Sourdough English Muffins

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Hi Melissa, thanks for the EM recipe; I’ve been betimes successful with other recipes similar to this one. Will certainly give it a try. My most reliable SD starter is milk based, can you comment on the virtues / pitfalls of milk- vs. water-based starters? I’ll be using a milk-based starter for this next trial. Thanks. DVH

Interesting - there is always something new for me to learn in the bread world!

Kefir milk is a fermented product with lactobacillus etc. But you’re referring to regular milk, right?

Regular milk gets used in bread recipes to make the crumb more tender, but I don’t know if it acts the same way when it’s been in a starter.

Some recipes call for scalding any milk in the ingredient list as that deactivates an enzyme that inhibits yeast growth…however, with pasteurization, this is supposedly already deactivated. At least according to about half the internet. That’s why this recipe doesn’t have super hot milk that has to cool.

Still, I haven’t answered your question. I’ll do some reading and get back to you if I find anything!

Hi, thanks for your reply. I will be making some of these today / tomorrow and will get back to you with experimental results. Best. Don

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Dough is prepped and resting, will proof overnight in the fridge for baking early tomorrow AM. Recipe went together without any issues, I’m using ap / ww flour, no kamut here and no time for mail-order either. More anon…

Exciting! I hope they turn out great, and that you have your favorite butter and jam ready :slight_smile:

Question: I love sourdough but not a wheat bread fan… can you not just use only all-purpose flour with sourdough starter? Thanks!

Hi Melissa,

SUCCESS!! I’ve been working on SD EMs for the past couple of years, using various recipes – and with only limited success. These were successful right out of the starting blocks; so thanks for an excellent recipe. I’m not home for TG, so used what was available; AP white flour (Western Family) and whole wheat (Wheat Montana) with your recipe exactly. Result was 1,024 g of finished dough, so 12 x 85 g muffins. No rings so they didn’t bake up flat, but the nooks and crannies were all present and accounted for, and the taste was excellent. Result; the milk-fed SD starter works just fine, and so does the recipe. My only quibble is with the quantities. For those given, the calculated final weight is 1,025 g; for 12 x 100g, obviously, 1,200 g is the desired final weight. I can provide a spreadsheet with the numbers if you have a pm capability. Thanks, so much. Don

Yes, absolutely! It’s possible that you could drop the water by a tiny bit because the lack of bran in white flour but I don’t think I’d bother for either the oven or skillet versions. The difference in dough feel when shaping the muffins in the oven version would be pretty neglible and you can flour your counter extra if needed.

I’m so glad you got lots of nooks and crannies, and that the recipe turned out well!

In the blog, I noted that the recipe makes 10 muffins of ~100g (or 8 of 125g). There are a few grams extra for good luck :wink: and messy scraping. Let me know if somewhere I said 12 muffins. I’m glad you were able to do 12 at 85 grams as that’s still a good sized muffin, and I guess the cook time worked okay or did you shorten it a bit?

My bad, I had a dozen on my mind, and didn’t check back on the blog. I checked temp and time, both came out OK. I’m looking forward to being at home with my rings and will send pictures when I have them. Thanks, again.

D

Good to know a dozen at 85g works well!

Thanks for the recipe! Not having any kamut easily available I used farro, and the results were quite good. I had some trouble with the muffins sticking to the pan, which I attribute to too much wheat flour and not enough cornmeal. Next time I plan to reduce the honey a bit, and try with other grains. I didn’t use rings and don’t feel the muffins suffered unduly.

More sourdough specialty bread recipes would be most welcome!

Cheers,

Ken

Glad you had a good experience with the recipe!

Different pans have different susceptibility to stickiness so it may just have been the particular cookie sheet or skillet pan, but I agree more cornmeal should help. :slight_smile:

Thanks, @Fermentada for this recipe. I’ve now tried it once, and I plan to do so again. Since I don’t have any kamut, I used freshly milled spelt in the flour blend, as the instructions suggest.

While the final result was good (we had some killer breakfast sandwiches), I was surprised at how the fermented dough was nearly unmanageable. I’m fairly certain that the bulk fermentation and final proofing happened between 72–74F, which I’m guessing is a decent temperature for this kind of dough. It was my very first time making an enriched dough, so I’m wondering whether I should have put the dough into the fridge for a bit after the final proofing, just to firm up the butter? When I was trying to shape the individual muffins, the dough was weak: It wouldn’t hold together well. But in your video, it looks like the dough is pretty easy to handle: It seems to fold well, etc.

If you know of any tricks, or if you’ve experienced something similar with comparable doughs, I’d be very interested to hear.

Thanks!
Phillip

I’m glad the final product worked out well. Since you speak of shaping the muffins, I’m assuming you were doing the oven version – just to confirm because the skillet version hydration is certainly unmanageable for anything but scooping with a large spoon or measuring cup.

Assuming you’re referring to the oven version where you shape the patties, I’m guessing either your flour absorbed less water than mine, or you took the bulk fermentation much further than I did. Interestingly, your experience is in sync with the Cultures for Health recipe I worked off of. It had more flour for the same amount of liquid AND had scooping the batter. At those ratios, I had a quite dry dough that could never have been scooped, but it sounds like you might have been fine. (I tend to have a wetter, not dryer, starter than most, so that wasn’t the issue.)

As for using the fridge - always a good resource! I didn’t bulk in the fridge, but once shaped, I proofed in the fridge to buy myself time.

I guess next time try less liquid and/or a shorter bulk fermentation. I’d love to hear how it goes! For reference, when mixing the dough of the oven version, it was sticky and messy – not low enough hydration for kneading on the counter traditional style.

I am looking forward to making this recipe. I wanted to find out, however, what is meant by “…ripe…” and “…floating…” when describing the sourdough starter.

Ripe means that the starter has grown to about it’s maximum expansion with gas (before deflating) and floating literally means a bit of it floats in a cup of water. Aerated starter floats, which is a pretty good sign of active fermentation.

These blog posts might be a good place to start to learn more about starter management and concepts.

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for answering my questions about “ripe” and “floating”. I have a nice whole wheat starter that is active and healthy, at 100% hydration, which should be perfect for this recipe. Also thank you for sharing the two blog posts. I’m always happy to learn more about starters and improving my bakes.
Steve