These Vegan Sourdough Waffles are light, airy, crunchy on the outside, whole wheat, and absolutely divine. Serve with fruit or maple syrup for a delicious breakfast.
Here's a recipe for Vegan Sourdough Waffles so crisp on the outside, so fluffy on the inside and so delicious all around, you'll probably never want to make any other kind ever again.But first, here's something that's on my mind, as mom to a former outdoor cat (my sweetheart Billy) and to two ferals (Georgia and Cannoli) who come by to eat on our front stoop every day.
There's a new book out by a Smithsonian researcher and bird advocate who has, for a few years now, conducted a war on outdoor cats, and you've probably already heard about it or at least read reviews. I won't spend a dime buying a book that calls a cat a "cuddly killer," but I am angry enough to say something when a book calls on killing all outdoor cats "by any means necessary" because they hunt birds.
In our home, we love all animals. Desi and I often will ignore mice when they share our home, or -- if the problem gets acute -- we set out humane traps so we can trap the mice and set them free outdoors. Desi has rescued many mice from Billy and, before him, from Pubm, our calico hunter who loved to play with mice and eventually kill them. He also lovingly feeds the many birds that visit our backyard each day because who doesn't love birds?
We have never allowed our cats outside for their own safety -- cats do get run over by cars in urban areas -- and because it is true that they will kill birds. That would be fine if they depended on nature for their meals, but the fact is that house cats don't. Even so, instinct in animals is not easy to suppress: when a cat sees a mouse or a bird, that primal urge to stalk and kill kicks in. They can't avoid it any more than you and I can avoid reaching for that free donut at the morning meeting.
Billy was clearly an indoor-outdoor cat before we adopted him. He has a yearning for the outdoors and would escape when he got the chance, although he always came back. Now that we've gotten smarter about his ways, we are more successful at keeping him indoors. I can see it doesn't make him happy, but we have lots of windows with trees outside where he can sit and observe birds without sinking his teeth into them. Desi has also been thinking of building him a catio.
But for stray and feral cats, the solution is not so simple. These animals, no different from house cats, are either cats that once had people and ended up on the streets for some reason or the other, or they are cats who were born in the wild and are unsocialized. They live outdoors, and the outdoors comes with birds who, beautiful as they are, are natural prey for cats.
I agree that when a cat has a home, it is best to keep him or her indoors to avoid unnecessary harm to other wildlife. But calling for killing all outdoor cats because they hunt birds is a ridiculous and downright dumb argument. The Humane Society of the United States has a comprehensive statement on outdoor cats and reducing their populations humanely, through trap-neuter-return or TNR (we got Georgia spayed and Cannoli neutered early on, keeping the feral cat population in our neighborhood under control). It's a great way to bring about a balance without choosing one species of animal over the other.
Now back to those vegan sourdough waffles, I started another batch of sourdough a few weeks back after my old starter had been thoroughly neglected and then cleared out of the refrigerator to make room for other things. This time I made the starter the really old-fashioned way, with nothing but flour and water, following this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. Everything went very well and I had a bubbling, happy sourdough starter within a week. The first thing I decided to make with it were these vegan Sourdough Waffles -- with whole wheat flour. They were so good, I've been making them every weekend since -- even more often, I think, than my delicious Whole Wheat Vegan Waffles
There's an alchemy that takes place when you add sourdough to baked goods. They become lighter, airier, and flavorful without becoming tangy, as you would expect (unless you add a ton of the sourdough, which you don't in these waffles). We also discussed the importance of probiotics and prebiotics in food and their effect on your overall health in a recent post: sourdough has a ton of those probiotic bacteria because it's fermented, while whole wheat provides the perfect prebiotic fiber for those bacteria to thrive on.
I loosely followed a recipe I found on the King Arthur website. It had eggs, buttermilk and butter, but I used my usual substitutes for a waffle that was spectacular.
In the beginning, when I made these waffles, I added a couple of tablespoons of oil to them, but I stopped after a while and they turn out just as delicious without the oil, so I've made it optional in the ingredients.
