The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough english muffins

kjknits's picture

Sourdough english muffins

I used some of my starter that would have been discarded last night during refreshment to make some english muffins.  I found this recipe about 3 years ago on the KAF Baking Circle.  It was submitted by a user going by the name chard.  It makes great english muffins!



The texture is similar to Wolfermans, not big "nooks and crannies", but a little meatier.  I know a wetter dough would create larger holes, but I like them this way.  I used semolina on the parchment while they rested, and the flavor it gives to the bottom of the muffin is fantastic.  Other than only using 2 cups of flour for the whole recipe, I followed the amounts and ingredients exactly.

Sourdough English Muffins

Makes about 12

1/2 C starter (mine is a 100% hydration white starter) 

1 C milk

2-3/4 C AP flour

1 TBSP sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting

Combine starter, 2 C of flour and milk in a large bowl.  Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and leave out for 8 hours or overnight.

After the overnight rest, add remaining flour (I didn't add any), sugar, salt and baking soda and mix well.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Roll out to 3/4" and cut with a biscuit cutter into rounds.  You can reroll the scraps, but you may need to let the dough rest before cutting more muffins from them.  Place muffins on a piece of parchment dusted with semolina and let rest for 45 minutes.

Spray griddle or skillet lightly with spray oil.  Heat to medium and cook muffins for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the top and bottom and cooked through.  These have great griddle spring and rise quite a bit during the "baking".

Split with a fork and enjoy with your favorite topping!  I don't even toast them if I want to eat them right off the griddle--they don't have that raw taste that storebought english muffins have.



ananda's picture


sorry to butt in on the backend of this thread!

I just posted on Crumpets and Muffins on my blog

As you can see, there is a tremendous difference between a muffin [fermented breadcake made on a hotplate] and crumpet [fermented batter, also utilising chemical raising agent, piped into a ringmould and, again, cooked on the hotplate]

Hope this is useful; my recipes are pretty faithful to the traditional formulae, and Elizabeth David is an excellent source, although the muffins are adapted to utilise an overnight sponge.   They are, however, leavened with yeast, unlike the ones above which have sourdough for flavour, and a chemical raising agent for gas production.

Best wishes


beapauls's picture

I just want to say THANK YOU for posting this recipe. The muffins are delicious, and I can't believe they're both sourdough and the dough soaks at least 8 hours. My family already gobbled up the first batch, so I'm preparing a double batch to cook tomorrow. I hope to get several dozen frozen so we have them after our newborn arrives in a couple months. Thanks again ...

Koyae's picture

I've done this more than once now, and have been meaning to post about it. Recipe/idea is killer.

I ended up eating most of these at school with some pickled bellpeppers, butter, and raw sharp cheddar. I did one or two with peanutbutter and Weichsel (German sour cherries) and those were also nice.

I only did one in the official English muffin shape (pictured), and did the rest squarish because I wasn't interested in coffeecupping and re-rolling so much.



More squares.

Standard square shape. PB+Weichsel



mrb's picture


zora.aisling's picture

This recipe is so easy!  It's my first really successful use of my sourdough starter and it was so successful even my Mum agreed that they're better than the bought ones.  Thanks so much!  Will definately make these again.  I found I had to add quite a lot more flour (about 1 1/2c) before the dough was kneadable, and was a bit worried that it would make the finished product tough, but it didn't.  Just goes to show how flours from different countries absorb more/less liquid.  Thanks again!

bwaddle's picture

Would the large rings for canning jars work? Putting the up side down?

bobkay1022's picture

Hi I bought a can of tuna. 4 inch and use it. Perfect size. Dip in flour and cut. Works perfect.

Double batch with bread flour as I ran out all purpose.

Mr. Bob

Bama's picture

I made these yesterday morning.They are my very first english muffins using my sourdough starter. How exciting! I used the original recipe at the start of this thread but after the overnight rest, I stirred in the remaining ingredients(minus the last 3/4 cup of flour), let it rest a few minutes while I prepared my rings. Then I sprinkled corn meal on a cookie sheet, placed the rings, added the dough to the rings( it was goopy so I used an ice cream scoop) and sprinkled a bit more corn meal on them. I let them rise about 20 minutes while the oven was heating, but it was past breakfast time so in they went. I am thrilled! Baked them at 425F for about 15 minutes and I flipped them about 10 minutes in because a couple of them were getting a little too muffin-topped. That worked perfectly to flatten and also brown the tops.  I made 8 muffins because I had that many rings, but next time I'll only make 6. We like a fairly thick muffin. They are wonderful!  Hubby voted them a keeper recipe.

bobkay1022's picture

Hi thought you might want to see a double batch just as easy to make. I use a 4 inch Tuna can to cut. The dough rested  in the refrigerator for 2 + days as I could not grill the next day. Very nice taste and better than Thomas I heard from a few folks.  I have posted on another link. One thing I had to do was add about 1/2 cup of flour to be able to work with the dough.

