Ben Starr

The Ultimate Food Geek

Sourdough English Muffins

This is the easiest way to make sourdough English muffins that are a bit more authentic (ie, more like crumpets, which they technically are), and less like the tasteless, cardboard muffins from the grocery store.

(The “Print” feature is at the bottom of the recipe.)



Kitchen Toys

  • My favorite scale (restaurant grade, takes normal AA batteries or plug-in)
  • Brodpisker / Danish bread whisk (rapidly incorporates batter/dough without overdeveloping gluten)
  • Baking Rings (These double as ring molds and are dishwasher safe, but there are MANY varieties available on Amazon, including nonstick)
  • 2 fluid ounce capacity ice cream scoop (You can find them a few bucks cheaper, but I often find that cheaper models break. Note, this scoop is blue and is labeled #16, but it is the same capacity as the yellow scoop I use in the video.)
  • Electric griddle (slim height for conservative storage, larger cooking surface than most electrics, pricier than cheaper models but sturdier…I’ve had mine for years)
  • Cast iron griddle (pre-seasoned and ready to go, but heavy)
  • Non-contact infrared thermometer.
  • Probe thermometer (This is their CHEAP model, which takes several seconds to get a reading. You can spend more to get a faster thermometer, which is valuable for taking temps in the oven without letting out all the heat…but for stovetop applications only, isn’t necessary.)
  • Oven gloves (Way thicker but still more dexterous than the cheaper, thinner models)

Clearly, I’m an Amazon affiliate. If you buy something from these links, I’ll get a few cents. Thanks!!

The Recipe

Yields about 8 three-inch English muffins.

NOTE: This recipe makes VERY moist muffins. They are designed for storage and toasting before eating…not for eating just after cooking. Be sure you toast or griddle these before eating.

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 2oz / 57g sourdough starter (ideally at 100% hydration and does not have to be recently fed)
  • 6oz / 170g water
  • 6oz / 170g buttermilk (or ANY fermented dairy liquid, like kefir. If you only have access to thicker fermented diary, dilute 3oz / 85g yogurt/sour cream/creme fraiche/labneh, etc. with the same amount of water or milk)
  • 2 Tbsp / 1oz / 28g unsalted butter (melted)

Whisk until smooth. Then add:

  • 10oz / 283g AP flour (bread flour is also okay, but don’t sub more than 4oz whole grain flours in this recipe and expect it to turn out well)
  • 1tsp coarse salt (or 1/2 tsp fine salt) or about 0.2oz / 6g
  • 1 tsp double-acting baking powder (NOT baking soda)

Stir until the batter is mostly smooth and free of large lumps. Cover and rise at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours. Be certain the batter has at least doubled in volume before proceeding.

Preheat a griddle to 350-375F (175-190C). (A starting temp of up to 390ish is fine, as long as the griddle cools to about 350F when the batter hits it. The ideal continual cooking temp is at or just above 350F.)

Spray/butter/oil the inside of your cooking rings. Butter or oil the griddle surface. Scoop 2 fl oz / 1/4 cup batter into each three-inch baking ring, and jiggle to center the batter in the ring. Cook 4 minutes. Flip the rings carefully, and gently tap down the muffin inside the ring so that it lies flat against the cooking surface. Cook another 4 minutes. To be certain they are done, take the internal temp of the CENTER of the muffin, which should be at 195F / 90C or slightly above.

Cool fully, and ideally at least 24 hours, before opening. Open by poking a fork around the middle of the muffin. Toast (griddle in butter) before serving.

NOTE: This recipe is optimized for 3 inch rings, which are smaller than the classic Thomas English muffin, which is 4 inches. If using larger rings, increase batter amount in each ring. For thicker muffins, add more batter to each ring, but the cooking time will increase for a thicker muffin, which may necessitate a slightly lowered baking temp to accommodate the extra time on the griddle.

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