Try these recipes next:
- Sourdough Skillet Pancake
- Sourdough English Muffins
- Vegan Sourdough Sticky Buns
- Mushrooms on Sourdough Toast, 15-minute Breakfast
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Ciabatta
- Vegan Eggless Sourdough Challah
- The Best Sourdough Sandwich Bread, Yeast-Free
Vegan Sourdough Waffles
- 1 cup sourdough starter (unfed or fed, either works)
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cups nondairy milk
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon flaxmeal + 6 tablespoon warm water, whisked)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)
- Make the overnight sponge by mixing together the sourdough starter, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, milk and vinegar in a very large bowl. The dough will expand by morning as all those good bacteria and yeast go to work, so make sure you have enough room in the bowl.
- In the morning, just before making your waffles, mix the baking soda, salt, oil, if using, and flax eggs into the overnight sponge.
- Use a ½ cup measure to pour the batter on a preheated waffle maker. Bake according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve hot with some fruit and maple syrup.
I made these this morning, and they turned out beautifully! I live in a cooler climate, so my house gets into the 60s at night. I used my medium mixing bowl, but set it on a cookie sheet in case I woke to a mess. The sponge definitely grew and was bubbly, but it still had room in the bowl. The finish was really nice - very crispy, light sourdough flavor. I'll definitely be making these again.
I have a 4x4 waffle iron (4 waffles, 4-5 in square), and it made 12. I plan to freeze some for toaster-waffles during the week.
So happy you loved the waffles, Stacy. And thanks for the feedback on the temps, number of waffles and size. Very helpful!
Hi Vaishali, the recipe as written - does this make 10 Belgium waffles please? Also, it is now warm (74 degrees) here, the house will cool overnight, will it still be ok to leave this out on the counter overnight or do you suggest starting it on the counter and placing it in the fridge before going to bed? I could perhaps leave it out in the basement overnight which is much cooler. TIA
Hi Vicki, you can leave it at room temperature at 74 degrees, but if you have a very thriving sourdough starter it prob would be good to leave it in the cooler basement so it doesn't overflow. 🙂 How many waffles depends on the size of your waffle maker. When I make regular waffles with this batter I get about 10 large waffles. If your Belgian waffle maker makes large-size waffles, you'll prob get around 8.
These are by far the best sourdough waffles I've tried. Leaving out the batter overnight really helps develop the flavor and texture of these waffles. Definitely a keeper recipe and I'll be making these often.
Awesome! So happy you love the waffles--leaving the batter overnight does make lighter waffles and is also nutritionally beneficial because it gives the probiotic bacteria a chance to bread down the carbs in the flour.
What can we substitite for flaxseed if we need to avoid seeds?
Could I use the amount of "ener-g" for two eggs?
I’ve made these without the flax meal and they turn out fine. No need for another egg substitute.
My sponge did not rise overnight. there are a few bubbles on edges. My discard was from a new stater that is slow in working, but no real growth. should I wait a day for more movement is sponge or will it be fine to use right now. Will the waffles rise while baking if I use the sponge as is with other ingredients added?
It will be fine after you add the other ingredients. Go ahead and make the waffles.
Are these waffles crispy?
Depends on what setting you bake the. On a lower setting they’ll be soft, higher they will be crispy.
7+ yrs vegan. Recently found wheat causes my ankles to swell. Is there another grain that will work, both for starter and in your recipe? Chick pea? Some sort of mix w less wheat? I follow No SOFAS so all minimally processed/whole foods, no white sugar, flour, rice. No bottled oils. I make my own flours in my vitamix.
Is it safe to eat during pregnancy, as the almond milk has been left out overnight? I am nervous about food borne illness.
Hi Sarah, I am not qualified to answer that question. You'll prob have to consult with a nutritionist or doctor.
Does the sponge go in the fridge or stay out on the counter overnight?
Leave it out on the counter.
These are amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
If I don't have whole wheat pastry flour, can I use regular whole wheat flour?
These are hands down the best waffles I've ever made, thank you sooooooo much!!!! I actually put my sourdough sponge in the fridge and it works great in the morning. I also add Chocolate Chips which puts these over the top in a most sinful happy way. I use a Belgium Waffle maker and get perfect waffles every time (and I make these a lot!). Your recipes inspire me and make me so happy, thank you for being a kitchen goddess!!