I like your muffins also . They look great.

Have a nice week end



inkedbaker's picture

lookin forward to using my new starter with post!

Wheatridge's picture

I have been a fan of muffins for years and years, having grown up with The Thomas English muffins with their "nooks and crannies".  Never been able to make my own, however.    About four years ago someone gave us a muffin package from Wolfermans.    No "nooks and crannies", but great muffins.  Does anyone out there know how to make Wolferman's muffins?

simon3030's picture

Hi, just a point here - in the UK what you have been calling crumpets, are also called pikelets - the name tends to be geographical - in the South of the UK (England really), they are called crumpets; in the Midlands & North  (around Birmingham and up) they are called pikelets. Exactly the same item, just different names....although sometimes pikelets are thinner, but stilll 'holey' seems from wikipedia that Australians also call them pikelets.. There is some debate here...

Some sites show what I would call a drop scone - a griddled batter 'cake', (like a US pancake) with no holes - a pikelet/crumpet should have holes, caused by the raising agent, so that  the butter melts down them! Shop bought ones need tooasting on both sides before the butter, or if you are topping them, toast just the base till it goes crispy, then flip over, top and then grill - they are also great as mini pizzas, with tomato paste, herbs, and then cheese, grilled.

When we moved from Birmingham to Buckinghamshire 15 years ago, we realised that by moving 70 miles south, a whole new world of language opened up!

dabrownman's picture

my cute little muffins off in 30 minutes.  I cut mine into squares with the bench scraper since I have no cutter and I didnlt want to open a can of tuna at 8 in the morning :-)

dabrownman's picture

buttered and jammed!!!  I got 9 out of my batch and the spring was at least 3 times the original height.  Are you sure we aren't making Puff Pastry here? Oddly, the crumb shot shows that one half had nice open holes but the other half didn't.  I wonder if it has something to do with which side hit the pan first?  Thank you for the recipe!!

Flixtonian's picture

Tried these last night. Really good use for extra starter or 'discard' after refreshing. However the salt content of the recipe in the OP of 3 - 4 tsps seemed really high. I was using fine sea salt here in the UK. Just wondering if there is much of a difference between UK salt here as these looked great, but were far too salty? Definately going to try these again but will be reducing the salt to 1 tsps.

PClark's picture

the recipe states three quarters of a teaspoon of salt, not 3 to 4 teaspoons. I wondered because I make these very often and they are never too salty. Good luck with another try! I change them up by using whole wheat and honey or adding cinnamon and raisins. I always have some in the freezer.

Flixtonian's picture

I suppose that would make more sense!

3/4 tsps, not 3-4 tsps. Clearly I was skim reading again.

They certainly looked good, but were saltier than expected / should have been. 

Hey ho, will give it another go. I go from forgetting to put salt in to putting I'm too much! 

Thanks for the pointer.



mjeatmon's picture

Tonight I made the English muffins and they were great.  My family loves them.  I did change one thing.  I didn't have a starter, so I used my own Kefir that I make.  I used the same proportions as the recipe.  It worked great.  Thanks so much for this recipe.  It is a keeper.

Happy baking,


farmerdannc's picture

I did the same recipe started it last night and this morning prepared the dough cut it and after about half hour realized I had forgotten to put in the  salt and baking soda.  I put them in the oven and turned out some pretty good rolls, a little bland without salt but the rose nicely

jenniealice's picture

Thank you for putting this recipe up.  I'm using my sourdough starter, which is just water and stone-ground whole wheat flour; I mixed in the milk and flour and am excited to try the muffins tomorrow morning.  I tasted the mix, and wow--my starter is darned sour.  I live in Northern CA, so maybe this is the norm.  We'll see how they turn out.  Now I just have to dig through all the cookie cutters and see if I have a simple circle . . . 

Jennie Alice

update: these are so delicious!  I added a little butter to my "mess up" one, right out of the pan and am dreading that I may eat all the rest.  English muffins are my go-to each day for breakfast, with a poached egg, pesto and slice of tomato, so tomorrow morning will be simply decadent.  

