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Sourdough Waffles with whole grain

Once you make these Sourdough Waffles with whole grain, you’ll never go back to baking powder waffles again. Looking for a weekend breakfast or brunch recipe? Not anymore.

whole grain sourdough waffles

Nothing is better for breakfast than hot and fresh waffles dripping with real maple syrup and maybe a pat of melting butter.

But waffles must be eaten the minute they come off the waffle iron for maximum crunch. So I almost never order them out because they almost always disappoint.

But why would you want to go out for breakfast when you can make these lovelies in the comfort of your own kitchen? They’re crisp and light yet substantial.

Even though I’m a baker by profession, I’m definitely not a morning person. If you’re like me and prefer the least amount of work first thing in the morning, you’ll love this recipe.

Make the sponge the night before, then it takes about a minute to finish mixing the batter in the morning.

sourdough waffle batter
The sponge will become active and rise overnight.
whole grain sourdough waffles
The sourdough starter makes waffles with an open crumb and great chewy texture.

If you don’t have one, check out my post to learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then check out my system to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter.

Why Sourdough Waffles are better than regular waffles:

  • Make your sponge the night before with the unfed starter and the sponge will be active and ready to mix by the time you wake up hungry for breakfast.
  • The sourdough starter and whole grains give the waffles a great bread-like chew.
  • A little baking soda is added to react with the buttermilk in the batter.
  • The baking soda gives the waffles a last minute lift for lightness. 
  • For maximum lift use the batter as soon as the baking soda is mixed in because the reaction happens upon mixing, not in the heat of the waffle iron.
  • Serve them hot off the iron or hold them in a 200°F oven if you prefer to serve them all at once. 
  • The waffles freeze beautifully so extras can be placed in a freezer bag for another day. Just pop them in the toaster whenever the mood strikes.
whole grain sourdough waffles
whole grain sourdough waffles

Serve these Whole Grain Sourdough Waffles with real maple syrup. I’m a fan of Grade B Maple Syrup‘s strong flavor (it’s sometimes called Grade A extra dark).

For another sourdough breakfast treat, try these Sourdough Pancakes.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe, I’d appreciate a 5-star review!

a plate of waffles with syrup
Print Recipe
4.68 from 37 reviews

Sourdough Waffle Recipe

Start making Whole Grain Sourdough Waffles the night before and have hot fresh waffles for breakfast.
Prep Time12 hours
Bake Time20 minutes
Total Time12 hours 20 minutes
12 waffles


Overnight Sponge

  • 8 oz unfed sourdough starter (1 cup, 100% hydration)
  • 5 oz unbleached All-Purpose Flour (1 cup)
  • 2 ½ oz whole wheat flour (½ cup)
  • 2 ½ oz rye flour (½ cup)
  • 2 oz granulated sugar (¼ cup)
  • 16 oz buttermilk (2 cups)


  • Sponge
  • 3 oz unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 8 oz unfed sourdough starter, 5 oz unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 2 ½ oz whole wheat flour, 2 ½ oz rye flour, 2 oz granulated sugar and 16 oz buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.

In the morning:

  • Preheat the waffle iron. Preheat the oven if you want to hold the waffles before serving.
  • Melt 3 oz unsalted butter in a small microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Whisk 2 large eggs into the slightly warm butter. Add the butter mixture to the sponge. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon table salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda over the batter.
  • Mix until the baking soda and salt are completely dispersed in the batter. Once the baking soda is added you should use the batter immediately.
  • Make the waffles according to the waffle iron manufacturer's instructions. Serve waffles immediately or hold in a 200 °F warm oven till ready to serve.


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The starter should be "un-fed" when you mix the sponge. If you keep your starter in the refrigerator just take it out and mix the sponge. If you keep it out at all times, use the starter before the normal feeding.
For a white waffle batter you can use 2 cups of all purpose flour in place of the 3 mixed flours. Or you can use 1 cup of the white and a cup of either the rye or whole wheat flour.


Serving: 1waffle | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating


Friday 17th of September 2021

my sponge didnt rise or got active…

Eileen Gray

Saturday 18th of September 2021

That would be due to the starter.

Amber Purrington

Thursday 13th of May 2021

I love the flavor of this recipe! For some reason my waffles always flattens. I follow almost exactly..I add vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of sugar before I cook them. Any suggestions?

Eileen Gray

Thursday 13th of May 2021

I would say to cook them a little longer so they're nice and crisp on the outside. With a crisp crust they'll be less likely to deflate. Also, eat them right off the waffle maker.


Sunday 25th of April 2021

Eileen, Because your Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe was so successful(I have made it nearly a dozen times this past year)I was intrigued about the sourdough waffle recipe. I had just received a shipment of rye flour and so had no excuses! Last evening I made the sponge and because it seemed such a sturdy mixture, I had my doubts as to whether or not it would turn out. This morning I soldiered on and to my surprise produced the very best waffles I have ever made. The color is light mahogany, the texture is crispy and chewy and the flavor perfect. And we have 7 "squares" in the freezer for another day. Thank you!


Tuesday 16th of March 2021

What is the minimum amount of time this waffles need to sit for? I often don’t think of making waffles ahead of time so it becomes an issue.

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 17th of March 2021

Hi Irene, the reason you let the sponge sit overnight is because you are using unfed sourdough starter (or discard). The sponge needs time to feed the yeast in the starter. You could mix the dough in the morning using active starter that has been fed the night before. But that also requires planning ahead. If you keep your starter fed at all times then you'd be ready to go in the morning.


Saturday 27th of June 2020

I thoroughly love these waffles! I’ve made them with the different grains. As well as with just all purpose flour. Tonight I’m making them with just a mix of AP flour & whole wheat flour. Anyway, I got to wondering if I could replace the rye flour with cornmeal or semolina?

Eileen Gray

Saturday 27th of June 2020

Yup, cornmeal or semolina would add a nice crunch.