Build a Better Campground Waffle

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Build a Better Campground Waffle

Friday, October 16, 2020

Waffles and sausage are a winning breakfast combination that everyone loves!  It is also easier than you think.


One of my favorite breakfast treats is waffles.  While pancakes might be a campground staple for your bunch, we have waffles regularly on the road.  I've made lots of different kinds over the years.  As I have started experimenting with sourdough, I have found a superior waffle recipe that is easier than you think.  If you don't plan on starting your own sourdough, no problem.  Keep reading!   I have a similar option that yields almost identical results.  

What makes a better waffle?  Three things - the batter, cooking gear and toppings!

Build a Better Campground Waffle

I am fully aware of baking mixes for making waffles.  I have never been a fan.  Once you have enjoyed a waffle made from scratch, you will never go back.  Better waffles begin with 3 key building blocks:

  1. Sourdough or yeasted sponge for your batter
  2. The correct cooking utensils.  I prefer cast iron.
  3. Toppings!
During quarantine this spring, I made a sourdough starter.  It is kind of like a pet at this point.  I travel with it to feed it and make sure that it remains active.  I cook with it at the campground.  I've named her Sour Sally.  Sally can be found in my RV fridge on every trip at this point.

Sourdough waffles have a complex and rich flavor.  But sourdough also offers many health benefits that make it appealing as well.  Some of the benefits include:
  • Additional vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, and vitamin B.
  • Easy to digest due to healthy gut bacteria.
  • High protein
Sourdough is a sneaky way to get in extra nutrients while tasting great.  I actually use our sourdough for everything from bread and cracker to muffins.  You can really get a lot of use out of sourdough once you start using it.  And, if you are going to eat carbs, get some mileage out of it with some extra nutrients and health benefits.  It's a "cake and eat it too" moment for me - waffles being the cake part!

The overnight sponge makes all the difference in your waffle experience.


Build a Better Batter - Making Your Sponge

My favorite sourdough waffle batter is from King Arthur.  You can also use this recipe to make pancakes as well.  Start out by making a sponge that sits overnight.  It is a simple mixture of flour, sourdough starter, sugar, and buttermilk.  The next morning, add in your butter, eggs, salt, and baking soda.  I have even started the sponge at home in a bowl and traveled with it to the campground to make the waffles the next morning.  But, it is also very easy to do this at the campground too!

What if you don't want to use sourdough?  You can achieve nearly identical results by making an overnight yeasted waffle.  For this option, you make a sponge with a yeast mixture the night before and add in your eggs and remaining ingredients the next morning.  Both of these waffle recipes are excellent, and you won't be disappointed.

A cast iron waffle iron makes excellent waffles and works perfectly on a Coleman Camp Stove.


Get Your Gear - Cast Iron

I like cooking waffles in a cast iron waffle maker.  It works on our Coleman Camp Stove.  The waffles are fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside.  And if you don't want to make waffles, then use the same batter for pancakes.  You can always use a cast iron griddle over your camp stove for pancakes.

Why do I prefer cast iron for cooking?  I like the way that it heats and gives that crisp exterior.  It is also my comfort zone.  And, I'm not a fan of cleaning electric waffles irons.  I can cook in/on my cast iron.  Clean up is a snap.  It doesn't stick.  Personally, I think it is the best option.  Try it and let me know what you think!

You will need to season and treat your cast iron.  If you purchase a cast iron waffle maker from Rome, it does not come pre-seasoned.  I don't think this bad or a lot of trouble.  I have started using Crisbee Stick cast iron seasoning to keep all of my cast iron working properly.  I pre-seasoned my waffle maker with this and am continuing to use this to keep it working as it should.  Because it is still relatively new, it hasn't gotten that black patina that cast iron is known for.  But, it gets a little darker each time I use it.  And, it cooks like a champ.  

Choose seasonal toppings to shake it up from time to time.  One of my favorites is a mixed berry topping.

Toppings

Waffles can be all about the toppings for some.  Once you have a really good sourdough waffle, you may think less about the toppings.  My husband likes them plain!  Some of our favorite toppings include:
  • Maple syrup
  • Mixed berry topping - I use a recipe from the Campground Gourmet.  She also has a great cornmeal waffle that goes with her berry topping that you should try!
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh peaches and strawberries in the summer when in season
  • Sherried fruit in the winter for the holidays
Toppings don't have to be complicated.  I tend to change it up a bit with the seasons or just whatever I have on hand.  I do love using seasonal options like fresh fruit or sherried fruit during the holidays.  This makes having waffles even that more special because it isn't the same all of the time.

So what is so special about these waffles?  The extra time to develop a yeasted sponge builds a light and airy base with better flavor.  Cooking waffles in a cast iron waffle maker also creates a crisp exterior that doesn't get soggy with syrup or fruit topping.  

You too can make waffles that rival your favorite breakfast or brunch hangout.  I used to order waffles when we went out because I didn't make them at home.  Now, I feel like mine shine above others and save this treat for at home or at the campground.  

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