Perfect for your breakfast table or any time, these sourdough English muffins are very easy to make and so delicious!
Are you trying to replace commercial yeast in your recipes? Are you looking to gain the health benefits of fermented foods? Then these sourdough English muffins are a must-try!
It took me a bit to tweak the recipe to perfection. But now we can’t get enough of them! I am sure you will find them equally addictive!
I actually took a recipe for classic English muffins and converted it to sourdough with an easy formula.
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Why you’ll love this easy recipe
These homemade English muffins are fantastic because they
- are so easy to make
- require very little hands-on time
- are so puffy and light
- have the perfect taste and sourdough flavor
- are a great way to use your sourdough starter if it’s too hot in the summer to bake sourdough bread
What are the ingredients
You only need a few ingredients for this sourdough English muffin recipe:
- Warm water: using warm water always jumpstarts your sourdough
- Flour: for consistent results, I like using regular all-purpose flour
- Butter: adding melted butter gives it a nice flavor
- Honey: this adds a bit of sweetness and increases the activity of your sourdough starter
- Salt: I always love using sea salt for my recipes
- Sourdough starter: if you don’t already have an active sourdough starter, you can learn more about my super simple way to make one
- Cornmeal: I use cornmeal to prevent the muffins from sticking to the cookie sheet and to give them their distinct appearance
- Cooking oil: you only need a small amount of a heat-proof oil such as avocado oil, coconut oil, or canola oil
Useful tools and equipment
Here are my favorite tools to make this recipe:
- Large mixing bowl: I love having a big bowl to mix the dough
- Danish dough hook: this recipe is quick enough that a Danish dough hook is perfect
- Rolling pin: using a wooden rolling pin ensures that the muffins have a nice smooth surface and the same height
- Round cutter: you can either use a biscuit cutter, round cookie cutter, or English muffin rings to create their round shape
- Cookie sheets: these are helpful for the second rise
- Cast iron skillet: I love using a 12″ cast iron pan but any large frying pan with a lid works
- Spatula: this tool makes flipping your muffins a breeze
- Wire rack: with a cooling rack, these muffins can cool down without getting soggy
Substitutions and variations
Here are a few ideas for substitutions and variations for this recipe:
- Flour: While white flour produces light and fluffy muffins, you can also use spelt, einkorn, bread flour, or whole wheat flour.
- Honey: You can substitute regular sugar for the honey if you’d like to make these sourdough English muffins vegan
- Butter: Same here. You can use any oil with a neutral flavor instead of butter.
- Water: you can also use water or buttermilk instead of water
- Baking soda: I don’t think this is necessary but you could add 1 tsp of baking soda to get even fluffier English muffins (add this after the bulk fermentation)
How to serve
However, they are also perfect for sandwiches or as burger buns.
Make ahead of time?
You can make the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
I think these sourdough English muffins taste best fresh. What we don’t eat right away, we store in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days at room temperature. If they get too dry, you can crisp them up in the toaster.
For longer storage, you can also freeze them while they’re still slightly warm for 3-4 months. Let them thaw at room temperature before serving or warm them up in the toaster.
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How to make this dish
Here are the step-by-step instructions to make these English sourdough muffins:
1. Make the dough:
Add your active starter, warm water, and honey to a large bowl. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Add the melted butter, salt, and flour. Mix into a shaggy, sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and transfer the bowl to the refrigerator overnight for the first rise.
2. Roll and cut the dough:
The next day, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out to about ¾ inch thick. Using cookie cutters or English muffin rings, cut out as many dough circles as you can. I always like to roll up the remaining dough and cut out more muffins. Just know that those may not look quite as nice but will still taste great!
3. Second rise:
Sprinkle a cookie sheet with some corn meal or semolina flour. Place the muffins on the baking tray. You can sprinkle them with some more corn meal. Cover them with a tea towel (if you can keep them in a very warm place) or with some plastic wrap (if you need to let them rise longer at a lower temperature and to keep them from drying out). Let them rise until they look pillowy.
4. Prepare the skillet:
Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
5. Cook the muffins:
Depending on your stove, you may want to turn the heat to low. Add a small amount of a neutral oil to the skillet, add 3-5 muffins, and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook them for about 4 minutes, flip them, put the lid back on, and bake them for another 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Cook them in batches until they are all done.
6. Cool the muffins:
Transfer the muffins to a wire rack until completely cooled.
Yes, you can absolutely mix the dough in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. I recommend mixing it on low speed. Just know that this is a bit of a wet dough.
If your muffins are not fully cooked on the inside, you can always finish them in a 350˚F oven or until done on the inside.
Yes! You can easily cook the sourdough English muffins on a hot griddle.
Every stove is a little bit different. You may have to play with the heat settings until the muffins cook evenly without getting black on the outside.
Yes, you can use a neutral oil instead of butter and cane sugar instead of honey to make them completely vegan.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!
Sourdough English Muffins
- 1 ¼ cups water, warm
- 4 TBSP butter, melted
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 4 cups AP flour
- cornmeal for sprinkling
- heat-proof oil for cooking
- In a large bowl, mix water, melted butter, honey, salt, and sourdough starter. Mix well.
- Add the flour and mix. The dough should be shaggy but if it's too wet, add a little more flour.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight or for 8 hours at least.
- The next day, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
- With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out about ¾" thick. Transfer them to the prepared cookie sheet.
- With round cutters, cut out 12 muffins. Either discard the remaining dough or try to form more muffins (they may just not look quite as pretty).
- Cover the muffins with a tea towel. Let them rise for at least 2 hours or until they are visibly puffy and spongy.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add a small amount of cooking oil to the skillet. Turn the heat to low and 3-5 muffins to the skillet. Put a lid on and cook for about 4 mins on the first side.
- Flip the muffins, cover the skillet, and cook them on the 2nd side for another 4 mins. When done, let them cool on a wire rack.
- Contine in batches until they are all cooked.
- You can make them vegan by using oil instead of butter and sugar instead of honey
- You can easily let the dough rest in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours