Sourdough English Muffins

I’m not very good at things that require sustained attention, and maintaining a sourdough culture is one of them. I’ve tried ones from CarlBreadtopia, and Paula, and even making my own. They would languish in the back of the fridge, and I couldn’t get the hang of baking with them. I can, however, be persistent. Inspired by Wild Yeast and my attempt at sourdough bagels, I was willing to give sourdough cultures another go.

I had sourdough English muffins in mind, and ordered a fresh culture along with some muffin rings. The culture didn’t have very far to travel by mail, and took to being fed with impressive vigor.

You know when the recipe says, “Resist the urge to add more flour,” that sticky dough is ahead. Did I already mention that I’m not very good at following directions? I couldn’t resist, but promise to add less flour next time.

I also can’t leave well enough alone. Rather than cooking these muffins on a griddle, I  wanted to try baking them, which meant cobbling together two different recipes — the dough from Wild Yeast, and baking instructions from King Arthur. It wasn’t optimal, but curiosity got the best of me. It was convenient to bake all of them in one go, but produce a closer crumb than when cooked on a griddle. There was room for improvement on my part, however, the results were certainly nicer than store bought.

Note: Many thanks to YeastSpotting for including my sourdough bagels in their weekly showcase!

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13 Responses to Sourdough English Muffins

  1. becky3086 says:

    These look great! I love the rings to put them in. I have never tried baking mine but I think yours look fine.
    I, too, am real bad about letting my starter die in the frig.

  2. I must admit I’m not very good too at keeping a ‘monster’ as a sourdough culture is known locally here going…

    I once was privileged to given a ‘monster’ that went back 75 years…it last just two months with me…

    • leduesorelle says:

      In Italy, they referred to it as “la madre,” or the mother, but I’ve never heard of calling it a “monster.” I could make a wild guess, but do you know where that comes from? I feel terribly guilty when a starter that someone has given me fails to thrive…

      • I think it comes from the bakers saying you need to regularly feed your ‘monster’ in order for it to grow…Monsters need to grow after all…

        The top traditional artisan bakers actually freeze a sample which is profiled and stored by someone independent to them and have it insured just in case they themselves lose their ‘monster’…

  3. Liz says:

    They look lovely, the photos are great.

  4. Amber says:

    Yum…my goal next winter is baking breads. Have you started your seeds indoors yet? Can’t wait to see all the spring gardens of the bloggers out there! Got my Brindisina and Galatina Chicory in the mail and I am so excited to see how this new little experiment works. I have a link on my blog (and there are tons on youtube) of Italians preparing it. Thanks again for confirming which varieties to get :)

    • leduesorelle says:

      We’ll start seeds this weekend, which is early for us. Last frost date here is May 20th, but we make up for it in fall. I’ll check out your links, and look forward to seeing the results of your planting!

  5. Randy Larson says:

    Rather snazzy muffins you have there, very nice product. I should get a set of those rings. They are tempting. You bake out Nancy Silverton’s book (I think). Have you tried her muffins? I love that book.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Hey Randy, I’ve been using Silverton’s book after seeing your bagels! I’d like to try her English muffin recipe, but after my experience with her bagel one, I’m afraid that her proportions will be too much for my mixer and am intimidated by baker’s math. I think it better to forgo the rings than use tuna cans, since most of them contain BPA in their lining. What else have you tried from her book that you’ve liked?

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