The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Multi-Grain English Muffins?

Janknitz's picture

Multi-Grain English Muffins?

I make bread because I love it AND to save money.  I told my husband that the only bread product he can buy is bagels (I don't have time to do the extra step of boiling, especially in the summer)--otherwise I am making all of our bread needs for pennies on the purchased bread dollar. 

This has been fine for the most part.  KA's formula for multi-grain bread is better than the Milton bread he used to buy for a three plus dollars a loaf.  I'm making a part sourdough white bread that is healthier for my kids and cheaper than even the 99 cent sale bread at the grocery store.  I make fancy artisan style breads for our dinners and challah for the sabbath.  I figure I'm saving about $30 a month--not a huge amount, but I'd rather have it in my pocket than the grocery store's.  And the bread I make is awesome, for the most part.

I may have met my match in multi-grain English muffins, however.  The only recipe I really found was  a Martha Stewart one that came out like hockey pucks.  My husband is trying to be supportive--he said "well, they're good portion control".  Then he reminded me that Milton's has multi-grain English Muffins for only $1.89 at Trader Joe's.  He really wants to buy those Milton's and I'm determined to make some good enough to deter him. 

I make great sourdough English Muffins (Wild Yeast Susan's recipe), but can't seem to figure out the multi-grain.  Any suggestions? 

Could I build on the sourdough formula?  Here are the ingredients:

  • Sponge Ingredients:

  • 110 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter

  • 160 g flour

  • 100 g whole wheat flour

  • 276 g milk (I use 1% milk)

  • Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 75 g flour

  • 3/4 t. salt

  • 1 t. baking soda

  • 1.5 t. agave nectar (or honey)

  • all of the sponge

Could I tweak it by replacing say 30 grams of the regular flour and 40 grams of the whole wheat with other grains (e.g. 30 grams of rye, 20 grams oats, 20 grams of corn meal)?  Would I have to adjust the liquids? 

These amounts are pure random guesswork--any guidelines in establishing ratios for the various ingredients for good flavor and texture?

flournwater's picture

First let me say that I don't use a sponge or poolish for my English Muffins.  But the percentages of wet to dry ingredients in your recipe seem (IMO) to be out of balance.  If I were using a "ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter " I'd feed it a good meal the day before making the muffins, let it double (or something close) and refrigerate it until the next day when I was ready to use it, then let the amount I need for the recipe come up to room temperature before proceeding with the project.

The first thing that hits me about your recipe is the absence of fat.  Even your milk is only 1%.  My English Muffin recipe(s) use an average of about 5% butter/shortening.  I'd add about 15 - 19 grams of shortening with the initial mix in the stand mixer (or bowl, if that's what you're using).  I also think your hydration (at almost 80%  -  if you include the honey) may be a little wetter than I would make it. 

Whatever you try, be sure to keep very accurate notes of every little change you make and take pictures as you proceed and NEVER make more than one change in the recipe for any one batch.  Making more than one change means you'll never identify what worked, and what didn't.  One other thing I would consider, at some point, is replacing the baking soda with yeast.


Janknitz's picture

Perhaps I wasn't clear. The formula I posted above was Wild Yeast's most excellent sourdough english muffins-- NOT the hockey pucks. The posted formula makes excellent EM' s-- even with the high hydration and lack of fat.

Because these EM's are so good I was wondering if I could build on this formula by substituting in some other grains to make them "multi-grain"

LLM777's picture

I haven't tried them yet but they have raving reviews here at TFL. Do a search and I think I would just substitute the other flours along with the wheat for a multi-grain english muffin.