Cornmeal Buttermilk Waffles

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Preparation info

  • Makes about eight to ten

    6- to 7 inch

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

Making yeast-risen waffles isn’t at all time consuming, so don’t worry, you won’t have to get up at 3:00 a.m. to have them ready for breakfast. In fact, most of the mixing is accomplished in about 10 minutes the night before. All you have to do in the morning is heat up the waffle iron and bake the waffles. Thanks to my dear friend Dorie Greenspan, the waffle maven, for suggesting the method here. You’ll notice that there’s a little bit of baking soda in the batter—it isn’t there as leavening, but to slightly neutralize the acidity of the buttermilk so it doesn’t slow down the yeast.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • Butter and warmed maple syrup for serving
  • Waffle iron


  1. The night before you intend to serve the waffles, heat the milk in a small pan to just lukewarm, about 110°F (45°C). Pour it into a small bowl and whisk in the yeast.
  2. Combine the Hour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir well to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter, and eggs together smoothly.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture and the milk and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and gently whisk everything together until smooth. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until the next morning.
  5. When you are ready to bake the waffles, close the waffle iron and allow it to heat for about 20 minutes. Open the waffle iron and brush the surface, even if it is nonstick, with a little vegetable oil. Add enough of the batter to completely cover the bottom cavity of the waffle iron, then close the cover. Let the waffle bake for about 3 minutes, then check to see if it is done—it should appear evenly deep golden.
  6. Serve the waffle immediately, or place it on a jelly-roll pan, cover it loosely with foil, and place in a 250°F (120°C) oven, adding more waffles to the pan as they are done.
  7. Arrange the waffles on a warm platter to serve.


Serve the waffles with butter and warmed maple syrup, or your favorite waffle topping.


While I probably wouldn’t throw away any leftover waffles, they are really an in-the-moment food, like a soufflé. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers and try toasting them lightly—they have to taste better than a frozen waffle.

Cornmeal Waffles With a Hint of Lemon and Blueberry Sauce

Add the finely grated zest of a small lemon to the waffle batter along with the liquids. Make a blueberry sauce by cooking a pint of rinsed and picked-over blueberries with 3 tablespoons water, ¼ cup sugar, a pinch each of ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer for 5 minutes. Make the sauce the night before and reheat it right before you serve the waffles.