These Sourdough English Muffins bake up so puffy and delicious, you’ll eat them all up and want more. They require no added yeast–the wild yeast in sourdough is enough to make the magic happen. A vegan, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
These Sourdough English Muffins are so easy, you should make them asap if you have a crock of sourdough starter bubbling away in your home. They are tender and fluffy and they are good any way you eat them–loaded with vegan sandwich fillings, cradling a veggie burger, or just toasted, with a pat of butter and jam.
I find the process of making these Sourdough English Muffins as much fun as it is rewarding. Because these are made entirely with sourdough and have no added yeast, you do need some time and patience to get the English muffins of your dreams, but if you invest in them, you won’t be disappointed.
The fun part is just the whole process of baking with sourdough. When you bake with added yeast, the whole process is somewhat predictable, which is fine. But sourdough, to some extent, tests your mettle as a bread baker. Depending on how strong or mature your starter is, your bread will take more or less time to rise. You exercise some judgement and you get to sharpen your bread-baking skills in the process. But the funnest part of baking with sourdough is when you add heat into the mix.
When you put a sourdough bread in the oven, you can always expect to be pleasantly surprised by the results. That’s because the gases that the probiotic yeast build up during the rise time escape, giving you an incredible “oven spring” and helping your bread rise even more during baking.
With English Muffins it’s a little different because you don’t actually bake them in an oven–instead, you bake them on a hot griddle. And while you do have to give the muffins time to rise before you place them on the griddle, the real magic will happen after they hit the heat. That’s when they’ll get all puffy and fluffy and fat and airy right before your eyes, giving you that perfect interior with craters your butter and jam can sink into.
How to make these perfect Sourdough English Muffins:
- Start out with a strong, recently fed sourdough starter–one you fed about 12 hours earlier.
- These muffins are mainly made with bread flour, but I add some whole wheat at the beginning to help the sourdough yeast thrive and flourish, because whole wheat flour has more micronutrients. If you don’t have whole wheat flour, and I know these are times when substitutions are essential at times, you can use all purpose flour or bread flour.
- In the same vein, I use bread flour for the muffins, but if you don’t have it, use all purpose. Bleached or unbleached, it all works.
- Don’t fret about using white flour–these muffins are made healthier by the addition of sourdough which digests the starches in your flour. Studies show that sourdough breads are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
- The dough will need two rises, as most bread doughs do, but depending on the strength and maturity of your starter, this can vary a bit. I let the dough rise eight hours for the first rise, and for about four hours for the second, which gives me the perfect muffins with a distinct sourdough tang. You may need less time if your starter is stronger.
- Your dough might not double during the first rise, which is fine. It should look a bit puffier and fatter than when you started.
- For an average-sized muffin, roll your dough 1/2-inch thick and cut into 12 rounds. You can make nine really fat muffins, which are nice too, by rolling it slightly thicker, but increase the time on the skillet in that case by a minute on each side.
- Cut your muffins into 3-inch rounds for the perfect-sized English Muffins. If you don’t have a cookie cutter that size, improvise. I used a cup measure with a missing handle. 🙂 A jar lid would work too.
- After you cut out your muffins and set them aside for the second rise, keep in mind they might not rise a whole lot. That’s okay, so long as they puff up and you give them at least 3-4 hours to rise. Once they touch the griddle, they should puff up nicely.
- Heat your griddle on medium heat and then turn it to medium-low while the muffins bake. Cover the griddle to ensure even cooking.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Sourdough starter
- Whole wheat flour (optional)
- All purpose flour
- Vegan butter (sub with oil if you don’t have this)
- Nondairy milk
Looking for more sourdough bread recipes?
- No Knead Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Sourdough Pretzels
- Crusty Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Soft Sourdough Rolls
Sourdough English Muffins Recipe
Sourdough English Muffins
- 1 cup sourdough starter (fed at least 12 hours before making dough)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (optional. Use bread flour or all purpose flour if you don't have this)
- 3 cups bread flour (all purpose flour is fine)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk
- 3/4 cup water (lukewarm, you may need more or less)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (at room temperature. Butter is preferred, but use oil if you don't have this)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Cornmeal, semolina, grits or any kind of gritty flour for sprinkling on the baking sheet while the muffins rise.
- Place the sourdough starter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer along with the whole wheat flour, the bread flour, sugar, salt, non-dairy milk and butter. Mix, trickling in water as needed until a non-sticky dough forms. Continue kneading another 3-4 minutes by hand or in the stand mixer until the dough gets smooth and supple. It should not be too firm.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat the top with the oil. Cover tightly and set aside in a warm place for eight hours or until risen and puffy. It may not double.
- Flour your work surface. Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten into a disc. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to an even, 1/2-inch thickness. If the dough is too resistant to rolling, let it rest 10 minutes, covered, then roll.
- Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out discs for the muffins. Roll up any scraps, knead briefly, and cut out more. You should get 12 muffins.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal or semolina. Place the muffins on it, at least an inch apart. Sprinkle some more cornmeal on the muffins, cover with a kitchen towel, and let them stand at least 3-4 hours in a warm place. Again, they'll look puffier but may not double or rise too much.
- To bake the muffins, heat a cast iron or any nonstick griddle on medium heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and place the muffins in the griddle without overcrowding, at least an inch apart.
- Cover the griddle, set your timer for five minutes, and let the muffins cook. You might want to check at the end of three minutes to make sure they are not overbrowning. If they are, turn the heat down.
- Once the underside is golden-brown, flip over and cook another four minutes, covered.
- Let the muffins cool on a rack before you cut into half, toast and serve.