Does it matter if the sourdough starter is active, not discard?
Active will work just fine.
These are absolutely delicious! My only question is the directions state oil but it isn't listed in the ingredients? I just threw a dash of oil into my batter and still turned out great!
I used oil in the past, but stopped using it so removed it from the ingredients--the waffles are just as wonderful without it. But you can definitely use it--I added it back in as an optional ingredient. 🙂 So happy you liked them--they are a huge breakfast favorite for us!
This makes the most delicious waffles! Thank you so much! I’ve been making these for 2 years, and they never fail to please❤️❤️❤️.
I never seem to have pastry flour around, so I’ve used a mix of half whole wheat white and half all purpose, or sometimes bread flour.
These are so light, crispy, and tasty!
Unfortunately due to the current shopping situation I had to use AP white flour and lemon juice, but I’m sure they’re even more delicious with ww pastry flour and apple cider vinegar.
I’m throwing out all my other waffle recipes. This one is a keeper! Thank you for creating it!
Love the kitty remarks, too.
Enjoyed your cat blog entry. I have two rescue neutered and spayed cats. I also volunteer very occasionally for a CAT rescue squad of amazing women...we trapped and had some feral cats neutered then returned them to their habitat. I totally agree with you!! One of my rescues insisted on going out a lot and at 12 he still does but mainly just to sit on the porch and watch the world go by. We have a very secluded area so I feel he is safe. He loves visiting the catnip bush and watching the wildlife. He used to catch an occasional bird and baby bunny, however.
Just made the sourdough sponge, and I realized I am using discard which is only 5 days old and very minorly bubbly...so I hope this works. I am also using discard to make pizza crust. We shall see how it goes. These days it's experimental baking for us!! Thank you!
I was wondering if there is something I could substitute for the oil in this recipe? Would unsweetened applesauce work?
You can just skip the oil, I often do, and yes, applesauce would be great--add 1/4 cup.
OMG these wafflea are absolutely amazing and VEGAN. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Hi! I went to mix the first round of ingredients and the flour clumped really badly for some reason, what can I do to remediste this? Is this potentially because I keep my flour in the fridge? Never had this happen in my limited experience.
That's really odd--with 2 cups of nondairy milk and the liquid from the starter there is no reason for that to happen, unless your starter has much lower hydration than mine. Check that and add more liquid if needed.
Is the sponge necessary (I.e. letting it sit over night?). And do you know if it sits for longer, a day and a half or so, will the recipe still work?
*i started this recipe before reading that it required an overnight wait time so I want to put it in the fridge (or counter?) and try again tomorrow morning).
Sitting overnight lets the sourdough bacteria work on the flour, making it healthier and tastier. You won't get the same flavor and texture if you mix it all in and eat it right away. If you made it in the morning, leave in the refrigerator till bedtime, then leave on the counter overnight.
I was going to suggest that it might be helpful to some readers if you added an extra line at the top of the recipe like, "Wait (Rise? Ferment?) time: 8-10 hours" so it's clear that it's not a 30 minute start-to-finish recipe.
I did the same thing. Will let you know how it comes out tomorrow!
These are DELICIOUS!! I just started the journey of sourdough, and love having this in my toolbox for discard. Did it exactly as written (but halved the recipe) and it was perfect.
What type of waffle iron are you using? looks perfect 🙂
It's this one from Cuisinart.
I made these for the first time today. The sponge did not rise the way I expected and the waffles were a little heavy but the tasted great and my son, who is a very picky eater, loved them. He said he never wanted any other kind of waffles again! Any idea as to why the sponge didn't rise? I covered it with foil but not tight. Would that have made a difference?
Hi Cat, your batter may have been too thick. Next time try adding more liquid--nondairy milk--if that's the case. You can also add some vegan yogurt or applesauce to thin it out. Also did you add baking soda?
Hi Vaishali, I had the opposite experience. I didn't feel like my sponge rose a whole lot and the batter looked really watery. How thick is the final batter supposed to be? I followed the directions to a T. The resulting waffles were VERY light and airy. Is that how they are supposed to be? If not, I'm wondering if it could be the AP flour I was using.
Delicious! I've made this recipe twice now. The first time, I only used 1/2 cup of sourdough starter, but followed the rest of the recipe as described. This time, I followed the recipe exactly as instructed, including the full cup of starter. I have to say, the first attempt actually turned out much better! The waffles browned better on the outside with a nice crisp to them, and we're fluffy on the inside without being chewy. This time around (Currently have a waffle in the maker as I type), the waffles are much more chewy on the inside. I tried thinning out the recipe with a bit of water as suggested in other comments, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. Try using only half a cup of starter and you should get the BEST waffles you've ever had. We actually prefer these vegan waffles to others we make using eggs and flaxmilk. SO GOOD
Can this recipe be made without sugar or without any sweeteners at all?
Do you leave the overnight sponge in the fridge or on the counter?
On the counter, preferably it should be in a warm place.
Loved using our discard for the first time. These were a little gooey in the waffle maker. I read the other comments before cooking and added a tiny bit of water to thin it (it already was kind of thin). Switched to making pancakes and made thin crepe like pancakes with caramelized bananas. They were the best pancakes I've made even though they were thin! My husband and kids gobbled them up. We will definitely make these again! This was our first taste of "happiness" our sourdough starter! love!! Can't wait to share some with my mother when we finally get to see her after quarantine.
Can I leave the overnight sponge closer to 24 hrs?
Maybe mostly in fridge then take out a few hrs bf baking?
I started making it but thought it was 24 hrs not 12 lol
Yes, keep it in the refrigerator, should be okay.
I tried these and they didn't turn out. I didn't have enough unfed starter so I fed mine yesterday morning and let it sit at room temperature and then put it in the fridge. I made my sponge and then left it out for about 10 hours. Too long? The inside of the waffles were doughy and chewy no matter how long I cooked it. I decided to try pancakes thinking it was my waffle maker and same result. I ended up make them really then and crepe like as not to waste the dough.
It has nothing to do with how long you left it out, it's about how thick your batter was, and yours sounds like it was too thick. If the batter is too thick the waffle or pancake will brown fast on the outside and remain wet on the inside. It could be that your sourdough starter has more hydration than mine. Add more water if your dough is too thick.
Hi. Do you think that this recipe would work without oil and substituting monkfruit for the sugar? We don’t eat oil and sugar but the recipe sounds great.
Yes and yes!
I have made this recipe a couple of times and each time I love it! Simple to follow. They taste delicious with sautéed fruit on top, like peaches or apples. Thanks for the recipe!
I love this recipe--I even made it for everyone's Christmas Day breakfast and they all really enjoyed it. After making it a few times, though, I'd like to offer a little bit of a tip. I find adding about a teaspoon of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon into the batter neutralizes the somewhat boozy flavor of the waffles by themselves, and compliments the complexity sourdough lends to baked goods very nicely. I think the flavor, with these additions, is perfect. To each their own, though--this was totally a matter of personal taste!
When you mix the sponge, do you leave it out overnight or put it in the refrigerator? I'm inclined to think it's left out - ? I'm enjoying the starter immensely - have used it in bread and dosas. Trying WW bread tomorrow and waffles the next! Thank you!
Hi Denise, I leave it out!
I can't tell what thus is saying...
2 tbsp flax eggs (2 flaxmeal + 6 tbsp warm water whisked)
2 flaxmeal what?
Or 2 what Flaxmeal?
I would love to fux thus but don't know what your meaning.
Please let me know
I've sent others on your starter you don't need to post them just let me know what to do please.
Hi Linda, the words got scrambled when I transferred the recipe to a new recipe plugin. It's two flax eggs-- two tbsp flaxmeal plus 6 tbsp water). Sorry about that-- it's corrected now.
I made these waffles last night/this morning and they are unbelievable! So thrilled to have an excellent vegan waffle recipe that also uses my starter!
Euthanasia is a medical procedure used to end the life of a terminally ill animal or person. It is sometimes called mercy killing. The policy that allows for the destruction of so many millions of healthy dogs, is not euthanasia, but gratuitous killing. There is nothing merciful about taking the life of a dog, any other animal or a person, who is able to and wants to live. To do so in the name of population control undermines the meaning of compassion.
