Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sourdough Honey Wheat English Muffins

Making your own English muffins is definitely worth pursuing. The last batch I made was from a quick starter made with dried yeast. It was good but I wanted something more "authentic." Since then I've been experimenting with different sourdough starters. This current batch I purchased from Breadtopia in a dry form and reconstituted. I'm pretty happy with it. These English muffins are such an improvement from the store bought. They are fresher, haven't been frozen, and there are no preservatives and chemicals. And they're great fun to make. This recipe makes 8-10 English muffins.

The night before you plan to make the English muffins, you need to mix some sourdough starter, flour and water and let it sit for about 8 hours. It's quite exciting because it will ferment and you can actually observe the bubbling.

All bubbly after sitting for 8 hours.
Mix with more flour, roll out, cut into circles, dust and let rise.

Cook in your favorite skillet. Easy peasy!
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water
2 TB honey* or other liquid sweetener
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
fine yellow cornmeal, for dusting

Combine starter with whole wheat flour, sweetener and 1/2 cup warm water. Cover loosely and let sit overnight.

The next day, stir together 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. Stir this mixture into the starter mix. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix until dough is no longer sticky. I had to knead at this point.

Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut out 8-10 muffins with 3 to 4 inch cutter. I like to place the cut muffins onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and a dusting of cornmeal. Cover the muffins and let sit for about an hour until slightly puffy.

Heat up cast iron pan on high heat. Reduce heat to about medium and cook 2-3 muffins until lightly browned, about 3 minutes or so. Turn over and cook the other side until browned. You can insert a instant thermometer to see that it reads at least 198 degrees to be sure it's done cooking. Don't let them get too brown or you won't be able to toast them without burning them.


Note: I used honey. It's not vegan. Feel free to substitute with maple or brown rice syrup. Personally, I don't have a problem using honey. I worry more about honey bee colony collapse disorder than I do with the exploitation of bees. I promise to give it more thought after I've burned through all the honey I have on hand.

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