As I’ve thought about waffles, over the years, my mind has often turned back to the “first” waffle recipe, penned in 1395 by an anonymous Parisian author in Le Ménagier de Paris. While it’s technically not a waffle, in that it’s unleavened, it is the first recipe in any language to go by name as a waffle  — specifically a gaufre, since it was penned in French.

The following recipe is a reconstruction and re-imagination of that original recipe, using period-specific ingredients, yet updated with some 16th century Dutch techniques (i.e., ale yeast).

I prepare these waffles to be eaten as-is, untopped, just as they would have been in 14th century France. These are truly a throwback to some of the earliest work in waffles.

Gaufre de Méteil

makes 2 round “Belgian”-style (American) waffles

40g
0.8g
100g

These waffles are ideally prepared at standard room temperature ~21°C/70°F

1. Mix the flour and ale yeast in a medium bowl.

2. Add the buttermilk and stir to blend.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

22g
62g
4.6g
60g
62g egg (heated in a very warm water bath and then lightly beaten)
120g Chablis wine (room temperature)
72g

4. Add the flours, salts, butter and egg to the yeast mixture prepared above. Add ~60g of the Chablis, too. Mix to blend.

5. Add the remaining Chablis and the cheese and finish blending the ingredients. The batter will be of a fairly thin consistency and smooth, though there will be chunks of cheese in it.

6. Cover again with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.

Before the final rest in Step #6 is almost done, heat your waffle iron to 196°C/385°F.

7. Pour the mix into the preheated iron and cook for 3 minutes 45 seconds.

Remove the waffle from the iron and place on a wire rack to cool. When the waffle has cooled below 49°C/120°F, place the waffle back into the iron to cook for 10 seconds longer. Serve immediately.