Sourdough English Muffins are not a recipe I would recommend. Yet, here I am posting it. Why?
The most real reason I can give you is bragging rights. Yep, I made these. Eighty hours and twenty minutes later, we had these amazing Sourdough English Muffins. I can’t even say that I made these for the love and glory of my children. We are empty nesters, and yeah, we ate them by ourselves.
Why, oh why would I spend 3 days making bread rolls that I could have simply tossed into my grocery cart as I rolled down the bread aisle at the super market?
Sourdough English Muffins Take Time
Part of being a writer is doing weird things so you can talk about them. Like accidently running over a snake, and then deciding you are going to learn home taxidermy, throwing the snake in your truck, and then 15 seconds later, throwing it out again because it smelled like a rotting snake. Or making a mini-movie about a loaf of bread on its epic journey from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to our ranch at the Mexican border. (It’s a thing on my Instagram feed, FYI.) It’s the experience that is worth writing about.
So even though making Sourdough English Muffins was like watching a German opera (ie: never ending) I did it. And then we ate them. And they were good, but not worth the eighty hours and 20 minutes.
It’s the Experience that Counts
On the plus side…hmm…I’m thinking. What are the plusses here? Okay I’ve got it. I can say I made them. Done. But seriously they are quite delicious, and I will use the sourdough starter to make a pancake supper later in the week.
This is a recreation of a recipe from one of my absolute favorite books – Better That Store Bought by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie. A family member from Mexico gave me her copy, and I treasure it. It’s well worn, and I paper-clipped the gift card into the opening pages.
Okay, that’s why I made these English muffins. I love the book, and the person that gave me the book. Any excuse to luxuriate in the good will of a gift is motivation enough. Eighty hours and twenty minutes worth.Print
Sourdough English Muffins
- Prep Time: 80 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 80 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 24 English muffins
2 cups (480ml) warm water
½ tsp. (2 gr) sugar
1 pkg (7 gr) yeast
2 cups (250gr) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (4 gr) sugar
1 ½ cups (360 ml) milk
5-6 cups (750 gr -875gr) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. (8 gr) salt
3 tbs. (42gr) melted butter
Cornmeal for dusting baking sheet
To make the sourdough starter: Mix the water, sugar and yeast in a 2 qt. (2 lt) glass or stainless-steel bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Whisk in the flour until it is a smooth batter. Cover with a clean towel, and let stand on the countertop for 48-72 hours, until it has a sharp aroma like wine. Stir the starter before using so that it is smooth.
To make the English muffins: In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 2 cups (480ml) of the sourdough starter, sugar and milk. Mix slightly, and then add 3 cups (375gr) of all-purpose flour. Mix thoroughly. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and allow this “sponge” to rise and rest for 2-3 hours. The “sponge” needs to rise, and then collapse, which is a sign that you are ready to proceed. The rise and collapse may take longer, or less time depending on the weather.
After the sponge has risen, and then collapsed, return the bowl to the mixer, and beat in the salt and melted butter. Add about 2 cups (250 gr) of flour, and then change to the dough hook, kneading in the final cup of flour. Knead in your mixer for about 3-5 minutes, until the flour has worked in.
Grease or butter the interior of a large, clean mixing bowl, and move the dough to this bowl, turning it a few times to coat with the butter. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll to ½” (1.27cm) thickness. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal
Cut into 3” (7.62cm) circles. (See note below.) Place the muffins on the prepared baking sheets. Press the top of each muffin with the palm of your hand to prevent a peak from forming while it rises. Allow to rise for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a griddle on your stove over medium low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 400.
Once the English muffins have risen, transfer them to the hot griddle in batches. Bake on one side for 10 minutes, and then flip and continue to cook on the other side for another 10 minutes. The muffins should brown lightly on each side, while slowing baking on the inside.
Cool the muffins on a cooling rack while you griddle bake the remaining muffins. Once they are completely cool, store in an air-tight container.
To serve the muffins, split them into two halves using a fork. Split them before you decide to freeze them, which is recommended if you have not used them up within 3 days of making them.
It you don’t have a 3” straight-sided circle biscuit cutter, you can use a empty, washed tuna can with both ends removed as your muffin cutter. I use the larger sized screw band from a canning jar as my cutter.