I agree completely that it will be a great day when this policy is ended, but given the effect of dominion, it doesn't seem likely.
I continue to look to India & AHIMSA for Inspiration.
I had this debate with my boss, he is catch and kill. I think we need to offer more neutering options for low-income families and provide more spay and release programs. We are both about conserving the environment, and I do think as humans we have a bit of a duty to try and preserve the natural wildlife from invading species we brought over. But in the United States, I think the cat population isn't as much of a concern. The birds in the USA know to be cautious of cats because there are other predatory animals like them. I can understand why rules are more strict in places in like New Zealand, Australia, or other islands where there are much smaller amounts of predatory mammals.
India is home to many predatory mammals and reptiles, such as lions, tigers, leopards, bears, crocodiles, cobras and pythons to name a few. Yet somehow, for the most part people have found a way to live with these animals in their midst. Though there are sometimes human animal conflicts that end badly to the animals, there are no culls, no plans to destroy invading or predatory species. In Gujarat India unarmed farmers live along side of lions. The farmers do not harm a lion who has taken a cow, for they understand that is the nature of lions. The lions in turn do not harm the farmers. In fact they protect the farmers crops from foraging animals such as deer. All this mutual co-existence is documented in a beautiful NBS video: The wandering lions of India:
I watched this video and was in awe. The narrator was as well. He kept repeating - this type of cooperation exists only in India.
Allowing all animals to exist is a result of the ethic of ahimsa: non-violence to any living being.
There is a lot we can learn from this approach. Nature has checks and balances, which are all to often upset by human meddling and controls.
I agree with you about cats, they should not be harmed for following their instincts and yes, you are right.... birds are pretty wary of cats.
I too appreciate that you have the courage to bring up animal protection issues. It would be a lot easier to just ignore the problems, especially on a vegan recipe blog. Most do. But then, your reason for being vegan is care for animals.
It is easy to say the world is a sick place, without considering that there are bright spots and there are black holes. Kill shelters are black holes that destroy millions of healthy dogs, who want to live. Bright spots are found where every life is valued, cared for, where street dogs are neutered, their medical issues addressed and they are vaccinated against rabies.
I try to look to the bright spots and learn.
Agreed, it'll be a wonderful day when we don't have animal euthanasia.
Hmm. The world is a sick place. Things will be fine only when a meteor strikes the earth & ends everything 🙁
That said, this is something I really, really, love about you Vaishalli... That how you many times write about animal related issues in your blog. You have adopted so many animals and feed many others. You are such an amazing woman, kudos 🙂
Hi N, I don't think I do nearly as much as many other animal lovers do, but I appreciate your kind words very much! 🙂
Hi, I do not have whole wheat pastry flour, I have white pastry flour and I have whole wheat flour would one of those be a good subsitute?
Hi, either is fine but I’d use a half-half mix.
Thanks! I will try a mix and ,et you know how it goes 🙂
Todd, Yes, a better way is in order than the system that kills millions of homeless, healthy animals in shelters throughout the country. This solution for dealing with homeless domestic animals is tolerated and considered morally acceptable by the mainstream. Many major humane organizations endorse this so called euthanasia to control homeless animals. It is in accord with dominion.
The system in india allows street dogs/cats to live. It provides neuter/spaying, vaccination and medical care for street animals in keeping with ahimsa, every life has value, all are allowed to live.
There are many "barn cat" cat networks to help feral cats - and cats who do not have the temperament to live indoors with humans - find homes on farms. My sister-in-law owns a small farm and has referred many cats to her local network in South Eastern PA. Many cats have found homes with the Amish. (Ironically, I am extremely allergic to cats, but I love all animals).
Agreed. The principle of ahimsa calls on us to find a better way.
I am afraid there is a different ethic at play in the USA than in India. The ethic of dominion favors human lives above animal lives, so that if some humans are disturbed about cats killing birds they have a ready made solution - just kill the cats.
There is no understanding of the cycle of life and the awareness that all lives have value, both animal and human. That is the perview of Ahimsa. Ahimsa allows animals to be who they are, true to their nature, without punishing them for existing.
Of course they is cruelty everywhere, but with ahimsa, animals have a better chance of surviving and being protected from human supremacy.