I started to make these waffles the other morning, but then I realized that the batter (ideally) needs to sit in the fridge overnight.
That’s okay, I told myself. A smoothie bowl is my default and I could give myself another 24 hours to look forward to eating the waffles.
Anticipation ran high by the time I brought out my waffle iron on Sunday. I woke up hungry and I didn’t even want to wait to make these. But I forged ahead.
I’m glad that I did. I’m not going to lie to you: these waffles are not sweet. They don’t even pretend to be. The buckwheat and yeast gives them a slightly sour flavor, and the word that comes to mind when eating them is “hearty.”
But that’s where the vanilla rhubarb comes in. I had never cooked with a whole vanilla bean before, but let me tell you, it makes all the difference. The vanilla is very present and complements well with the orange zest and tart rhubarb. The maple syrup adds some much-needed sweetness.
The vanilla rhubarb is the best part of this recipe. I was eating the sauce out of the pan with a spoon. Even if you don’t go the buckwheat waffle route, I would highly recommend making this sauce for other waffles or pancakes. It’s divine.
I listened to a lot of Motown this weekend thanks to my younger sister’s new Spotify playlist (which everyone should check out), “Funkay Motown Soul Jamz.” Here’s a classic for the ages.
Buckwheat Waffles with Vanilla Rhubarb (from The First Mess)
for the buckwheat waffles:
1 cup warm almond milk (or other milk that you like)
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey/maple syrup/agave
2 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil + extra to grease waffle iron
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup wholewheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
2 tbsp warm water
pinch of fine sea salt
for the vanilla rhubarb:
1/2 lb rhubarb, cleaned + cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup + extra to serve
zest + juice of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped
In a medium-large non reactive bowl, combine the warm almond milk and yeast. Let the yeast dissolve and become part of the milk for a few minutes.
To the almond milk and yeast, add the honey, oil and vanilla. Give it a stir. Add the buckwheat and wholewheat flours, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir until just combined, then add the water and stir one more time. over the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1/2 an hour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or let the batter sit on the counter for a full hour and go from there if you’re okay with slightly less developed flavour).
Meanwhile, make the braised rhubarb. Combine the rhubarb, maple syrup, orange zest + juice and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan (throw the vanilla pod in while it cooks too). Let it sit over medium heat until there’s some faint bubbling. Let the rhubarb cook until soft and syrup-y, about 12 minutes. Set it aside or keep it warm until you’re ready to serve the waffles.
Remove the batter from the fridge and stir in the fine sea salt. Let the batter rest while you preheat the waffle iron. I find a higher done-ness level is desirable with yeasted waffles in general, so there’s that. Grease the waffle iron and cook waffle batter according to your maker’s directions (almost 1/2 the batter per waffle in the iron for 3 minutes or so for me). Enjoy waffles warm with the stewed rhubarb.