English muffins get their distinctive flat sides and open crumb because they're “baked” on the griddle instead of the oven. They're kind of like puffy pancakes made of soft dough instead of batter and taste delicious split open and topped with butter.
This recipe uses the easiest English muffin method out there. The secret is the softness of the dough. For bread dough, it contains a relatively high amount of liquid. Ordinarily, such doughs are somewhat difficult to handle, but this recipe solves that problem by using a muffin tin as a kind of proofing basket. This allows you to portion the muffins with a spoon instead of the standard tedious methods for dividing and scaling bread dough and the cups keep the wet dough from spreading too thin during the overnight refrigeration.
Once cold, the dough is much easier to work with and the combination of cold dough and high hydration generates a lot of steam inside the muffins when they hit the griddle. The steam expands all the little bubbles created by the fermentation and—voilà!—beautiful nooks and crannies. Nooks, crannies, and sourdough: what could be a better breakfast?
Even though this version of the English muffin is made with sourdough starter, these muffins have a slight sweetness due to the honey. If you would prefer a truly tangy English muffin, you may omit the honey and give the muffin dough a longer period of refrigerated fermentation, which tends to bring out the natural sourdough flavor.
- 125 grams bread flour
- 50 grams whole wheat flour
- 60 grams sourdough starter
- 120 grams milk
- 30 grams honey
- 1 egg white
- 5 grams salt
- Cornmeal (for dusting)
Gather the ingredients.
Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, sourdough starter, milk, honey, egg white, and salt to a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
Cover and ferment for 4 to 5 hours at room temperature.
Prepare a muffin pan (preferably the large pecan roll-type) by spraying six of the cups with cooking spray and dusting with cornmeal. Use a large spoon to put approximately 1/6 of the dough into each cup. Dust the dough with more of the cornmeal on top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 to 16 hours.
Heat a large griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the pan with oil.
Remove the muffin pan from the refrigerator. When the pan is hot, use a small spoon or rubber spatula to gently remove each muffin from its cup and place it in the skillet.
Griddle the muffins until well browned, maybe with a few small spots nearing black, then flip them over and repeat on the other side. Remove to a rack to cool. Serve as desired.
- These English muffins can be stored in a bag or covered container for up to a week. Frozen in a sealed container, they will keep for a lot longer, up to six months or more.