Candied Maple Bacon and Cheddar Waffles
1/2 lb thick-cut bacon (I used Trader Joe's uncured ends and pieces)
1/2 c maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper (pink peppercorns would work well here, too)
small dash of cayenne pepper
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sourdough starter (unfed)*
2 T melted butter
1 T finely chopped scallions
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c smoked cheddar cheese**
Preheat the oven to 375°F for the bacon. While the oven is preheating, start making the waffle batter. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sourdough starter, butter, scallions, mustard and cheese. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until combined. Using the folding method to incorporate the ingredients works really well with this batter so as to not overmix! If it's too thick, add some water or milk to thin out. Let the waffle batter sit for about 10 minutes, until some bubbles start to form. In the meantime, preheat your waffle iron and then get that bacon started!
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with heavy foil. (Trust me, use heavy duty or at least double your standard foil). Place a baking rack over the lined sheet tray.
In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup and pepper together. Dunk all of the bacon in the syrup until coated. Swirl it around until the bacon is dripping with goodness. Arrange the bacon slices on the rack so they don't overlap. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Back to the waffles. Give your batter a quick stir. Then pour enough batter for each waffle, about 1/3-1/2 cup depending on your iron size, and bake according to manufacturer's instructions.
When the bacon timer goes off, flip the pieces over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crispy.
Everything should be done at the same time, so plate up and enjoy!
And if you have leftovers, make a pb&j bacon waffle sandwich! The boy surprised me in the afternoon with this creation as a snack. He used PB&Co's mighty maple peanut butter and blackberry jam. Yum!
*When you feed your starter, save the amount that you pour out for these waffles!
**I didn't have smoked cheddar on hand the first time I made these so I used standard cheddar...it needs the smoked! The waffles were just a little too cheesy without and didn't have enough smokey flavor.