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These simple homemade sourdough English muffins are so much tastier than store bought. They freeze well so make a great recipe to bake in bulk & stock the freezer for quick breakfasts. 

I am lucky to have travelled as much as I have. 

I’ve covered quite a few continents in my years but one place I have never visited is the Middle East. 

But, after being assigned to Chef in Disguise for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I can at least say that I’ve had a peek.

Sawsan lives in Amman, Jordan and blogs about its cuisine – ‘rich in healthy recipes that focus on fruits, vegetables, spices and making the best out of seasonal and fresh ingredients.’

Sourdough English muffins

Yes I know, I really should have chosen something a little more Middle Eastern but when I saw sourdough English muffins I couldn’t go past them. 

I’ve had English muffins on my to do list for ages. 

Now I can tick them off. 

I was intrigued by the sourdough version which uses a combo of Kevin the sourdough starter and yeast. 

You know I love sourdough but Sawsan shared some of the benefits of it which I wasn’t aware of. 

It’s delicious and has health benefits! 

This is what she says:

‘Well, using a sourdough starter makes your baked goods more digestible and more nutritious too. Lactic acids  present in sourdough starters make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body by helping neutralise the phytates in flour that would interfere with their absorption. The acids also slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the bread’s glycaemic index (GI), so it doesn’t cause undesirable spikes in insulin. They also render the gluten in flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance.’

simple Sourdough English muffin recipe

What do you need to make this English muffin recipe

So make these classic English muffins you will need:

  • Sugar – we usually use rapadura because that’s on hand but any sugar other than brown will work. You can also substitute for honey. 
  • Warm water – preferably filtered water. In some places the chlorine used to treat the water can harm the sourdough starter and stop it from rising.
  • Dry yeast or instant yeast (also called commercial yeast)
  • Sourdough starter, fed or unfed; active starter will give you a more vigorous rise
  • Baker’s flour (aka bread flour) –  you can also use all purpose flour
  • Powdered milk – if you don’t have powdered milk, use warm milk in place of the water. We like to use powdered as it’s easier to add to the recipe. 
  • Butter, at room temperature (the real stuff not the stuff in a tub mixed with all sorts of other things that aren’t butter). 
  • Salt – a good quality salt like sea salt flakes or Celtic sea salt.
  • Semolina or cornmeal – this is for coating the English muffins and to me makes them much more authentic.

Does the sourdough starter need to be active?

You can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard in this recipe. Obviously the active starter will give you more rise than the discard. 

Sourdough English muffins

I used to eat English muffins all the time, then I started making my own bread and stopped buying the muffins. 

After making my own crumpets a couple of years ago and finding it not quite worth the effort, I lumped English muffins into the same category but boy was I wrong. 

These were so easy to make. 

The dough was pretty forgiving too because I got distracted and am not quite sure how long I left them to rise plus I forgot about them at once stage and they still turned out perfectly .

How to make sourdough English Muffins

  1. Combine everything but the water and cornmeal in the large bowl of a stand mixer (this can be done by hand if you like) with the dough hook attachment.
  2. Start the motor and slowly add the water keeping about half of a cup and adding a little at a time until the dough comes together away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Knead for 5-6 minutes or until the sticky dough becomes smooth and doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  4. Shape into a ball and return to the bowl then cover it and set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
  5. If you want a stronger sourdough flavour, refrigerate the covered dough over night which will allow it to ferment. This makes them more gut friendly.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide in half then half again.
  7. Divide each portion into six equal pieces and roll each one into a round ball on a lightly floured work surface then flatten slightly and place on a sheet pan sprinkled with cornmeal.
  8. Press more cornmeal into the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set aside to double in size again.
  9. Heat a large cast iron skillet or flat frypan on the stove to medium-low heat then cook the muffins 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
  10. Leave to cool on a wire wrack.
  11. To toast, stick a fork into the side of the muffin and repeat all the way around then gently pull the two sides apart. Doing this gives it more surface area when it goes in the toaster and ensures that the cut side comes out nice and toasty.
  12. Toast and then spread with your favourite toppings.

Homemade English muffins can also be made on an electric griddle.

How can you tell if the dough is kneaded enough

We like to use what’s called the ear lobe test here. Press a little of the dough between your thumb and pointer finger. If it feels like ear lobes, it’s perfect. 

If it’s still tough then knead a bit longer. 

Can you roll the dough and cut in rounds

Yes. If you don’t want to roll individual dough balls, you can roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 2.5 inches and use a large round biscuit cutter or English muffin rings to cut out rounds. 

Then continue from the end of step 7. 

Sourdough English muffins

I can honestly say they were even better than store-bought. 

They freeze beautifully too. 

Will loves having them as mini pizzas but my favourite is simply served with melted butter and Vegemite.

It reminds me so much of afternoon tea as a kid. 

More topping ideas for the best English Muffins: 

Enjoy!

What about you? How to you like your English muffins?

Don’t have a sourdough starter? You can grab one here if you’re in Australia or international customers can purchase here. 

More sourdough bread recipes

If you love sourdough you might also enjoy these sourdough recipes from Claire K Creations: 

Sourdough English muffins

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Sourdough English muffins

Sourdough English muffins

Yield: 24 muffins
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 454g (2 cups) warm water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 241g (1 cup) sourdough starter, fed or unfed; fed will give you a more vigorous rise
  • 843g (7 cups) Baker's flour
  • 43g (1/2 cup) powdered milk
  • 57g (1/4 cup or half a stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • semolina or cornmeal, for coating

Instructions

  1. Combine everything but the water and cornmeal in the bowl of an electric mixer (this can be done by hand if you like) with the dough hook attached.
  2. Start the motor and slowly add the water keeping about 1/2 a cup and adding a little at a time until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead for 5-6 minutes or until the dough is smooth and doesn't stick to your fingers.
  4. Shape into a ball and return to the bowl then cover it and set it aside to rise until doubled in size.
  5. If you want a stronger sourdough flavour, refrigerate the covered dough over night.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide in half then half again.
  7. Divide each portion into six piece and roll into balls then flatten slightly and place on a tray sprinkled with cornmeal.
  8. Press more cornmeal into the top of each round and cover with plastic wrap and set aside to double in size again.
  9. Heat a large frypan on the stove then cook the muffins 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  10. Leave to cool.
  11. To toast, stick a fork into the side of the muffin and repeat all the way around then gently pull the two sides apart.
  12. Toast and then spread with your favourite toppings.

 

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