Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sourdough English Muffins

Are you ready to bake delicious english muffins at home? I found a great recipe for doing just that at Recipes For the Future. Join me in making these tasty breakfast treats from scratch with your sourdough starter.

The first step is to make sure that you starter is fed.  (This means adding flour and water and bringing it to room temperature.)  Then mix up the dough as follows:
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water (if your water doesn't taste good to drink out of the tap, consider using bottled water)
Stir it up well, cover with cling wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight (about 7 to 10 hours).  In the morning, add
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • Up to 3/4 cup additional AP flour (add gradually as shown below)

Add the flour a couple tablespoons at a time, just until the dough has lost its stickiness.  We still want it to be nice and moist.

After stirring the flour in, you are ready to roll!

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  You are aiming for a thickness of about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.

If you don't have a biscuit cutter, don't worry about it.  Just choose a glass from your cupboard and go with it.  I opted for "cute" size this time, but next time will use a glass with a bigger rim (ideally 3 inches in diameter) so they are the right size for the toaster.  Live and learn, eh?  Oh yeah - and dip the rim of the glass in flour before cutting out the circles, so it won't stick.

(My dad asked why I couldn't use a cookie cutter for this step.  And you could.  But don't blame me if your family laughs when you serve breakfast bread in the shape of a gingerbread man or Valentine's heart.)

Keep cutting.  This step is fun, I think.  I've never made biscuits before - so I was really eating this up.  I even made Bryan get up from the computer and come see how much fun I was having.  When you can't cut out anymore, gob the dough together again, roll it out and repeat until there is no more dough left.

In the background you can see that I am placing the cut-outs on cookie trays.  What you can't see is that they have been generously covered in cornmeal.  This is an important step - not only to make sure they don't stick, but so that your muffins turn out looking like the ones you get at the store.  As my husband would say, the cornmeal "is a feature".

Sprinkle the cornmeal on the tops of the little guys, too.  Don't be shy here!  Keep on shaking till you're satisfied.  Then cover them up with a clean, non-terry cloth towel.  You are going to let them nap for about 45 minutes.

Here is a disappointing close-up of the dough after its little nap.  I couldn't really see if anything was happening.  You might not be able to either.  Resist the urge to send me hate-mail.  Continue on to the next step.

Heat up your non-stick skillet (or slap a smidge of butter in there if you are using the sticky kind) and start putting your little rounds in there.  But be careful!  Treat these like they are pancakes at this point.  If they touch (like a few of mine did) they are going to stick and it will be hard to dislodge them from one another.  (See the two in the middle of the pan?  Nuff said.)

Also, when I say you treat 'em like pancakes, that is also how you will know when to flip them.  Cause you're only flippin' these little boogers once.  While cooking the first side, wait till you can see bubbles on the top and then you know it's time to flip them over.  Then the time it takes to cook the second side will be slightly less than what it took for the first side.  Ballpark figure?  Probably  4 or 5 minutes for the first side on medium heat, and then maybe 3 minutes on the second side.  But really, wait for bubbles on the first side and then check the bottom side for when it is nice and brown.

Now transfer these to a cooling rack and let them cool (or the inside will be doughy).  Give them about 10 minutes, maybe.  Cut them open with a serrated knife and rejoice in those big beautiful holes. 

While they are still warm, spread a bit of butter on them - or slather them up with homemade jam.  (Thanks again, Leslie for the strawberry jam!)



Leslie said...

They look so good! You've been a busy little baker - wonderful instructions too.

Mer said...

Thanks! I've been having fun, that's for sure.

They wouldn't look half as good without your delicious homemade jam on top, though! :0)

Not Exactly Bento said...

I read your blog alot. These look just delicious. I might have to make an attempt at baking. Thanks for sharing the step-by-step photos too. Makes things easier for a non-cook like me!

Mer said...

Not Exactly Bento - Thanks for commenting! I know I appreciate step-by-step photos on other websites, so now I am trying to do more of that.

I am still just learning my way around the kitchen, so I like to see what it is supposed to look like at each step. Then if I need to adjust something, I can. I have a hard time with recipes that just tell you the steps, because I won't know if something's gone wrong until the end! :0P

Andrea said...

In case no one has mentioned it lately, you're terribly impressive!

Good job. They look delicious.

Mer said...

Aww... thanks, Andrea. :0)

Antonio said...

How am I suppose to lose weight when you constantly post things like this

Eicher said...

These are fantastic. I quadrupled the recipe and gave some away. It was difficult but I made huge points with the neighbors and my family. I let the dough sit in the fridge overnight after the first step. This helps bring out the sourdough qualities. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!

Mer said...

Glad you enjoyed the recipe, Eicher. :)

Christine said...

My boss gave me your recipe to try. They are delish!!!!