The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild Yeast Water English Muffins Two Ways

isand66's picture

Wild Yeast Water English Muffins Two Ways

I have been meaning to make some English Muffins for a while now and wanted to try to use my fairly new Wild Yeast Water Starter as the levain instead of yeast.  I tried a recipe I found on The Fresh Loaf last week and unfortunatley it resulted in hockey pucks.  I decided to try a sourdough English Muffin recipe I found on The Fresh Loaf and convert it to using WYW as the starter.  Since I decided to make some extra starter with the WYW I figured I might as well try changing it up a bit and used some Durum flour instead of AP flour and also use some greek yogurt instead of milk as well as some cheese.

I have to say the Durum version with the yogurt turned out much better than the plain milk version with AP flour.  It had a much better rise when baking and turned out more tender and flavorful than the AP version.

All in all, I was very happy with the final result and would definitely make these again, but would use yogurt instead of milk.

Wild Yeast Starter Build 1

75 grams European Style Flour from KAF or AP Flour

75 grams Wild Yeast Water

Mix the flour and starter and let sit covered on your counter for 4 hours and proceed to step 2 or put in the refrigerator until ready to proceed to Build 2.

Wild Yeast Starter Build 2

65 grams European Style Flour or AP Flour

65 grams Wild Yeast Water

Mix in above ingredients with Starter from Build 1 and let sit out at room temperature in covered bowl for 4 - 6 hours.  Either use immediately after 4-6 hours or put in refrigerator and use the next day.

Version 1 English Muffins Main Dough

111 grams Starter from above

240 grams Milk

342 grams European Style or AP Flour

13 grams Sugar

5 grams Salt

6 grams Baking Soda

Semolina or Cornmeal for Dusting


Mix flour, starter and milk in your mixing bowl and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine.

Cover the bowl and let it sit out at room temperature overnight.

The next morning add the rest of the ingredients and mix for a minute.  Knead the dough either with your mixer or by hand for around 4 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary.  Next roll out the dough to about 3/4" thickness on your work surface.  You will have to put some bench flour on the work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  Using  4" biscuit cutter or can, cut the muffins out and place on a pan lined with parchment paper dusted with corn meal or semolina flour.  You should end up with 5-6 muffins.  If necessary you can combine the scraps and roll out again but you may need to let it rest before rolling.

Cover the muffins with a clean misted or floured towel and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Heat your griddle or heavy skillet to medium or around 350 degrees  and when ready to cook spray some cooking spray on the cooking surface before placing the English Muffins in the pan.

Cover the pan to create some steam and let cook for around 5 minutes or until the bottoms are nice and brown.  Flip and cook another 5 minutes and remove to a baking rack to cool.

Version 2 Semolina English Muffins Main Dough


97 grams Starter from above

310 grams Durum Flour

150 grams Greek Plain Yogurt

100 grams Water (85-90 degrees F.)

6 grams Baking Soda

13 grams Sugar

5 grams Salt

26 grams Cheese (I used a mix of Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina)

Follow same directions as in Version 1 but add the cheese on baking day.

Both versions taste great with some butter, jam or cheese.


This bread has been submitted to Yeast Spotting here at

Version 1 Crumb
Version 2 Durum Crumb
Oriental Lilies
Cone Flower


dabrownman's picture

much these things spring isn't it?  I'm surprised you didn't put some smoked bacon in the second one - but not surprised you liked it better anyway.  They both look perfect.  Now you have to do them in SD :-) Mine were half and half.

For the first batch I would have used baking powder instead of soda.   The YW is a little acid but not enough to get baking soda working well.  I would have put some baking soda, I noticed it was missing,  in the second batch because there is plenty of acid in the yogurt.   But I wouldn't have put it in until right before the dough was rolled put for cutting.  It would have just bubbled all away overnight.  Not having it doesn't seem to make a difference with the rising power of YW though.

Your flowers are gorgeous.  What a nice garden .  

isand66's picture

Thanks DA for the compliments.

I just updated the post since you pointed out I left out the baking powder, salt and sugar from the second batch ingredients.  I must have been falling asleep when I typed this up last night!

I will certainly take your advise and try baking powder instead of soda next time.

Not sure why the durum version with the yogurt rose so much better, but I'm not complaining.

If I had some bacon I would agree that it would have tasted perfect in this bake.

Thanks about the garden.  I can't wait until my tomatoes start hatching....they have a few weeks to go before I start getting some fruit as we started a little late this year, but so far they are looking good.  I know yours are done by now so I will be sure to show you some pictures to remind you what you had :>)...Looking forward to some grilled bread with fresh moz and garden ripe tomatoes and basil...nothing beats it.

I mixed up another version of a coconut sourdough this morning.  Made a starter using bread flour and coconut flour and added coconut milk, coconut butter to the final dough.  It sure is a thirsty sucker and I had to add a lot of extra water.  We will see tomorrow if I end up with a brick or a masterpiece.   Last time it came out good but not much of a coconut flavor.  If this one doesn't taste like a coconut I give up!

Thanks again for your feedback and advise as always.


dabrownman's picture

you are making a Pina Colada instead of bread.  If that bread doesn't taste like coconut then nothing will :-)

The yogurt rose more because of the double acting baking powder.  As soon as it hit the heat of the pan (the second action) it puffed.  The first batch had soda (which is single acting and not activated by heat)  and what little action it got from the acid of the YW was used up as it sat over night bubbling away on the counter.   Alas, its poor bubbles were wasted :-)  Still the YW didn't mind and took care of the rise. - it just didn't get the extra boost the second batch got from the baking powder.

Next time when you add the bacon don't forget the caramelized onions.

You are killing me with the tomatoes!!!  Hope your heirlooms do better than mine.  Nothing but tasteless hot house tomatoes, that look really good, here  till next winter.

isand66's picture

We have about 25 plus plants that we grew in our small pop-up greenhouse.  Hopfully we will get a bumper crop but you neverknow.