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The Ultimate Sourdough English Muffins: with Yeast or Without

4.50 from 2 votes

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While you can buy English muffins at the store, they just don’t hold a candle to fresh ones from your very own sourdough starter. Let me show you how.

Sourdough English muffins on wooden table

There is nothing I love more to pair with my morning cup of tea than a fresh homemade sourdough English muffin. Ahhh, English muffins, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Sometimes I eat them with just buttery goodness oozing into all the little holes in their golden toasted interiors.

Or simply spread them with a luscious layer of homemade cream cheese.

Occasionally I will throw caution to the wind and slather a spoonful of blackberry jelly or strawberry jam across their little nooks and crannies.

And when I’m in a particularly wild mood, I will add an egg, a piece of homemade cheddar cheese, and either bacon or sausage for perfect breakfast sandwiches.

I know, right?!? Just call me crazy!

But no matter how I choose to “dress” them, they are most thoroughly enjoyed. 

As you can imagine, I worked diligently to come up with my own recipe for these little beauties as soon as my sourdough starter could be called “started”.

I am happy to report I was successful in my endeavor. Not only are they a staple at my house, but I have a friend who lamented that I have “spoiled her for store-bought ones.”

And that’s a cryin shame y’all

They are probably my most popular baked good among my friends and family and I get many requests for them.

In the interests of others of you helping to supply the general populous with the ultimate sourdough English muffin, that will spoil them for store-bought ones, I am sharing my recipe with you here.

These work best with starter that has been fed within the past eight to twelve hours, although they will be fine if it hasn’t been if you are using the yeast added method, they just won’t rise as high.

You have to use a recently fed starter if you are using the traditional method.

If you want to make these in the traditional way, without added yeast, I have put those instructions below as well.

It’s almost identical except for the rising times. Just keep in mind that they will be an over night process.

So let’s go to the kitchen and get started!

sourdough english muffin with cream cheese and jam
cream cheese and jam, anyone?

Sourdough English Muffin Recipe

Yield: 24 large or 30 small

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast (optional)
  • 2 cups active sourdough starter 
  • 7 to 10 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour
  • ¾ cup non-fat dry milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid (optional, for a more pronounced “sour” flavor)
  • cornmeal or semolina to sprinkle on pans and on top of muffins

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Stir in and dissolve the yeast, and then mix in the sourdough starter and 1 cup of flour.

Let this sit for a few minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble.

Add the dry milk, butter, salt, and a second cup of flour, and beat well. Use the paddle attachment on the stand mixer.

Add 5 to 8 cups flour, one cup at a time, to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Sourdough English Muffin dough on dough hook
dough ready to knead

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and springy, but slightly on the slack side, about 8 minutes. Or knead in the mixer with the dough hook for the same amount of time.

This dough is supposed to be slightly sticky. Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking.

kneaded sourdough dough ball on counter
all kneaded and ready to rise

First Rise

Clean out and grease your bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, let it stand until it has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

dough after 1st rise in bowl
first rise complete!

Punch down dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into two pieces and grab your rolling pin. Roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut the dough into rounds with a biscuit cutter; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps.

I use a large ring to cut my English muffins that makes them larger than the ones you would get at the store.

I like them to be big enough for a large sausage patty and an egg. My cutter makes 24. The number you get will be dependent on how big your cutter is.

Second Rise

Place the rounds onto cornmeal or semolina-sprinkled baking sheet, sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with a damp towel, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 1 hour.

English muffins pn cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet
English Muffins Rising…sounds like a movie I’d watch!

Transfer the rounds to an electric griddle preheated to 275°F. These are the griddles I use. I actually have 4 so I can cook them all at once because I make them so often!

If you don’t have an electric griddle, you can use a big cast iron skillet or cast iron griddle on the stove top. I have used both of those as well and they work great. You don’t want to crowd the pan. The muffins should be about an inch apart on all sides.

If you are using your stove, start out on low heat. If that cooks them too slowly, turn it up to medium heat.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F.

Remove them from the griddle and cool on a wire rack.

English Muffins cooking on the griddle
muffins on the griddle…now that sounds like a country song…

You may have to play with your griddle to find the right temperature for the muffins. They need to be nicely browned and crispy on the bottoms before you flip them.

