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Sourdough English Muffins

by Lenny Sloan


So you have to refresh your sourdough starter (sponge) but don’t want to toss the extra sponge. Make English muffins with the extra sponge. They are quick, easy, and tasty too!
• 12 Servings
• Prep: 15 min. + standing Cook: 20 min.
• 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup water
• ½ to 1 cup Sourdough Starter (active sponge)
• ¼ cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar (optional; add with soda and salt)
• ¼ cup cornmeal, divided
• Butter, jam or honey


Refresh your starter as in the first step. Reserve your starter and use the rest for muffins.
• In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, water and Sourdough Starter. Cover and let stand overnight (10-12 hours) to form sourdough sponge. Reserve fresh starter (sponge).
• Combine the milk powder, baking soda, salt and 1/2 cup flour. Add to the remaining sourdough sponge and mix well. Turn onto a floured surface; knead only until smooth and no longer sticky, about 2-3 minutes, adding more flour if needed.
• Flour generously and roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter or beverage glass and place on parchment sprinkled with 2 tablespoons cornmeal. Sprinkle cornmeal over muffin tops. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
• Cook muffins as you cook a pancake; in a lightly greased griddle or electric skillet, cook muffins at 275° for 7-8 minutes. Turn and cook 5-7 minutes longer or until golden brown. A lower heat makes for a better tasting muffin as they can easily burn.
• Great toasted! Yield: 1 dozen.


This is basically what I would do with the extra sponge when I had to freshen the starter but still had sourdough waffles in the freezer. English muffins are easy and quick. In the morning or evening, after 10-12 hours incubation, I'd reserve the starter from the sponge, make the dough with the rest of the sponge, roll and cut i he dough, and then get cleaned up while they rise 45-60 minutes. Then I would cook them in several stainless steel frying pans while I cooked breakfast or dinner. It proved to be a good use of time and sponge.

The real trick is to keep from adding too much flour. The dough should be almost sticky. The muffins are cooked until they lose their sheen about half-way up the side, same as a pancake loses its sheen on the edges when it is ready to flip. The more you knead, the denser the muffin and the "nooks and crannies" will be smaller too. Too little kneading and you can create some large voids (some people like this and consider voids an attribute).

Bobby Flay showed how to place a fresh corn tortilla onto a griddle without it tearing, folding, etc. I use the same technique with the muffins. I flour my hands, gently retrieve a round of dough in one hand (finger area and not palm area) and place it in the pan keeping my palm facing up, tilting my hand to touch the dough by my pinky onto the pan/griddle, and rolling my hand out from underneath; I don't flip the dough over.

Please let me know how you like them. It's ironic that this makes a very fat-free bread that we all enjoy only when loaded up with fat (butter/cream cheese).

Kindest regards,

Lenny Sloan