Leavened Waffle Recipe

Waffles are fantastic. Waffletastic even. I love ‘em. I wondered if I could make waffles with my leavain and a cheap, easy to store waffle iron.

The Iron

To that end I ordered a cast iron waffle iron. I really like lodge. They make great quality stuff, the pro-logic stuff comes with a fantastic season already applied, and the prices are spot on. Sadly, Lodge doesn’t seem to sell a waffle iron. Foiled again. So instead, I ordered a Rome Old Fashioned Waffle Iron amazon. I am fermenting my first batch of waffles even as I write this so I can’t report on its efficacy yet. It did come wax coated and unseasoned, so I’m glad I got it a few days early.

A note on seasoning cast iron. I recently bought a Lodge pro-logic dutch oven for baking sourdough. I added a very, very thin layer of oil to the coating that was there and started baking with it. After about 3 cycles of 2 to 3 hours at 475, the pan was amazingly well seasoned. The coating was black and hard as you can believe. My take away was to start the pans life out with a thin coating and then put some long, very hot cycles through it before adding more oil. I think a lot of times, we put a layer of oil on every time, even if the last layer hasn’t had time to cook down to a nice, hard carbon layer. I’m starting this waffle iron out with the same theory. I haven’t been able to cook it quite as many times as I would like, but even so it has a better season than anything else I’ve been able to accomplish before.

The recipe

Here is the recipe I’m starting with. This is iteration #1

The “Dry” team

Ingredient grams volume notes
Leavain UNK ~ 3 cups I forgot to weigh it. The volume was after I separated it and set it in the fridge to hold overnight.
Poolish UNK ~ 1/4 cup Ditto
AP flour 160 1 1/4 cup  
00 flour 160 1 1/4 cup I’ll probably replace this with AP next time.
Cornstarch 85 2/3 cup  
{Sugar} {85} {5 TBS} I wish I had used honey. Add to the wet team instead.
Salt 25 1 TBS  

The wet team

Ingredient grams volume notes
Whole Milk N/A 1 cup mix with buttermilk and warm to ~ 85°
Buttermilk N/A 1 cup Ditto
{Honey} {85} {5 TBS} I will do this next time
Melted butter UNK 1/2 cup  
Egg yolks N/A 6 Whites reserved for next section

The “air” team

Ingredient grams volume notes
Egg whites N/A 6  
Sugar 34 2 TBS granulated needed to whip the eggs.
Vanilla UNK 2 TBS added to batter at last second
Almond extract UNK 1 TBS added to batter at last second


Night before

  • Mix together a little bit of poolish. Store in the fridge if the room is warm
  • Set aside the levain

Morning of

  • Mix together flour, cornstarch, salt.
  • Warm dairy to ~ 85°. Add melted butter, egg yolks, and honey.
  • Mix dry into wet.
  • Cover and ferment in warm spot for 3 - 5 hours. (Clearly these are brunch waffles. If you mixed the night before you could ferment in the fridge overnight.)

Last minute

  • Start heating up the iron on the stove top. At least 5 minutes on medium heat. 5 of 10 on my stove. This is hot enough to keep the iron working. No need to let it heat back up after each batch. However, you can’t leave it sitting on this heat too long or it will burn the next waffle.
  • Whip egg whites and granulated sugar to medium peaks. I thought I could do this by hand. I suppose it’s possible, but I’m not going to do it.
  • Add vanilla and almond extract to batter.
  • Fold in whipped egg whites. Mix 1/4 in quickly to loosen. Fold the rest in gently.


  • Spray iron with non-stick spray
  • pour 1/3+ cup of batter into iron. 1/3 is just under the capacity of this iron. 1/2 may be a bit over.
  • Cook on first side for 5 seconds and flip for 3 - 5 minutes. This helps get even browning.
  • (Optional) Whip a cup of whipping cream, 35 grams sugar, 1 tsp vanilla for topping. (Double optional: add 1 TSP of dark rum or other tasty liqour)


So this is a lot of work for waffles. I’m not gonna lie. It is so thoroughly worth it, though. The flavor is deep and interesting. They are fluffy and light. I was not able to get a crisp crust on mine. This is probably a combination of iron temp and sugar content in the batter.

Another item of note is how long it takes to bake a batch of these. It takes about 5 minutes per waffle. The single iron is a serious bottle neck. I think it would be pretty easy to manage two of these irons simultaneously. Any more would probably be more work than I’m willing to do. The iron was only $20 so that’s not asking much.

I served these to the family with the fresh whipped cream. It was the boozeless version, sadly. I didn’t think of that until too late. Each fam member likes waffles a different way. Some like maple syrup, some like honey, some like aunt jemima. Everyone agreed these waffles with this whipped cream was amazing. Maybe even amazeballs.

Finally, the recipe here makes a lot of waffles. Lots of waffles It made about 18 - 20 in my case. I ended up freezing 14 of them and throwing a couple of experimental ones away.