Sourdough English muffins are such a lovely little invention.
They are tangy rounds of fermented dough with just enough nooks and crannies to hide butter and jam in.
And they are actually quite easy to make – you just have to be organised to give the dough enough time to ferment.
This recipe uses an active and bubbly sourdough starter, however there is a variation for Sourdough Discard English Muffins further down.
English Muffins made with sourdough starter are fairly easy to put together. You basically mix the dough into a relatively smooth (yet sticky) dough and then leave it overnight to ferment.
If you have a bit more time, you can pop it in the fridge to ferment for up to 3 days.
The Secret To Good English Muffins
Whether you’re making sourdough English Muffins, or the regular variety – there’s one thing that can make or bread a good muffin. You can’t cut them!
Seriously, do not use a knife. To make sure you get maximum nooks and crannies, you need to split them with a fork.
Once they’re cool, push a fork into the side of the muffin and keep going around the edge until it splits open.
This is called “fork split” and will ensure that there are lots of “gnarly” bits of dough that go crispy and brown when toasted. Trust me, it’s a game changer!
Sourdough Discard English Muffins
I like to make my English Muffins with active, fed sourdough starter. But if you have lots of discard to use up, you can use the discard instead (as long as it’s not too old, up to a week is ok).
If you want to use your discard in this recipe, just use it instead of active starter and add a half teaspoon of commercial yeast to your mixture.
This will ensure that the dough rises enough. This is especially important if you’re still building your starter as your discard won’t have enough of a yeast colony yet.
Still follow the instructions below, they will work.
You might just find that it rises a bit faster with the commercial yeast, so you may not need to leave them on your counter for 24 hours. They will also ferment in the fridge if you use commercial yeast.
Ideas To Use English Muffins
There are lots of ways to enjoy these delicious sourdough English Muffins. While they are absolutely perfect toasted with lashings of butter, you might also enjoy some of these ideas:
- Toast and top with with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Use them to make bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches.
- Use them instead of burger buns for something different.
- Top with your favorite slices of cheese, fresh tomato and lashings of salt and pepper.
- Use them as mini pizza bases.
Notes & Substitutions
A few notes on ingredients and substitutions:
- You can use plain or all purpose flour instead of Bread or Baker’s flour if you want to.
- You can use plain or all purpose to dust them with instead of corn meal, however you won’t get the same cooked texture as you would with corn meal. Semolina is a better substitute than corn meal.
- You can keep the mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just let it come to room temp before you roll it out.
- Once you’ve cut them out, you can put the tray in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Let them come back to room temp before you cook them.
- Cooked English Muffins freeze really well. Store in ziploc bags and defrost and toast as you would like.
Sourdough English Muffins
- Mixing Bowl
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Biscuit Cutter
- 250 g Sourdough Starter fed and bubbly
- 500 g Milk
- 600 g Bread Flour
- 15 g Salt
- 20 g Honey you can use sugar if you want to
- 50 g Cornmeal for dusting
- In a large glass bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, including your sourdough starter and bring it together to form a dough. The dough will be quite sticky. You don't need to over work it, just bring it together until it resembles a dough. It's easy to do by hand in the bowl for less washing up, but if you prefer to do it in a stand mixer that's perfectly fine too.
- Once you have a dough formed, cover it in plastic wrap and set aside for 24 hours to ferment at room temperature (see notes).
- You'll notice that your dough is now risen in the bowl and ready to be made into English Muffins. Wet your hands and gently shape your dough into a rough ball by performing a set of stretch and folds. This will deflate the dough – but don't worry. Now leave the dough to rest for around 30 minutes.
- Dust your work surface with corn meal and then ease the dough out of the bowl. Sprinkle corn meal on the top of the dough too. Depending on how sticky your dough is, you might need to add some extra as you go along so keep it handy.
- Gently press the dough into a rectangle using your hands. Using a rolling pin, gently roll your dough to around 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. You don't want it too thick or your muffins will be dough and take too long to cook in the middle. Using a biscuit cutter (or glass or plastic tumbler) gently cut out rounds of your dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with corn meal. Keep going until you can't cut any more. Then gather up the dough, roll it back out and repeat until you've used all the dough up.Cover the muffins with a tea towel and leave to rest for around 30 minutes.
- Heat a fry pan or skillet on the stove top. You want a medium heat – you don't want to burn the outside and leave the inside raw, so just keep an eye on them and adjust as you need to. Place 4 – 6 muffins in your skillet and cook for around 5 – 7 minutes on each side. There is no need for oil or butter, the corn meal will protect them from sticking. Turn them over once you see the dough bubbling. Once they are golden on each side, take off the heat and allow to cool. Repeat the process until all of the muffins are cooked.
- Once they are cool, use a fork to split them and enjoy them with butter or toast them for extra golden goodness!