Homemade bread is a dream come true. Homemade Sourdough English Muffins are a dream within that dream! These beauties are filled with those iconic nooks and crannies we've come to expect and crave in our English Muffins.
And, they're easier than you'd think to make from scratch. Like most yeast breads, these do take some patience, but it's all well worth it in the end, promise!
It All Begins with Sourdough
Making my own sourdough bread has been a dream of mine for awhile now. I mean, I love bread and I love baking my own bread.
And the thought of creating my own naturally leavened bread seemed like the ultimate in scratch-made baking. Somehow, though, having my own sourdough starter always seemed like too big of a commitment or too time-consuming a process.
Well, I was wrong! I've found the process of establishing and maintaining my own sourdough starter so fun and fulfilling. And it's not at all as time consuming as I had thought it would be!
The best part of having my own sourdough starter is that it can be used in so many other recipes other than bread, which makes it even more worthwhile.
Take these English Muffins, for instance. They use up a good amount of sourdough starter which means less of it goes to waste when I need to refresh or feed my starter.
For those of you new to the sourdough world, check out this post from King Arthur Flour for more information on how sourdough starter is created and how it leavens bread.
And, making my own homemade English Muffins means one less processed product I need to buy and consume. This recipe also makes about a dozen and a half English Muffins, keeping us in tasty scratch-made Sourdough English Muffin land for quite a while. But only if you read about How Long Do English Muffins Last in the Fridge so you can preserve your hard work!
How-to Make Your Own English Muffins
To begin making these English Muffins, combine all the ingredients to make a dough. One of the ingredients, citric acid or sour salt, can be found at most major grocery stores near the canning supplies or, of course, on Amazon.
The recipe says it's optional, but I would recommend using it, as it adds to the flavor. The recipe also says you can allow the dough to proof for a couple of hours or overnight.
I would recommend letting your dough proof overnight in the fridge, if you have the time. The flavor of the English Muffins will be more pronounced, which is what we are going for.
Use What You've Got to Cut out the Rounds
After the dough has proofed, let it rest for a few minutes (we all need our rest, even dough!) and then cut out the rounds for your muffins.
You can use a biscuit cutter for this if you have one. I like to use the ring of a wide-mouthed mason jar (see photo above). I find the shape and size to be just perfect. If you don't have either a biscuit cutter or a mason jar ring, use an upside-down mug or glass or even a small bowl.
You can also cut the shapes out by hand, if you are the world's most patient person (this is not me....). Any way you cut 'em, just be sure they're evenly sized.
And be sure to re-roll all the dough scraps to yield the maximum number of muffins as possible. Size does not matter here, it's really a personal preference (no jokes, please haha!).
The cooking time won't change because the thickness of the dough will remain the same regardless of the width of your English Muffin rounds.
A Bit More Rest Time
Personally, I prefer using cornmeal here, as the flour sticks to the muffins and can burn while cooking.
If you've proofed your dough overnight in the fridge, the second proof time will be about 2 hours. If not, the proof time will be about 45 minutes. The English Muffins won't necessarily rise a lot, but they will have puffed slightly as in the photo below.
Let's Get Cooking!
I have found the best and most efficient way to cook these English Muffins is on an electric griddle. It's big enough to cook many muffins at a time which is ideal.
You can also use a frying pan which works just as well. You may have to cook more batches with a frying pan, as you won't be able to fit as many on at a time. But, fear not, your English Muffins will be tasty and well worth the multiple batches.
How to Attain Flat Tops and Bottoms
The best way to cook your English Muffins and to attain the flat tops and bottoms is to cook the muffins on the first side for 5 minutes.
Then, place a baking sheet on top of the muffins to gently press them down and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Don't place anything too heavy on top as the English Muffins will get dense. You are looking for something light enough not to compress the muffins much but heavy enough to flatten.
The baking sheet you used to proof your muffins works perfectly here! After 10-12 minutes total cooking time on the first side, flip the muffins over and cook (without the baking sheet on top) for another 10 minutes.
Voila! You now have about a dozen and a half perfect homemade sourdough English Muffins. You can toast 'em up and slather 'em in butter or jam or both.
Or, you can slap on some cheese and eggs and make yourself the finest of breakfast sandwiches, like the one pictured below I made for my hubby from Pinch of Yum. Yummo!
Looking for more breakfast recipes? Give these a try:
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups warm water 110°F-115°F
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup sourdough starter ripe (fed) or discard; ripe will give you a more vigorous rise
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup nonfat dry milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon citric acid optional, for enhanced sour flavor
- semolina or cornmeal for coating
- Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal/semolina, in a large bowl. Mix and knead — by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine — to form a smooth dough. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for about 1 ½ hours, or until it's noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place it in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will develop its flavor
- Gently deflate the dough by pressing your fist into the top of the dough and allowing the air to escape, then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it, and let it sit for a few minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time and using a rolling pin, roll dough to ½ inch thick, and cut in 3 inch rounds using a biscuit cutter or mason jar ring. Re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be about 2 hours
- Carefully transfer the rounds (as many at a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 350°F, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat. Cook the muffins for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F. The edges may feel a bit soft; that's OK. For best shape, cook muffins for about 5 minutes on their first side; then lay a cake pan, cookie sheet, or similar flat (though not overly heavy) object atop them. Continue cooking for 7 minutes or so; then remove the pan, turn muffins over, and finish cooking without the pan on top. This helps keep muffins flat across the top (rather than domed). Remove the muffins from the griddle, and cool on a rack. Repeat cooking and cooling process with remaining muffins
- Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for 4 or 5 days; freeze for longer storage - This recipe is easily halved, if you don't want to make 18 muffins. Halve all of the ingredients; for a slightly faster rise, reduce the yeast to 2 teaspoons, rather than 1 ½ teaspoons
- To shorten cooking time, use a lidded electric fry pan heated to 325°F. Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes without the lid (or until they're nicely browned), turn them over, and add the lid. Don't set the lid on tight; leave a small opening for any steam to escape. Cook the muffins for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until their bottom sides are browned
- If you're having trouble getting muffins to cook all the way through on the stove top, cook until golden brown on both sides, then transfer to a preheated 350°F oven and bake until the muffins' interior shows no sign of wet dough, about 10 minutes or so
- Recipe originally from King Arthur Flour
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