If they cook faster then 10 minutes, you need to lower the temperature to make sure that they cook all the way through.

Traditional Instructions for Sourdough English Muffins (No Yeast)

This version does not use yeast and is the traditional sourdough method.

Dissolve the honey in the warm water. Add 2 cups of flour and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Continue adding flour a cup at a time to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and springy, but slightly on the slack side, about 8 minutes.

This dough is supposed to be slightly sticky. Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking.

First Rise

Clean out and grease your bowl and place the dough back in the greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, let it stand until it has doubled in size. Depending on the warmth of your kitchen this will take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.

Punch down dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut the dough into rounds; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps.

Toasted sourdough English Muffin
all toasty and delicious

Second Rise

Place the rounds onto cornmeal or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets, sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with a damp towel, and let them rise until light and puffy.

Now again, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, this could take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.

Transfer the rounds to an electric griddle preheated to 275°F. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F.

This recipe makes more than one batch for a griddle. Mine holds 8 at a time with the larger size I prefer to make.

After cooking, let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 to 10 minutes before you slice them to eat.

Either way you make these, they are really good.

I would recommend one at least once a day.

These are also really good for sandwiches at lunchtime.  Or split them open with a fork so you get all those nooks and crannies and toast for the perfect late night snack. They are basically just pretty good at any time!

So what are you waiting for? They don’t make themselves, ya know.

Why don’t you share your favorite thing to put on an English muffin? Enquiring minds want to know.

Blessings!

Frequently Asked Questions About Sourdough English Muffins

Can I make these Sourdough English muffins with whole wheat flour?

Yes you can! You can sub about 1/2 cup whole wheat flour in every 3 cups of all purpose flour before you have to fiddle with the recipe. So 1-1/2 cups total for this recipe.

How long will Sourdough English muffins keep?

Because of the sourdough, these will keep longer than most homemade breads. Keep them in an airtight container or zip top bag on the counter for about a week. In the fridge, they should last about 2 weeks.

Can I freeze Sourdough English Muffins?

Absolutely! Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag for longer storage times.
To thaw, set out on a counter top.

What’s the best way to slice Sourdough English Muffins?

To get the traditional nooks and crannies that we all associate with English muffins, never use a knife to slice them! Use a fork to split them around the sides and then pull them apart in the middle.

More sourdough bread and sourdough discard recipes are waiting for you here:

English muffin with cream cheese and jam

Sourdough English Muffins

While you can buy English muffins at the store, they just don't hold a candle to fresh ones from your very own sourdough starter. Let me show you how.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine English
Servings 24 muffins
Calories 212 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast optional
  • 2 cups active sourdough starter
  • 7 to 10 cups unbleached all purpose flour or bread flour
  • ¾ cup non-fat dry milk
  • ½ cup 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid optional, for a more pronounced “sour” flavor
  • cornmeal or semolina to sprinkle on pans and on top of muffins

Instructions
 

Yeast Added Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the honey in the warm water. Stir in and dissolve the yeast, and then mix in the sourdough starter and 1 cup of flour. Let this sit for a few minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Add the dry milk, butter, salt, and a second cup of flour, and beat well.
  • Add 5 to 8 cups of flour, one cup at a time, to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it's smooth and springy, but slightly on the slack side, about 8 minutes. This dough is supposed to be slightly sticky. Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Clean out and grease your bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, let it stand until it has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch down dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps.
  • Place the rounds onto cornmeal or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets, sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with a damp towel, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 1 hour.
  • Transfer the rounds to an electric griddle preheated to 275°F. OR cook in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook for 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F.
  • Remove them from the griddle and cool on a rack.

Traditional Method without Yeast

  • This version does not use yeast and is the traditional sourdough method. Follow all the instructions above. The only difference is the time it will take for the dough to rise.
  • First Rise time is 8 to 12 hours or overnight.
  • Second Rise time is 4 to 8 hours.

Notes

This recipe males 24 large muffins or 30 to 36 regular sized ones

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 490mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 205IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 2mg
Keyword sourdough, English, muffin
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on March 24th, 2022

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