Wake your sourdough buddies up a little before it's time to make breakfast, unless you have a crowd of people coming over. Usually a jar of starter will make enough for up to 4 if necessary. If you are having a crowd over, add equal amounts of flour and water to your pals the night before, and leave covered in a somewhat warm place overnight. For a refresher on this, see the section on Feeding and Other Basics.
The recipe for waffles is very similar to the recipe for pancakes, except you must use about double the oil. The idea of the oil is to keep the waffle iron from sticking, so if it ever does stick then there's no real problem with adding a little more. If the batter doesn't ever stick, which it shouldn't, then you can experiment with adding less each time you make them if you want.
Why you would want to do this, though, is absolutely beyond me. If you do choose to skimp on oil to see if the batter will stick, believe me when I say that your buddies will be glad to help. They have a lot of 'stick-to-itiveness' when they want to. Kind of like a two year old who wants to 'help.'
The amount of batter you will need depends upon the number of people who will be eating. To the basic sponge, you will want to add:
2 eggs, then another for every two or three people who will be eating.
For the oil, baking soda, and salt, use the amount shown for up to 4 cups of batter, then increase accordingly. Sugar may be increased, too, if you want. If you want to omit the sugar, that's fine.
4 Tablespoons of oil.
Enough milk to get a fairly thin batter consistency. If batter is too thick, add regular or evaporated milk. If too thin, add powdered milk or flour.
Beat thoroughly (by hand is fine), then add:
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and baking soda (more soda - to a point - means they will rise higher; with waffles this is not usually a good thing)
2 tablespoons of sugar
Like with pancakes, if you can let the batter sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Use a higher heat setting than you would for regular waffles. I find it best to use a setting of about 8 on a scale of 10. It doesn't hurt to spray your iron with 'Pam' before the first one, but it shouldn't be necessary.
One way to keep waffles from sticking is to not ever lift the lid on your waffle iron while the waffle inside is still steaming. Wait until the steam has stopped and/or, on some waffle iron models, the light to go off.
Can't decide what kind of toppings to put on? Take a look at the section on Toppings and Variations.
Don't forget to replenish your starter before your partner or guest, in a fit of unbridled generosity caused by your great breakfast, spontaneously does the dishes including your starter jar!
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© 1999 Ranger Kidwell-Ross
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