Sourdough English Muffins

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Yield: 2 dozen large muffins

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Who doesn't love English muffins? Homemade sourdough muffins seem even more scrumptious, and some of the taste-testers here had to admit that these crusty, chewy, tangy gems were some of the best they'd ever eaten.

Sourdough English Muffins

star rating (38) rate this recipe
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen large muffins
Published: 03/22/2013


Tips from our bakers

  • This recipe is easily halved, if you don't want to make 2 dozen muffins. Halve all of the ingredients; for a slightly faster rise, reduce the yeast to 2 teaspoons, rather than 1 1/2 teaspoons.
  • For best sourdough flavor, refrigerate the dough for 24 hours before shaping and cooking the muffins.
  • For best shape, cook muffins for about 5 minutes on their first side; then lay a cake pan, cookie sheet, or similar flat (though not overly heavy) object atop them. Continue cooking for 7 minutes or so; then remove the pan, turn muffins over, and finish cooking without the pan on top. This helps keep muffins flat across the top (rather than domed).
  • To shorten cooking time, use a lidded electric fry pan heated to 325F. Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes without the lid (or until they're nicely browned), turn them over, and add the lid. Don't set the lid on tight; leave a small opening for any steam to escape. Cook the muffins for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until their bottom sides are browned.
  • If you're having trouble getting muffins to cook all the way through on the stove top, cook until golden brown on both sides, then transfer to a preheated 350F oven and bake until the muffins' interior shows no sign of wet dough, about 10 minutes or so.


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1) Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal/semolina, in a large bowl.

2) Mix and knead — by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine — to form a smooth dough. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it's noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place it in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will develop its flavor.

4) Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it, and let it sit for a few minutes, to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll 1/2" thick, and cut in 3" rounds. Re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.

5) Alternatively, divide the dough into 24 pieces (total). Shape each piece into a round ball, then flatten each ball into a 3" round. For a somewhat more even rise as the muffins cook, flatten each ball slightly larger than 3", and trim edges with a 3" cutter (or trim all around the edge with a pair of scissors). Muffins with cut (rather than flattened) sides will rise more evenly.

6) Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be about 2 hours.

7) Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 350F, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat.

8) Cook the muffins for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190F. The edges may feel a bit soft; that's OK.

9) Remove the muffins from the griddle, and cool on a rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for 4 or 5 days; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: 2 dozen large muffins.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: one muffin Servings Per Batch: 24 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171 Calories from Fat: Total Fat: 2.3g Saturated Fat: Trans Fat: Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 270mg Total Carbohydrate: 32g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 1g Protein: 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/23/2015
  • Cooldude from KAF Community
  • Great recipe. I received my KA sourdough starter on Tuesday. I fed it 3 times and it did great...very happy and healthy started. I started these muffins on Thursday and did a bulk proof overnight. The dough proofed very nicely. I finished the recipe this morning..Friday. I tried to follow the instructions from the KA sourdough English Muffin blog exactly as written. It worked perfectly. I finished them on my large electric griddle set to about 325 degrees. I used my digital thermometer...after 10 minutes on each side they were at 192 degrees. I did use the directions and halved the recipe. They tasted great and I love the texture of the finished muffins. I tried them several ways (with strawberry cream cheese....with just butter....toasted with butter....the final way was with sliced strawberries macerated in sugar. I think my favorite is toasted with butter. This recipe with be a regular and my house. Thanks King Arthur!!!
  • star rating 03/29/2015
  • John from AZ
  • These turned out very nice. I keep a white whole wheat starter, and I used that, and added 2 1/2 C white whole wheat flour, and the 2 C water, and fermented that over night. I added the rest of the ingredients the next day. In place of the rest of the AP flour, I used self-rising flour (because that's what I had on hand), and it worked beautifully! It had nice nooks and crannies. I didn't need the citric acid becase of the whole wheat starter sponge. These were delicious!
  • star rating 03/25/2015
  • Maria from Moscow, Idaho
  • These are so so easy to make! They have all the nice air pockets for butter, and freeze really well too.
  • star rating 03/16/2015
  • Ben from Germany
  • Very nice recipe for using up extra sourdough starter. They tasted great but mine lacked the requisite nooks and crannies. Not sure why. They fermented in the fridge for 24 hours, were rolled out to a 1/2 inch, etc. I have a hunch they might have overproofed and collapsed a bit.

