Please welcome Erin, who is guest posting today to share her incredible sourdough English muffins! I know they’re incredible because I started a double batch right away on Sunday after receiving the recipe. Good heavens! My family is in love, and they’re so easy. Erin’s directions couldn’t be better and the pictures are spectacular. I will let Erin introduce herself…
I write from Anchorage, Alaska where my incredibly supportive husband, two precious boys and I are busy loving mountains, growing seeds, baking with sourdough, and preparing our hearts for Easter. We look forward to a summer of sunshine, hiking, gardening, fishing, travel and the addition of a few chickens to grace our backyard! Enjoy the English muffins, and thank you, Wardee, for all of the time and thought you put into your blog. You are appreciated!
I found this recipe by “jmonkey” at the Fresh Loaf several years ago. I have changed it a bit to make it more flexible around what flours and liquids one can use. I also incorporated the seeds as add-ins, and also more salt!
Erin’s Sourdough English Muffins
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin)
- 1 cup liquid (water*, milk, fermented dairy, coconut milk…)
- 2 cups flour (your choice)
- add-ins like seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts… (optional)
- 1 tablespoon raw honey (or any other sweetener)
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt of choice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
*Note: The English muffins will turn out if you use water instead of full fat or fermented dairy and if you add more flour initially for easier kneading. However, the results will not be as soft on the outside or as tender on the inside once you’ve finished the cooking.
Place 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin) into a medium size bowl. Pour onto that the 1 cup of liquid. This is the first place where the recipe is very flexible. Your liquid could be water, milk, any fermented dairy, coconut milk… Stir to combine starter and liquid. In this photo, I chose to water down some of my homemade yogurt. If your sourdough starter is very stiff, you might need an extra 1/4 cup of liquid. I have never added extra liquid.
Once combined, add 2 cups of flour to the mixture. This is the second place where the recipe is very flexible. Use any combination of flours. I have used white wheat, whole wheat, and rye. I know there are a lot of spelt users out there and sprouted flour users, too. It’ll all work! The only flour I question is rice flour, but if used in combination with another flour, it might even work.
Stir well to combine. Along with the flour, I often add in a couple tablespoons of ground flax seed or poppy and caraway seeds (when I make delicious rye sourdough english muffins). The soaking affects the seeds as well as the flour. So, great! Cover and let your dough sit overnight, even up to 24 hours.
I’ve added these pictures to show you the thickness of my dough. The stiffness changes every time I make this recipe. Sometimes it is more wet. It really does not matter too much. In the morning, you will be able to tell that your sourdough has been at work.
On top of your soaked dough, sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon honey. Use a wooden spoon to push/cut/stir in your newly added ingredients. Don’t worry about incorporating it perfectly; you will be kneading it in just a moment.
This next part of the directions might feel a little strange, because you are kneading something that could be quite wet. I pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto my counter and spread it around with my hand and then rub my hands together. I then dump out my dough onto the oiled spot and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes. The purpose of this kneading is to incorporate the honey, baking soda, and salt. After this, I take a pizza cutter and separate my dough into 8 equal portions.
As you can see, the dough is quite wet. Up until this point we have not added any new flour. At this time, I do find it helpful to dust my hands with flour before I shape each muffin. You might prefer to use all-purpose flour for this dusting, or sprouted flour where the sprouting has done the work of soaking. I usually use what is on hand… whole wheat. Whatever.
With dusted hands, pick up a portion and gently shape it into your muffin. My muffins are usually about 1 finger thick and maybe 2-1/2 inches wide. Sometimes they are nice and round. Sometimes not. Size and shape are not important here. Place your muffins on a lightly floured or cornmealed (greased might work if you want to stay away from newly added flour) sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
About 5 minutes before you want to griddle/skillet your muffins, set the heat to mediumish. I usually set my cast iron to 4, the front of my stovetop griddle to 5 1/2, and the back of the griddle to 4 1/2. Each place distributes heat differently. You will figure out what works best for your situation. You don’t want the muffins to brown too quickly because the insides need a chance to cook. I also have found that I do not need to grease my skillet/griddle. Do what you think is best here as well.
Carefully transfer the muffins onto your heat source. Cook the muffins for about five minutes on each side. You can take a little peek every now and again to make sure the bottoms are not getting too brown. When it is time to flip, do this carefully. Your muffins will plump up beautifully, and you do not want to deflate them by being too rough. Cook for the second five minutes. Now, if you find that the outside edge of your muffin is not as done as you like, feel free to pop these into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. I do not bother doing this.
Mercy. I cannot express to you with words how good these are. Whether you are eating them fresh off the griddle, toasted, warmed, or room temperature, they are bound to bring a smile. My husband savors each sandwich as if it is a dessert. Incredible! The muffins pictured above used 1 cup rye and 1 cup whole wheat. I also added poppy and caraway seeds.
I’m shaking my head as I type. So, so good. Enjoy your muffins topped with butter. A truly nutritious treat! They last (if you can get them to last) for at least a week. I keep mine in a sealed container on the counter. They also freeze beautifully. Might want to slice them first. And it most definitely works to double or triple the recipe. Enjoy!
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