Thanks again

morseman's picture

Thank you so much kjknits for a great recipe which has become a firm favourite of ours and we always have them available in the freezer.  I baked the above batch yesterday and tried using 3/4 cup starter and omitting the baking soda and letting the cut muffins rest for 1-2 hours on the baking sheet. Well what a surprise, the dough had a much nicer feel, the resulting crumb was more open and the taste was improved over what is already a fine tasting muffin.  I have read that including commercial baking soda/yeast alongside wild yeasts is not always advised.  I must say it feels now as though the baking soda was inhibiting the effects of the sourdough.

Out of the freezer we find 20 seconds in the microwave on de-frost makes them feel and taste as though they are just off the griddle, almost!

Thanks again.

sunnspot9's picture

Hello, my first attempt at cooking with my newly matured sourdough starter, made lots of mistakes! Those soda-free ones look very nice.

I don't have a kitchen-aid, so I did all the mixing and kneading by hand, it was madly sticky, used nearly the entire amount of flour, forgot to do the windowpain test, does this sort of baking need it? rolled it out and cut with coffee cup, rested 45 min or so, then attempted cooking: I don't have a griddle or a cast iron skillet, I do have a glasstop stove that says NO! to cast iron, so I used a heavy bottom stainless frying pan. I used olive oil, maybe too much. Medium on full burner was way to hot, muffins starting to burn in about 2 minutes, second batch, turned it down, still too hot, -oil kept smoking, third batch, half burner on 3, was finally able to cook muffins for 12 minutes total, I turned them all several times in the cooking, first two batches turned out very "doughy", the final batch was better, they all look great, they all also have tough crust, is this normal? will it soften?

I think they taste good, will the doughy ones go bad quickly?

I ate 3 of them, ugh! I'm full!

sunnspot9's picture

Also forgot to ask, about fork splitting, first why? and second when? while they are warm or after cooling, or just before toasting?

morseman's picture

You can fork open this type of crumb especially when just baked, but I have cut them symetrically when defrosted in order to fit them in the toaster. They are delicious whilst still warm as you have witnessed.

morseman's picture

Thank you sunnspot9! I too knead by hand as per the recipe but do adjust the flour quantity to get a nice workable dough, not too wet, not too dry, it normally responds after 4-5 minutes so it is smooth, satiny and rollable.  I also have my cast iron pan on a low to medium setting on our electric hob, this allows them to cook gently for 8 minutes on each side. I use a minimum amount of oil. This way they bake through nicely whithout too harder crusts.

We normally eat some for breakfast and I freeze them as soon as the remainder have cooled. As I said before they defrost very well. I did find they de-coloured by day two, so freezing on day of baking is best. Good luck.




Paula S's picture
Paula S

I just want to thank you both for the recipes for the English muffins!  I absolutely LOVE English muffins but haven't found any that I really like on the store shelves.  Now I will attempt making them as soon as I get my starter made.  I just got a recipe for starter a few weeks ago, then got sick and haven't been able to do much of anything.  I have bronchitis, pneumonia, both ears are infected and I have a red throat.  The past few weeks are very foggy for me.  I do so much appreciate your recipes and will be making them soon.  If they turn out good, I will post some pics.LOL  Have a great night!   Hugs, Paula

altsveyser's picture

I have now made these several times. In fact, whenever I refresh my starter I make enough to make theses. Really good and fail proof thus far. Now onto my volkornbroyt (the real reason for gettingmy starter going this time). Now that is not so easy ....

franmc's picture

I just made these muffins which were delicious!  This was my first attempt at english muffins, and I'm new to sourdough (but loving it!).  I was wondering if anyone else has had this experience - when I toast the muffins they take on a green hue.  Untoasted they have the typical off-white, creamy color and have a nice golden brown color on the outside.  We ate them both ways and everyone loved them.  Just wondering about the color change.

morseman's picture

Hi Franmc

I have also made these many times , see my entry below with photo. In order to avoid these color changes I freeze them on the day I make them (apart from those we eat straight away). I explain our regime below and this works well. I seemed to find the color change was due to them aging fairly quickly whether refrigerated or at room temperature. Why I don't know.

Trust this helps.


morseman's picture

Hi Franmc

I have also made these many times , see my entry below with photo. In order to avoid these color changes I freeze them on the day I make them (apart from those we eat straight away). I explain our regime below and this works well. I seemed to find the color change was due to them aging fairly quickly whether refrigerated or at room temperature. Why I don't know.

Trust this helps.


franmc's picture


Thank you for the tip.  I will try your suggestion on freezing them.  I will also give your tip on omitting the baking soda in the next batch.


Bastet's picture

Using kjknits recipe, I made sourdough English Muffins with mt 'throw away' sourdough starter, and they were awesome! My first time, and worth a repeat. They really puff up -- so need to roll them a bit thinner, about 1.2' maybe. Thank you. - Bastet