    Ben, if you have a particularly vigorous starter, the full 24 hour rest may have been too much for your muffins. If the dough is over-proofed, they will flatten during the baking process and lose those coveted nooks and crannies. Try reducing the cold-rise time to just 8-10 hours and when rolling out the dough, be sure to manipulate the dough gently and preserve any bubbles that have formed. Hopefully this makes your muffins more like the classic English-style muffins we all know and love. Happy sourdough baking! --Kye@KAF

  • star rating 03/04/2015
  • Dawnsyogaflow from KAF Community
  • I didn't get any nooks and crannies.... but I let the dough refrigerate for a day and a half, just didn't have time to bake them. I was a little confused about letting it rest for 24 hours, let it rise and then make balls or make the balls straight out of the fridge? I made them straight out of the fridge and then let them rise for 2 hours. Maybe I flattened them too much? They taste great though. For most pronounced sour flavor, immediately place the dough in the refrigerator. Let it chill for 24 hours; the dough will rise, and the long rest will develop its flavor.
    Here are a few tips for taking this recipe from good to outstanding! If you want a strong sourdough flavor in your muffins, allow the dough to chill in the fridge over night as one large ball of dough (also known as "bulk fermentation.") If you don't care for a strong flavor or simply don't have the time, you can allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it?s noticeably puffy (again as one large ball of dough). After this first rise, gently deflate the dough (not too much to ensure you'll get those coveted nooks and crannies) and divide it into 24 equal balls and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then ever so carefully, flatten the balls into discs and allow to rise a second time before moving them to the griddle. Happy baking! --Kye@KAF
  • star rating 02/10/2015
  • bojocq from KAF Community
  • These muffins are terrific. I had a lot of discard and so I scaled back on the flour and water a bit instead of doubling up on the recipe.The muffins came out with crunchy/chewy ends and very tender and flavorful interior. For me, it makes having starter discard and maintaining all that starter worthwhile -- never mind the sourdough bread recipes!
  • star rating 01/29/2015
  • Kristen from Canton, Ga.
  • These are fantastic! The have a delightful crumb and sourdough flavor is perfect! I purchased KAF sourdough starter last year and it is wonderful. I made these muffins as directed and allowed the dough to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. I used a 4 inch cutter to make a slightly larger muffin. I used an electric griddle and popped them in the oven for 10 minutes as suggested. I love that it makes so many because I can freeze or share them.
  • star rating 12/31/2014
  • Manda from Kansas
  • Absolutely perfect English Muffins!!! I used 4 1/2 cups of AP flour and 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat, as my husband always buys the whole wheat store muffins, and my hope was to encourage him that homemade is better. SUCCESS!!! They puffed up much larger than I expected, so next time I will cut them a bit smaller. Because of their large size I ended up putting them in the oven at 350 as suggested to firm them up, and they came out far better than I had ever hoped to imagine.
    Nice work to use some white whole wheat in this all purpose recipe, Manda. It's good to start with the small amount like you did - and you might even consider 25% to 50% white whole wheat flour in this recipe. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • 12/19/2014
  • DFloyd from Iowa
  • Perfect! I made these vegan by simply eliminating the milk and using melted coconut oil in place of the butter. I also followed the suggestion to bake for 10 min in the oven after taking them off the griddle. They look beautiful and have a wonderful flavor and texture No need to try any others!
  • star rating 12/09/2014
  • Jt from Dayton, Ohio
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