Rev 0.10, last revised:  11-Oct-05

Light, crispy, and suffused with the tangy aroma of fresh, warm sourdough, these waffles are fit for a king.  You'll want to make them fast...so that you can get a few before they're gone!

Yield: about 8, 10-inch waffles

Making the Sponge (the night before):

Whisk all the flour, water, and starter into a thick batter in a bowl.  Put in warm place and allow to ferment for 8-12 hours at or as near to 85F (29C) as possible.  I use my stove, with the light on, and the door propped slightly ajar.

Making the batter (the next morning):

** Use a 1/2 cup of any plain tasting oil (sunflower or safflower are good for you) if you can't get or don't want to use butter--no need to heat.

Heat butter until it melts (I use a microwave).  Set it aside to cool as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In bowl large enough to hold it all, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk.  Beat just until they're not "stringy" any more.

Add the salt, vanilla, sugar, and the lemon zest if you're using it.  Beat a bit more to combine well.

Add the melted butter (or oil).  It may be warm, but shouldn't be hot (or it'll cook the eggs and damage your sponge).  Beat mixture until smooth and well mixed.  If it's warmer than you are, let it sit until it's cooled to nearer room temperature.  With your whisk, gently mix in the sourdough sponge created the night before.

Allow to sit on the counter for about 30-minutes or so...

With your whisk, mix in enough of the flour to create a pancake-like batter.  If you make it too thick, dilute it with a bit of cream, milk, or water...do it a teaspoon full at a time.  If it's too thin, add a bit more flour.  Don't agonize over this.  The exact consistency isn't all that important.  If the waffles don't spread or rise too high, dilute the batter.  If they're flat and won't rise, thicken it up a bit.  No matter, the mistakes will taste just as good as the perfect copies.

Fire up the old waffle iron, and have at it!  Keep your whisk handy and remix it from time-to-time if the batter looks like it's separated.

Top the finished waffle with a dab of butter and dust with powdered sugar, or drizzle with real Maple syrup or any other toppings of your choice.  We enjoy it with my pear compote, but anything you usually use will do...