Sourdough English muffins: so versatile, so delicious (Photo: Emma Boyd)

Recipe: Sourdough English muffins

Whether savoury or sweet, plain or piled high with toppings, these English muffins will take your sourdough game to a new level.

These English muffins have become a staple in our household, where I make a batch about every fortnight that’s then frozen for use throughout the week. They’re delicious toasted with lashings of butter or piled high with a fried egg, cheese, chutney and leafy greens. They also make great burger buns so are wonderful to have on hand to pull out of the freezer when it feels like a night for burgers. Do try both the cheese and fruit variations as they are both delicious. The fruit ones would be excellent turned into bread and butter pudding.

SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS

Makes about 20 muffins

  • 2 tablespoons honey (or sugar if you don’t have honey on hand)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 200g active/bubbly sourdough starter (fed 6-12 hours before use)
  • 600g (4 cups) white flour
  • 200g (1⅓) cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For cheese muffins

  • 125g tasty cheese, grated

For spiced fruit muffins

  • 100g raisins
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Put the honey or sugar in a large bowl, pour in the milk and water and whisk to dissolve the honey/sugar. Next whisk in the starter until combined. Lastly add the flours and the salt (and other ingredients if making cheese or fruit muffins) and using clean hands, mix well inside the bowl until the dough comes together. Put the bowl inside a plastic bag (make sure it has no holes in it!) and leave overnight or until doubled in size. If the weather is cooler, I often put my dough into the (cold) oven so it’s away from any draughts.

Once the dough has doubled in size, flour a clean bench and turn the dough out onto it. Roll the dough out to 10mm thick then cut circles from the dough using a large cutter. I use my crumpet rings, which are perfect for the job.

Dust a baking tray with fine semolina or polenta and arrange the crumpets on the tray. I tend to cram them all onto one tray without leaving much space between them. Put the baking tray into a large plastic bag or cover with a plastic bag (I cut an old plastic supermarket bag in two and cover the tray with the two halves) and leave to rise for an hour or two or until doubled in height.

They can fairly quickly go from being well-proved to over-proved so do keep an eye on them. When you gently touch the crumpets you want them to give a little and then spring back. If they don’t have that springiness to them then they’ve over-proved. I have made this mistake a few times but they still come out well. Once proved, heat a little ghee or cooking oil in a frying pan and fry the crumpets in batches until golden brown on both sides. Cool on a cooling rack or eat hot with lashings of butter.



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