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There’s nothing better than homemade sour dough English muffins. They’re easier than you think.
Sour Dough English Muffins Are Easy
I’ve wanted to make English muffins for the longest time since I always loved the store-bought kind. However, I thought they’d be more complicated than breads. I was wrong there for sure.
OK, they do take time. I think that was the thing that I found off-putting because the older I get, the less patience I have. But the other day, I said to myself, “Let’s do this,” and I did.
Guess what? Even though you have to plan ahead and the process could take from several hours to several days–due to making your own starter and rising time–it’s was pretty easy and not intimidating at all.
A Word About Starters
This was my very first time working with a starter. A lot of recipes for English muffins tell you that you can start the process after the starter has sat for an hour, just as long as it’s bubbly and foamy.
Before I began making the muffins proper, I did a little research about dough starters. The most important thing I came away with was the longer you let a starter sit, the more it ferments so the better your muffins will taste. Making the starter for these muffins is a one-trip deal since you use the entire amount. There’s no “feeding” or “replenishing” as there is when you use it as a regular (and constant) ingredient in your breads.
I let mine sit for two days and the taste it produced was spectacular. Of course, if you are in a hurry, then just let it sit for the minimum time of one hour. Your English muffins will still taste great, but they won’t have that sourdough quality.
Here’s another part that gives you a wide berth. You can let the dough rise at room temperature right after you mix it until it’s double in bulk, or you can let it rise in the fridge for up to three days. This is the thing I love about this recipe because you can make fresh each day for three days!
Who wouldn’t love a fresh English muffin with their breakfast; they’re a real treat!
Sour Dough English Muffins
- 3/4 cup bread strong flour
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 tsp yeast the dry kind not fresh
- 1 cup lukewarm milk NOT skim milk
- 1 tsp yeast instant or active dry
- 2 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3-3 1/4 cups bread strong flour
- 1 tsp butter for the griddle
- Mix the starter ingredients in a medium bowl (because it bubbles up). Cover and keep at room temperature for 12-36 hours. The longer it sits, the better the muffins will taste.
- Using a stand mixer, combine the milk, yeast and the starter. Beat well so the starter is well incorporated into the milk.
- Add the sugar, butter and salt. Add the flour, beginning with the lowest amount called for. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 8 minutes, adding additional flour so that the dough is soft yet not sticky. It should feel slightly tacky but not stick to your fingers nor the bowl.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, cover and let rise in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a round disk. With a large knife, cut 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth round ball.
- Sprinkle some of the cornmeal on a large baking sheet. Place the balls about 2-inches/5 cm apart. Sprinkle the tops of the balls with cornmeal as well. Let rise until puffy--for cool dough this will take about 1 1/2-2 hours.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease the skillet or griddle with the butter (I use a tissue to distribute the butter then use the buttery tissue to grease the griddle for the next batches).
- Working in batches (probably about 3-4 muffins depending on the size of your pan/griddle. Don't crowd the pan) cook the muffins for 5-6 minutes on one side until they're golden brown.
- Flip the muffins and cook for 5-6 minutes on the other side, gently pressing the muffins down with a wide spatula to flatten slightly.
- For extra insurance that the muffins are fully cooked, you can put them in a pre-heated 350F/180C oven for 5-8 minutes.