Sourdough English Muffins

While it may seem anti-healthy to some people, especially Paleo-inclined people, one of my hobbies is bread making; specifically sourdough bread.  In order to do that you need a starter for leavening of that bread.  it is the equivalent of yeast in a traditional recipe, but it using wild yeasts.  One of the downsides to this is that you have to feed it every week or two.  The question then becomes one of what to do with all of the excess every two weeks.  Pancakes are a great option, but one that I recently made and am sharing is a recipe for sourdough English muffins.  I got the original recipe off of a website, but I’ve since lost track of it so can’t give them the proper references that I would like to. The below recipe makes about a dozen muffins.

1/2 cup starter (mine is 100% hydration )

1 cup milk

2.5 to 3 cups of flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon  baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

Semolina or corn meal for dusting

The night before combine the milk and starter together.  Next add two cups of flour to the mixture and stir until they are fully incorporated.  Set that aside until the next morning (try to make it no less than 8 hours).

The next morning add the sugar, salt, and baking soda and incorporate into the overnight batter. Next add another half cup of flour and continue to incorporate in the bowl.  Gradually add flour and continue mixing until you have a dough that you can fold and knead.  Once you have the dough ready, flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it.  Lightly dust the flour and continue to fold and knead for five minutes.  You want a pretty wet dough so only keep enough to stop everything from sticking together, but you want a dough not a batter.

Once you have kneaded for a few minutes spread it out with your hands to a half inch thickness.  Prepare a cookie or pizza sheet by liberally sprinkling with your semolina flour or cornmeal.  Now with muffin cutters, or with a wide glass (3 inches or so) cut out the muffins and place them on the cookie sheet.  Re-incorporate the left over dough, roll out to half inch, and repeat the process until you have no dough left.  Let the muffins rest for 45 minutes.

Once they have finished resting heat up a skillet, frying pan, or griddle over medium heat.  If it is a non-stick surface then lightly grease, but even a cast iron pan should be non-stick enough to require only the thinnest veneer of oil.  Place the muffin the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes a side.  To check if they are completed baking lightly press on the top.  If it compresses and the sides bulge out a bit then it’s not ready.  You can usually also see that the edges are still raw.  If your pan is too hot you may need to flip these multiple times to avoid burning on one side but to allow it to completely cook through.

Once they are finished cooking take them out of the pan and place them on a rack to cool.  To eat them, split them open with a fork and enjoy.