Food + Wine

Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins

It never occurred to me to make my own English Muffins until the first time I did it several years ago.  I mean, I like English Muffins just fine.  I’ll buy them when they go on sale and throw one in the toaster every now and then, maybe make a breakfast sandwich out of one, but I’ve never thought they were all that great.  They’re always just kinda boring.  And dry.  But when I started making my own Sourdough Bread roughly four years ago, I began to play around with different things to make using the Sourdough Starter*.  I’ve made Golden Raisin and Rosemary Focaccia, Sally Lunn Bread, Dinner Rolls, Pancakes, and these Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins, among other things throughout the years.

These are not your run of the mill English Muffins.  They make the store-bought variety seem like sawdust buns.  They’re denser, chewier, and much more flavorful.  You can use all white flour if you’d like, but I prefer using whole wheat flour whenever I can in my baked goods.  Eat these however you’d like-simply toasted with butter and jam or cinnamon sugar, with cheese and a fried egg, or as the bun to your burger like we did last night.   Enjoy!

*Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins
(makes 12-15, depending on thickness of dough and size cookie cutter you use)

-First you will need to make your sponge-
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, mix together 1 cup of Sourdough Starter* that was fed 12 hours before, 1 1/2 cups of milk and 3 cups of white flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to develop its gasses overnight.  When it’s ready, it will have at least doubled in volume, be covered with air holes, and resemble what a pancake looks like on the griddle before its first flip.
-After about 10 hours, add to the sponge- 1 TB sugar, 1 TB kosher salt, 1 tsp baking soda and 2 1/2-3 cups of whole wheat flour (start with 2 1/2 cups, and if your dough is still very sticky, add the rest in).  Cover this again with the plastic wrap and set in a warm place for about 2 hours to rise again.  (It will, again, at least double in size)
-Knead the dough on a floured surface until it’s no longer sticky and roll it out to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness, depending on how thick you want your muffins to be.  Cover a large cookie sheet with a dusting of cornmeal while you cut your dough. Cut out circles using a large 3-4 inch cookie cutter or use a glass if you don’t have a cookie cutter big enough.  (Keep in mind that whatever size cutter you choose to use, there will be some shrinkage, so go larger that you think you want.  And be sure to coat your cutter in flour before each cut to prevent the dough from sticking to it.)  Place each dough circle onto the cornmeal dusted cookie sheet and let them rest for 15-20 minutes while you preheat your griddle on the lowest setting until hot.
-When you’re ready to cook, place your dough circles, cornmeal side down, onto the hot, dry griddle and cook until risen, about 10 minutes and then flip to cook for 10 minutes more.
-Transfer the cooked muffins to a wire rack and cool before storing in an airtight container.

(*My sourdough starter is made from potato flakes instead of flour, and instead of typing out everything you would need to do if you want to start your own starter, I found this site that explains it very well.  I really recommend starting your own if you can, the bread is delicious!)

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