When I moved to England from Canada I was amazed to learn that English muffins were not English at all. Who invented them? Are they just called “muffins” in England and, if they are, how do people know when they are ordering an English muffin or a Canadian muffin?
Even after living 25 years in England, I have not sorted this out so if you know the answer, do let me know. Deep in the throws of the UK edition of Home Made Sourdough, I baked these sourdough English muffins. They are really, really, really good. Trust me on that.
65 g wheat sourdough starter from the vat in the fridge
515 white wheat or spelt flour
65 g water
175 g milk
9 g salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
makes 6 large muffins
Measure the sourdough starter into a large bowl and return any remaining starter to the refrigerator. If you need more information on making and using sourdough starters, click here.
Add 65 g of the white wheat or spelt flour and 65 g of the water. Stir and cover with cling film, and leave on the counter for around 8 hours.
Add the remaining ingredients except the bicarbonate and knead well for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a shower hat and leave on the counter for 4 hours.
Scrape the dough out onto a floury surface and sprinkle over the bicarb. Do this through a sieve as it has a tendency to ball up and you really want it well distributed.
Gently knead the dough just to incorporate the bicarb and then pat the dough into a disc about 2.5 cm thick. Scatter some coarse corn meal or semolina on the counter and place the dough on top. Flour the top with normal flour just to prevent the cutter from sticking.
Using an 8 cm (or so) cutter with straight sides, cut out the muffins and flip them over on to a baking tray that you have lined with corn meal or semolina. Cover them with plastic and let them rest for 2-3 hours or until they pass the probe test.
Heat a frying pan to medium high and place the muffins in. Cook them for 8 minutes on one side and then flip them and cook them for 8 minutes on the other side.
This is a time when a probe thermometer comes in handy to see whether they are cooked.
Let them cool completely on a wire rack.
Interested to try more? Scroll back to see other recipes from the new, UK edition of Home Made Sourdough. Book a bread baking class if you would like some expert tuition – it’s super fun and you will be baking like a pro in no time.