Sourdough English Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

english muffins on a board one sliced

Here is another sourdough recipe for something that is frequently bought in the store but is so much better for you, has a shorter ingredient list, and tastes so good when made from scratch at home. I’m so excited to share how to make your own sourdough English muffins. I think you’ll love these Sourdough English Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm.

Simple, delicious, and convenient to make and freeze, you will love adding these Classic English Muffins, to your sourdough routine. I love making these ahead of time and having a stash in the freezer. The kids love them and so do we. Use them to make a quick English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich for a filling meal.

Let’s take a look at the Sourdough English Muffin recipe and also the tips and tricks that can make it simpler for you to have success and consistent results with this recipe.

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Need a Sourdough Starter?

Ready to start your sourdough journey but you don’t have a sourdough starter? Agnes is here to help. You can check out how to start your own sourdough starter on my post Learning Sourdough with Agnes.

There are so many good things to make with a sourdough starter. I love making caramel rolls, cinnamon rolls, tortillas, Bierocks (Runzas), and buttermilk biscuits to name a few…but really the list could go on for quite some time.

Ingredients for Sourdough English Muffins:

Active Sourdough Starter

Make sure your starter has doubled and is nice and bubbly before you start.

Water

Always a good idea to use a distilled or filtered water when working with active sourdough.

Sugar

Just a little to give the starter a boost and add flavor.

Milk

One of the ingredients that makes the dough tender. I use whole milk but you could probably use 2% milk as well.

Melted Butter

You will want to melt the butter and cool it slightly. You don’t want to kill the active starter with it being too hot.

Bread Flour

I use bread flour in this recipe but you can use a good quality all purpose flour. My favorite brand is local, Dakota Maid.

Salt

I use kosher salt, but you could use sea salt or Himalayan salt too.

Cornmeal

This is just for dusting. You will use the cornmeal almost like greasing a pan. It helps prevent the English muffins from sticking to the pan during the final proof.

The Sourdough English Muffin Process in Pictures:

Texture of the dough:

You may wonder why Sourdough English Muffin dough is kind of sticky. Why not just add more flour? Well, the main reason for this is to get the right texture and all those beautiful nooks and crannies that catch the butter and peanut butter. To get this texture you need a higher hydration dough.

That being said if you really don’t want to deal with a stickier dough you can add more flour (about 50g) but know that it won’t be as light and fluffy with that signature English muffin texture.

How to cook an English Muffin:

Did you know that English muffins aren’t baked?

They really aren’t. You “fry” an English muffin. You can use a regular pan, but I would recommend a cast iron skillet for the best result.

I usually cook 4 at a time and at a low to medium heat. You want the heat low enough so that you don’t burn the outsides of the muffins before the insides have a chance to cook.

For medium heat in a cast iron, I cook them for 7 minutes on each side. You may need to tweak this some depending on your pan and stove top.

TIP: Check one of the first one’s you did just to make sure they are cooked through. If they aren’t, lower the heat and lengthen the amount of time they are in the cast iron skillet or pan.

Sourdough English muffins in a cast iron pan

Ways to use these Sourdough English Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm:

  • As a breakfast sandwich… toasted English muffin, egg, cheese and your favorite breakfast meat.
  • With butter and jam.
  • Little Pizzas- simply slice in half put pizza sauce, and your favorite toppings and bake them in the oven on a baking sheet. This is a great way to make a quick meal with Sourdough English Muffins.
  • Peanut butter and Jelly – one of my favorites! I love how the peanut butter melts into the toasted muffins nooks and crannies and the sweet jam on top! Yum!
  • Toasted with honey butter slathered on top. Yum!

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Sourdough English Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm

  • 120g active sourdough starter
  • 100g distilled or filtered water
  • 20g granulated sugar
  • 220g whole milk
  • 36g butter, melted and cooled slightly (3T)
  • 480g bread flour
  • 5g kosher salt
  • Cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  • First, in a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, measure out the active sourdough starter, water, and sugar. Mix this by hand or spoon to create a slurry.
  • Next add the milk, butter, and flour. Mix this together by hand or dough hook until a shaggy dough forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Cover with a tea towel and let sit for 20 minutes. This is the autolyze.
  • After the 20 minutes add the kosher salt and knead by hand or dough hook for 6 minutes. If in a stand mixer bowl transfer to a lightly greased bowl.
  • Let the dough rest covered by a tea towel for 4-8 hours. This is the bulk fermentation. You want the dough to be risen, soft and puffy. If you have a cool kitchen, you could do this on your counter overnight.
  • Place the dough, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This helps the dough to firm up and be easier to work with as it is a stickier dough. The first rise is complete.

