Sourdough English Muffins

As a big fan of English muffins, I tried a few sourdough versions before finally finding this successful one. It was worth it!

This recipe is from Emilie Raffa’s book, Artisan Dough Made Simple, via thelemonapron.com. I may need this book. 🙂 I cooked the muffins in a large cast iron skillet but may try to expedite the process by using a griddle next time. They were equally delicious with mustard egg and cheese as with butter and jam.

Yield: 12 to 14 muffins

  • 245 grams (1 cup plus 1 tsp) milk, whole or 2%
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) water
  • 56 grams (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 75 grams (heaped 1/2 cup) bubbly active starter
  • 24 grams (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 500 grams (4 cups plus 2 tbsp) all purpose flour
  • 9 grams (1 1/2 tsp) salt
  • Cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting

To Make the Dough:

  1. In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water and butter together over low heat, or in the microwave. Cool slightly before adding to the dough.
  2. Add the starter and sugar to a large bowl. Slowly pour in the warm milk mixture, while whisking to combine.
  3. Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork to form a rough dough, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile replenish your starter and store according to preference.
  4. After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15-20 seconds. (I did this on a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap.)

Bulk Rise:

  1. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with the damp towel and let rise until double is size, about 8-10 hours at 70 degrees F. (21C) (I let the dough rise for about 5 hours in a proofing oven.)
  3. Once fully risen, cover the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight.

To Shape:

  1. In the morning, remove the cold dough from the fridge onto a floured surface. Let it rest 10 minutes.
  2. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal all over them. This will prevent the dough from sticking.
  3. With floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle or oval, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
  4. Cut rounds about 3 inches in diameter (you can use the rim of a drinking glass: use a rim that isn’t too thick) You should get 10-12 rounds. (I used a Bonne Maman jam jar.)
  5. Place them onto the cornmeal on the baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with more cornmeal.

For the Second Rise:

  1. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest till puffy, about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (I used a proofing oven.)

To Cook the Muffins:

  1. Warm a large cast iron or non-stick skillet (you can also use a cast iron griddle) over low to medium-low heat.
  2. Place a few rounds of dough into the pan to fit comfortably. Don’t worry, they really won’t spread.
  3. Cook on one side for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking at the halfway mark for even browning. Adjust the heat if necessary. Flip the muffins over and continue to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. When ready, the muffins should feel lightweight and the sides should spring back when pressed gently.
  4. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Continue cooking the remaining rounds.
  5. When ready to eat, split them open using a fork piercing into the equator of each all the way around and gently prying open.

Recipe Notes:

Muffins will stay fresh 2 days, stored in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature.

The tip to cooking English muffins is to find balanced heat.  If the flame is too high, the outside will brown too quickly leaving the center undercooked.  If you find this has happened, finish baking the muffins in a low heat oven (about 250F) until cooked through.

You can avoid this by doing a test run with one or two muffins to begin with to help guide your stove top heat.

You can make the dough Friday morning before you leave the house for the day, put it in the fridge at the end of the day, and then bake them on Saturday morning for a great treat.

Whole Wheat English Muffins

I first tried this recipe one year ago. While the English muffins were proofing, my husband and son got into a car accident involving black ice. Long story short, everyone was okay but we had to get a new car. 😦 I was scared to make them again in case they were bad luck. A year later, I took the plunge on a snow day- when no one was driving anywhere! 😉

This recipe was adapted from 4sonsrus.com; I modified the recipe to include whole wheat and bread flours. They are so easy to make and are absolutely delicious. Not that unlucky!

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 1/3 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 1/4 tsp bread machine or active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2 percent)
  • semolina flour or fine cornmeal
  • oil or cooking spray for griddle
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer: whisk together flours, yeast, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add water and yogurt, and using the paddle attachment, mix into a soft dough.
  3. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth, adding more flour if it gets sticky. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
  4.  Roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/2 to 3/4 inches inch. Cut out 10 to 12 circles with a 3 inch round cutter. Sprinkle a baking sheet with semolina, and cover the muffins with it on each side. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until almost doubled in size. (I used a proofing oven.)
  5. Heat a flat griddle pan on medium until hot and brush with oil or coat with cooking spray.
  6. Add the muffins and reduce heat to medium to medium-low. Cook for 6 minutes, three minutes on each side, or until firm and golden brown. Turn only once. Serve with butter and jam. (My daughter ate hers with cream cheese… I had a fried egg and cheese on mine!)

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

IMG_2416

The leftover dough made a perfect two-bite mini-muffin. Filled with kielbasa and cheese, it was a dream snack for my son! 🙂

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