1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin)
1 cup liquid (water*, milk, fermented dairy, coconut milk…I used my homemade yogurt because it was at it's end)
2 cups flour (your choice, I use white whole wheat)
add-ins like seeds, dried fruit, or chopped nuts… (optional)
1 tablespoon raw honey (or any other sweetener. Honey is best)
1 teaspoon sea salt of choice
1 teaspoon baking soda
*Note: The English muffins will turn out if you use water instead of full fat or fermented dairy and if you add more flour initially for easier kneading. However, the results will not be as soft on the outside or as tender on the inside once you’ve finished the cooking.
Place 1/2 cup sourdough starter (thick or thin) into a medium size bowl. Pour onto that the 1 cup of liquid. This is the first place where the recipe is very flexible. Your liquid could be water, milk, any fermented dairy, coconut milk… Stir to combine starter and liquid. In this photo, I chose to water down some of my homemade yogurt. If your sourdough starter is very stiff, you might need an extra 1/4 cup of liquid. I have never added extra liquid.
Stir well to combine. Along with the flour, I often add in a couple tablespoons of ground flax seeds. The soaking affects the seeds as well as the flour. So, great! Cover and let your dough sit overnight, even up to 24 hours. I soaked mine for 12 hours.
The stiffness changes every time I make this recipe. Sometimes it is more wet. It really does not matter too much. In the morning, you will be able to tell that your sourdough has been at work.
On top of your soaked dough, sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 tablespoon honey. Use a wooden spoon to push/cut/stir in your newly added ingredients. Don’t worry about incorporating it perfectly; you will be kneading it in just a moment.
This next part of the directions might feel a little strange, because you are kneading something that could be quite wet. I pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto my counter and spread it around with my hand and then rub my hands together. I then dump out my dough onto the oiled spot and knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes. The purpose of this kneading is to incorporate the honey, baking soda, and salt. Make sure it's mixed and kneaded thoroughly. It will stay pretty sticky. After this, I take a pizza cutter and separate my dough into 10 equal portions.
As you will see, the dough is quite wet. Up until this point we have not added any new flour. At this time, I do find it helpful to dust my hands with flour before I shape each muffin. You might prefer to use all-purpose flour for this dusting, or sprouted flour where the sprouting has done the work of soaking. I usually use what is on hand…white whole wheat, Whatever.
With dusted hands, pick up a portion and gently shape it into your muffin. My muffins are usually about 1 finger thick and maybe 2-1/2 inches wide. Sometimes they are nice and round. Sometimes not. Size and shape are not important here. Place your muffins on a lightly floured or cornmealed (greased might work if you want to stay away from newly added flour) sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Don't let them sit too long)
About 5 minutes before you want to griddle/skillet your muffins, set the heat to mediumish. I set my cast iron to 4, the front of my stovetop griddle to 3 1/2, and the back of the griddle to 3. Each place distributes heat differently. You will figure out what works best for your situation. You don’t want the muffins to brown too quickly because the insides need a chance to cook. I also have found that greasing my griddle with a small amount of coconut oil makes a nice slightly crispy crust. Do what you think is best here as well.
Carefully transfer the muffins onto your heat source, they will be difficult to move but do your best to reform them without collapsing them. Cook the muffins for about five minutes on each side. You can take a little peek every now and again to make sure the bottoms are not getting too brown. When it is time to flip, do this carefully. Your muffins will plump up beautifully, and you do not want to deflate them by being too rough. Cook for the second five minutes. Now, if you find that the outside edge of your muffin is not as done as you like, feel free to pop these into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. I did this because my test sample was a little bit gooey on the inside after browning nicely on the outside.
I cannot express to you with words how good these are. Whether you are eating them fresh off the griddle, toasted, warmed, or room temperature, they are bound to bring a smile. My husband savors each sandwich as if it is a dessert. Incredible!
I’m shaking my head as I type. So, so good. Enjoy your muffins topped with butter. A truly nutritious treat! They last (if you can get them to last) for at least a week. I keep mine in a sealed container on the counter. They also freeze beautifully. Definitely slice them first. And it most definitely works to double or triple the recipe.