Cutting out the Sourdough English Muffins:

  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, or your hands, roll or pat out the dough to about ½ inch thick.
  • Using a 3 in. biscuit cutter cut out your English muffins and place them on a baking sheet generously dusted with cornmeal. You can lay parchment paper down first if you prefer.
  • Make sure you don’t skimp in this area otherwise the muffins will stick to the pan and be hard to get off when proofed and ready to cook.
  • You can also have a bowl of cornmeal and “dip” the bottoms of the English muffins in it before setting on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet.
  • You will have scraps after you get the first round made. You can easily work this into a ball and roll it out again. Make sure to let the rerolled dough rest for 5-10 to let the gluten relax. Otherwise, your English muffins with shrink after being cut.
  • Sprinkle the tops with some corn meal.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel and let proof for their second rise, in a warm place. This can take 3-5 hours depending on the temperature. You want them to be risen and puffy.

Cooking the Sourdough English Muffins:

  • Preheat a cast iron skillet over a medium-low heat. Place 4 English muffins in the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side or 12-14 minutes total. You want them to be golden brown and cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Repeat with the remaining English muffins.
  • When you are done cooking and cooling all the English muffins you can either store them in an airtight bag or airtight container at room temperature for about a week or freeze them for longer storage and future use.
Top view of egg english muffin

Sourdough English Muffins: A Recipe from the Farm

Flavorful soft and full of nooks and crannies these Sourdough English Muffins are so good. Slather a toasted one with butter and peanut butter or eat them fresh with honey butter you can't go wrong!
Print Recipe
Top view of peanut butter english muffin

Ingredients

  • 120 g active sourdough starter
  • 100 g distilled or filtered water
  • 20 g granulated sugar
  • 220 g whole milk
  • 36 g butter melted and cooled slightly (3T)
  • 480 g bread flour
  • 5 g kosher salt
  • Cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

  • First, in a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, measure out the active sourdough starter, water, and sugar. Mix this by hand or spoon to create a slurry.
  • Next add the milk, butter, and flour. Mix this together by hand or dough hook until a shaggy dough forms. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Cover with a tea towel and let sit for 20 minutes. This is the autolyze.
  • After the 20 minutes add the kosher salt and knead by hand or dough hook for 6 minutes. If in a stand mixer bowl transfer to a lightly greased bowl.
  • Let the dough rest covered by a tea towel for 4-8 hours. This is the bulk fermentation. You want the dough to be risen, soft and puffy. If you have a cool kitchen, you could do this on your counter overnight.
  • Place the dough, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This helps the dough to firm up and be easier to work with as it is a stickier dough. The first rise is complete.
  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll out or pat the dough to about ½ inch thick.
  • Using a 3 in. biscuit cutter cut out your English muffins and place them on a baking sheet generously dusted with cornmeal. You can lay parchment paper down first if you prefer.
  • Make sure you don’t skimp in this area otherwise the muffins will stick to the pan and be hard to get off when proofed and ready to cook.
  • You can also have a bowl of cornmeal and “dip” the bottoms of the English muffins in it before setting on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet.
  • You will have scraps after you get the first round made. You can easily work this into a ball and roll it out again. Make sure to let the rerolled dough rest for 5-10 to let the gluten relax. Otherwise, your English muffins with shrink after being cut.
  • Sprinkle the tops with some corn meal.
  • Cover with a damp tea towel and let proof for their second rise, in a warm place. This can take 3-5 hours depending on the temperature. You want them to be risen and puffy.
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet over a medium-low heat. Place 4 English muffins in the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side or 12-14 minutes total. You want them to be golden brown and cooked thoroughly.
  • Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Repeat with the remaining English muffins.
  • When you are done cooking and cooling all the English muffins you can either store them in an airtight bag or airtight container at room temperature for about a week or freeze them for longer storage and future use.
Servings: 15 muffins

Comment and leave a review below! I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this Sourdough English Muffin recipe. Drop any questions you have below too, or you can reach out on social media. Thanks for being here!

Mariah N | TheFarmChicken
english muffins on a board one sliced

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is the dough so sticky?

You might be thinking why is the dough so sticky? Can’t I just add flour and work with a less sticky dough? The answer is not if you want the right texture. The higher hydration gives these English muffins the signature “nooks and crannies” of an English Muffin.

You can add 30-50 grams of flour if you would like but just know that you probably won’t get those holes in your English muffin.

What can I use if I don’t have a 3 in. biscuit cutter?

Don’t let it stop you if you don’t have the right size biscuit cutter. Here are a couple of other things that could work.

1. A glass with a wide mouth.
2. A wide mouth canning jar.
3. Clean wide mouth canning jar ring.
4. Cookie Cutter

Why are my sourdough English muffins dense?

This is probably due to under proofing them. To get a light, fluffy and airy English muffin you need to make sure to proof them for the right time. The final proof is especially important. You want them to be raised and puffy before you start cooking them.

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