2 cups of buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
If you like sugar in your waffles, add a few tablespoons of molasses
3 to 8 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter

Do not over mix ingredients


Buckwheat Waffles (adopted from Cooking With Whole Grains by M. Orton, 1971):

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 Egg
1 cup of milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of sour cream
3 tablespoons of cooking oil or butter


Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Waffles (adopted from The Canyon Ranch Great Tastes 1995 cookbook):

These are a heavy, but healthy alternative to light waffles.

3/4 cup of mashed, cooked sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin.
1/2 cup of flour
1 Egg
3/4 cup of milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. of cooking oil or butter

Starchuk Waffles (contributed by Victoria Starchuk):

1 1/2 cups of All purpose flour
1 Egg
1 cup of milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of half & half
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of softened butter
2 tablespoons of shortening
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients separately and then mix the wet ingredients. Then add the dry mix to the wet. Mix until smooth. Chill overnight in the refrigerator. Take out mixture about a half hour before making your waffles.

Low-Fat Sweet Lemon Soft Waffles (contributed by Talia Felix):

1 1/2 c plus 3 tbs flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1 tsp powdered lemon peel

Combine and prepare ingredients in the usual way, adding more water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. Batter should be thick. These waffles do not need syrup and make a great on-the-go snack.
 (This recipe was created when I found myself not only ingrediently challenged toward another lemon waffle recipe, but then I proceeded to forget to add the oil and butter that the original recipe called for. Just as well - it doesn't seem to need them.)

Vicki Buttens says "The recipe was given to me 25 years ago by an old gentleman who got the recipe from his grandmother.  I call them Milton's Waffles.  There are a few steps involved but it is all worth it!"

Milton's Waffles (aka Buttermilk Old Fashioned Waffles)
2 c. whole milk
1 c. buttermilk
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
5 Tbl. sugar
1 half cup butter
2 eggs separated
2 Tbl. vanilla
1.  Mix together 2 c. whole milk and 1 c. buttermilk.  Let sit on counter over night.
 2.  Melt butter.
 3.  Stir together well all dry ingredients.
 4.  Separate eggs.  Beat egg whites until stiff.
 5.  Put yolks in mixing bowl and beat slightly.  Add in milk mixture and beat for around a minute.
 6.  Add dry ingredients, beating as you add.
 7.  Pour in vanilla and beat for 20 or 30 strokes.
 8.  While beating batter, pour in melted butter slowly.  Blend well.
 9.  Fold beaten egg whites into batter.
 Cook until golden brown on waffle iron.

Crispy Sourcream Waffles (by Andreas Viestad):

I love the TV show, New Scandinavian Cooking with host Andreas Viestad and occasionally Tina Nordstrom. Both are from Norway and they
like to cook foods that are traditional or a take on traditional Norwegian cooking. Here is a unusual sour cream based recipe that Andreas says is delicious.

1 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbl sugar

2 1/2 cups of sour cream
2/3 cup of water

1 Stir together sour cream and water.
Mix all the other ingredients and sift gradually into the sour cream mixture while whisking. The aim is a thick batter. Leave to swell for at least 20 minutes.
Heat the waffle iron, brush with butter and cook the waffles until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with lingonberries or even Proscuitto and a dolop of sour cream

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