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Monday, March 7, 2011

Sourdough English Muffins

Another recipe found online and modified. I found the original recipe on the Sourdough Home web site and then I modified it somewhat to use whole wheat. If you don't have whole wheat, you can just use all bread flour, and they will still be delicious. John says they are the best he has ever tasted, even better than store bought Bays or Thomas!

Sponge Ingredients:
3/4 cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups milk, skim
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal

The Night Before:
Prepare the sponge. Mix sour starter, honey and milk in mixing bowl until smooth. Mix the dry flours together. Add the 4 cups of flour, 2 cups at a time, and mix in until all the flour thoroughly wet. Cover with clean towel and leave at room temperature in a draft free place overnight. I let the sponge develop in the oven with the light turned on. Just be sure the oven is at room temperature when you put it in the oven. I put a dish towel in the door to prop it open because the light bulb alone can raise the temperature to close to 90° degrees and this will kill the natural bacteria sourdough needs to grow.

The Next Morning:
Make the dough. Stir down the sponge (it will have risen considerably). If it has risen too high and fallen, no problem, just stir down the rest of the way. Sprinkle a scant teaspoon of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of sea salt over the surface of the dough and work it in. Mix the 3/4 cup of white & 3/4 cup of wheat flours together. Flour your board with half of this flour mixture or more (up to 2 cups), until dough is medium stiff - enough to roll out. Once you have enough flour in (I go by feel-never too dry and always moist) and the dough longer sticks to your hands, give it a 5 minute kneading.

Get 2 baking sheets or jelly roll pans and line with waxed paper-sprinkle corn meal over both.

Flour board again and lightly roll dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Take a 3 inch round cutter (a bit larger diameter, different shapes, OK) and cut as many rounds as you can-rolling the left over dough out and cutting more until all the dough is used. Try to keep them very uniform in thickness and diameter. As you cut each round, place on cornmeal wax paper-don't allow raw muffins to touch--they will stick. When all rounds are cut, sprinkle corn meal over tops
of muffins.

Allow to rise in warm place, covered, for about an hour or until risen again (I have left them to rise for as much as 3 hours. The time really depends on your environment). Again, I let them rise in a cool oven, with the light turned on and a dish towel wedged in the door to prop it open and prevent anyone from closing it. Remember, just the light bulb can raise the temperature to close to 90° degrees, much too warm for the final rise.

Now the FUN part!
Preheat a griddle (I used a non stick electric griddle, or skillet, with the temperature set to just under 300° with a TINY bit of butter, until butter sizzles. Use a low flame or heat setting so the inside of the muffin bakes and outside does not burn. Pan bake one side for about 4-5 minutes and turn. Squish down a bit with spatula and pan bake other side for about 4-5 minutes. Turn only once so be sure the one side is cooked before turning. While you can skip the butter if you have a non-stick skillet, they won't taste as good without it! If you want bigger holes and crevices in the muffins, let them rise a bit longer (2 or 3 hours).

Yield: 24 Muffins
1 Muffin
Per Serving: 131 Calories; 1g Fat (4.3% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; trace Cholesterol; 221mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Originally posted 3/07/09

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