It’s cold out there, and we’re enjoying hanging out in the warm kitchen and baking up some delicious sourdough english muffins. The great thing about these is their crunchy cornmeal crust, the sourdough flavor, the high rise they get, the… oh who are we kidding, there’s nothing we don’t love about these! My favorite thing about them is that I made them after the holidays, so there’s no house guests to hog them all 🙂
They are easy and fast too. Let’s get started! These came from one of those old Church cookbooks our mothers or grandmothers probably have on the cookbook shelf:
The night before you want to mix together some of your sourdough starter milk, and flour. Set this in your oven with the oven light on. Yep, that’s right. It’s a perfect place to keep your doughs and starters at an excellent temperature for fermenting and rising — especially when the house is a little chillier then usual.
Then the next day (whenever you are ready to finish these, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning) add a little more flour, salt, sugar and baking soda to your sourdough mixture.
Cutting these into rounds and shaping them is fun, just cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Put them on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, and then add an extra sprinkle of cornmeal all over the dough balls (that’s how they get the cornmeal CRUNCH!) After 30 minutes, they are ready to cook in a skillet.
And that’s it! Just in time for tea and marmalade.
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter (see our sourdough post if you don't have a starter yet)
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Cornmeal for dusting
- Organic vegetable shortening or canola oil
- The night before, mix the sourdough starter in a medium bowl with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place or in the oven with the oven light on.
- The next morning, uncover and mix with 1 cup flour, salt, sugar and baking soda with a wooden spoon. It may seem a little dry, but kneading usually improves the texture.
- Knead the dough on the counter until smooth and elastic, adding a little flour if necessary to keep if from sticking too much. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and form into balls (flatten the balls slightly to make them more biscuit shaped.
- Generously sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Place the rounds on the baking sheet with about an inch and a half space between them. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of the rounds as well.
- Let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan to 300 degrees, or medium low. Put one tablespoon of shortening or butter in the pan to coat. Bake the rounds in the skillet with a lid slightly ajar for 8-15 minutes on each side, depending on how fast they brown.
- Serve immediately or let cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge for up to one month.
- These turn out taller and thicker then store bought english muffins, so in some cases the outsides may brown faster then the inside can cook. In that case, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet.
- Butter can make the cornmeal taste like buttered popcorn, which isn't ideal in this case. Shortening or a neutral tasting fat works best for cooking these.