The Great Waffle Debacle of 2018


It’s a bleak tale, but one which requires telling. I can say I survived and perhaps that is a type of victory. Honestly, at the moment, it doesn’t feel like one.

I have told you in previous posts that I had acquired sourdough starter. This is something I had considered over the years, but it’s the first time I actually did it.

Imagine if you will: You put the starter in a bowl, add water and flour, then leave it for 6-8 hours. Then you stir it, remove 4 ounces to which you add water and flour, then leave it for 6-8 hours. This goes on for days. When you do get it to a usable state you will be required to tend it constantly … forever.

I tried it. I tried a handmade loaf of bread and a loaf in the breakmaker. The handmade loaf was a complete disaster. The one out of the machine was no different from any ordinary white loaf.


Now go back to those instructions – the part where it says to remove 4 ounces of your mixture. You may be wondering what happens to the remainder – called the discard. Well, you can put it in the fridge and use it in various recipes. I decided to do that.

After days of creating discard there was a large amount of it in my fridge. I thought, OK I’ll make the waffles.

To begin with you take 1 cup of discard and add 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 cups buttermilk.

I had 3 cups discard. Do the math. I now had my biggest bowl with 3 cups discard, 6 cups flour, 6 tbsp sugar, and 6 cups of buttermilk in it.

Unfortunately the next instruction was to leave it overnight. Sh*t.


The next day I had to add salt, baking soda, 3/4 cup of oil, and 6 eggs. Boy was it fun stirring until there were no lumps in that mix. Not.

Fine, I was finally ready to make waffles.

I got out my tiny little waffle iron. I don’t mean tiny just in the sense that it would only make 2 waffles at a time. I also mean tiny in the sense that it is not a very powerful machine.

After much trial and error, I determined that it took 9 minutes to fully cook the waffles. The great quantity of waffles which could be made with that giant bowl of mix – 2 by 2.

Not counting all the waffle batter which poured out of the iron, and all the waffles which were inedible, I wound up with 40 crispy waffles bagged in groups of 8.

Do the math. All told I spent 4 hours doing nothing but cook waffles.


Now I have no bias against waffles. If I didn’t like the occasional fried dough I wouldn’t have set out to make them.

Having said that, I will tell you that I believe them to be of good quality but that is only based on tasting small bits I cut off to make straight edges. I haven’t eaten one.

In fact I can’t even face them. I put all of them in the big freezer. Perhaps one day I will decide that only a waffle will be appropriate for breakfast. Or maybe they’ll be found untouched many years in the future and the discard will be discarded.

I survived this debacle. My waffle iron, however, did not. She was never built to handle this workload.

I thanked her for her service and added her to the discard pile.

Sourdough will never enter this house again.



  1. Truly made my morning! I can just picture it. I am taking a sourdough class with my daughter later on this spring as I feel feel fairly intimidated by the instructions I have found. All that feeding and discarding. I am now very scared of what we may produce. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a similar thing in the UK with ginger beer plants. Home made ginger beer is awesome, and you can make it from a mixture which is called a plant. Because it grows, I guess. And grows and grows. And if improperly stored, it explodes. In the bottles too …

    Liked by 1 person

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