sourdough english muffins


Some people have irrational fears of public speaking or heights or spiders. 

I love public speaking. I'm okay with heights. And since I lived as a single girl for 29 years, I got pretty good at killing spiders all by myself. 

But put me in the same room as a recipe and a package of yeast, and I start to break out in hives. 

{Not actually. I only got hives once, and that was plenty for a lifetime.}



 I have a brief history with yeast that involves loaves of bread that are tasty but flat, so when my friend Sarah gave me some sourdough starter, I figured it would only be a matter of time (read: minutes) before I somehow rendered the yeast lifeless and whatever bread I tried to make would end up as flat as crackers. 

{You can read about Adriane vs. the Yeast here. IF YOU DARE. And if you don't have a Sarah in your life and you need a recipe to get your own sourdough starter, here's one. It only requires flour, water and a countertop. And maybe some patience.} 



It turns out that sourdough starter is very forgiving. It's kind of like a chia pet: feed it and it does its thing, no babysitting required. 

It's not needy or demanding. It just sits in your fridge and, on the rare occasions you feed it too much, it blows its top and gets dough all over your fridge. 

I tell you these stories because I love you . . . and because I want you to learn from my horrible mistakes. 



Doughy fridges or not, here's the news you've been waiting for: sourdough starter helps to make great English muffins. 

Heck, I didn't even know English muffins came from any place other than Aldi. 



But within just a couple of hours of mixing the dough together, the dough was soft and puffy and the griddle was heating up. 




That's right: English muffins can be made on griddles.

{Isn't that a funny word? Griddle. Griddlegriddlegriddle.} 



This blew my mind almost as much as learning that you can bake bread in a crockpot. 

See? Now your mind is blown too. 



These are best eaten while still hot--that special moment right before the bread starts to cool off but just seconds after it's so hot it burns the roof of your mouth and it hurts to eat for the next three days. 



But I must say that even if these were to burn your mouth off, they'd be worth it. 

So . . . yeast? Still terrified of it.  

Sourdough starter? Definitely worth it. 

English muffins with my mom's homemade strawberry rhubarb jam?

Yeah. Sorry. Can't talk. My mouth is full. 



Recipe: Sourdough English Muffins

2 T sugar
2 cups warm water
1 T active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 cup sourdough starter
7 cups flour
1/2 cup dry milk (I left this out because I didn't have any, and it turned out deliciously!)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 T salt
cornmeal, for coating 

1) Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, in a large bowl.
2) Mix and knead 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) Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal, 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 350°F, 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 190°F. The edges may feel a bit soft; that's OK. If the inside is still doughy, transfer to a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 
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 . . . assuming you don't down them all in the first day. Which you just may. 
Yield: 2 dozen large muffins.




2 comments:

  1. Ha. I enjoy speaking in public, too. I don't mind working with yeast, but have yet to try sourdough starter. I think I need to get one going so I can make these english muffins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Or you can just come over for coffee and I'll toast you one. :)

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