Like a microbial cultural anthropologist, I've continued to try to study the habits of my bread starter. And like my co-instructors, I've been wondering what to do with all the leftover starter generated by a regular regimen of diluting my culture into fresh flour paste. Great minds think alike and so, like them, I resorted to breakfast fare; in their cases pancakes of one kind and another, in my case waffles. I started with a sourdough waffles recipe from King Arthur Flour, which I melded with these yeasted buckwheat waffles from Deborah Madison. The dough made with the starter had significantly more integrity than those I had made with an overnight sponge from commercial yeast, and the waffles had a more complex, tangy taste that paired nicely with tart, stewed rhubarb and fresh strawberries. I'm thinking that it might work well to keep my culture growing slowly in the refrigerator during the week and revive it on the weekends for bouts of bread baking and breakfasts. The microbes in my culture are likely studying me as well and learning to understand the habits of their human cohabitants who dash out of the house five mornings a week and lounge around the other two.
Bread Starter Buckwheat Waffles
(makes about 6 waffles in a Belgian waffle iron)overnight sponge
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups buttermilk
waffle or pancake batter
all of the overnight sponge
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, honey, and buttermilk. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.
2. The next morning, finish the bater. In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge. Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.
3. Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Serving suggestion: a dollop of plain yogurt, a drizzle of stewed rhubarb, fresh strawberries, and maple syrup.