The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough English Muffins Take 2

grepstar's picture

Sourdough English Muffins Take 2

Last weekend I took another stab at the Sourdough English muffins, going with some of the modifications that I suggested in my previous post. Here is my recipe for this batch with the changed ingredients from Nancy Silverton's original recipe in boldface:


18 oz White Starter
2 cups plain soy milk
7 oz unbleached white bread flour (high extraction - 14% protein) (I used 1 oz less)
3.5 oz dark rye flour

10 oz warm water (85 degrees)
0.3 oz of SAF instant yeast
1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup rye flakes
2 tbs raw sunflower seeds
2 tbs raw pepitas
7 oz unbleached white bread flour
(high extraction - 14% protein)
1/4 cup (minus a smidge) honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 tbs kosher salt
Cake flour for dusting
Semolina flour for dusting

This time, I was able to make the muffins over the course of one day as the original recipe calls for. The sponge fermented for about 2 hours before I made the final dough which in turn rose for another hour and a half.


I decided this time that I needed more strength for the parchment paper rings and so I cut the pieces of parchment twice as tall and then folded in half. While seeming like a good idea, it ended up being more difficult to fill the rings since the dough got caught between the folded layers on a few of the muffins and the strength of the rings was no greater. Besides, I cost me double the amount of parchment paper.

The use of the cake flour for dusting the board became a real pain since the dough was more hydrated in this version than the last. Most of it clumped up and took some effort to brush off. In the end, using no flour at all and keeping my hands slightly damp to help handle the dough would have worked much better.

The muffins rose in the rings for about an hour and then I dusted them with semolina and tossed them in the oven.

I waited until the next day before tearing one open and they were much tastier than the last batch. The sweetness of the honey was much mellower than the agave nectar and the wheat germ and rye flakes added even more heartiness in flavor and texture.

Split muffin


My wife and I have been enjoying them as the base for fried egg sandwiches: toased muffin, 1 fried egg, 2 slices of facon (veggie bacon), a think spread of garlic herbed queso fresco from Shepard's Way and a smear of dijon mustard.


helend's picture

Your sourdough muffins look great.  If you are having problems with parchment could you use baking rings - I use them for pikelets.  These are non-stick and very cheap.


weavershouse's picture

That's a great griddle, it almost looks like an antique, is it? If not may I ask where it's from. Thanks. weavershouse

helend's picture

Hi Weavershouse

Thanks, but No the griddle is not antique, just well used - black iron by Typhoon. My husband bought it for me from a local department store in the UK so I don't know how much it cost!

I use it all the time for chapattis and flatbreads, pikelets and muffins also drop scones and welsh cakes .on a gas flame It has domed very slightly in the middle (I get confused about concave/convex) but heats very evenly so it doesn't seem to matter.

The trick is not to over grease griddles like this and NEVER wah them - a clean cloth dipped in oil and salt will remove any food. I hardly ever grease it now at all.

mij.mac's picture

They're crumpets, well at least that's what we call them in England. Muffins are more like a squashed bread roll.


grepstar's picture

Hi helend,


My frugality and lack of baking rings led me to try and perfect the parchment rings, but I think they're too weak for the dough. How much did you pay for your rings? I saw these Norpro ones on, but they don't look as nice as yours.


By the way, what is a pikelet? And are they as delicious as they look?

helend's picture

Hi Grepstar

My baking rings are non-stick (although I think only a very thin coating!) and cost about the same as yours but in pounds sterling from a shop called Wilkinsons - general purpose household wares at cheap end of market.  I have certainly seen some very much more expensive ones in quality cookshops but these seem fine to me.  Sorry I can't help with a USA recommendation.

In most of the UK these are called crumpets and pikelets are a similar batter but cooked like a drop scone/small pancake without the ring BUT my family comes from Bristol and have always called crumpets pikelets!  My friend originally from one part of the North West does too but everyone else at work think we're wrong!  In welsh they are called crempog and pyglyd respectively.  Somewher last year I posted a recipe for them.

Basically pikelets/crumpets are DELICIOUS - a yeasted batter eaten either hot off the griddle or toasted once cold with (Aaargh) lots of salty butter ... we don't have them often.

I think your muffins look great - much softer and fluffier inside than mine! 

manxman's picture

you may like the excellent British Foods Site

It has a section on bread and roll recipes but also a passage on muffins crumpets and pikelets

Paddyscake's picture

the link doesn't work..have you another address?

manxman's picture

Sorry about the link, think I put a comma after muffins instead of a stop?period

please try


Paddyscake's picture

so many little time! I can't wait to give some of them a try!!  MMMM! I recently made ginger jam. I was looking for the perfect recipient..I think a simple scone will do the trick. Thank you