A great way to make some bread if you don’t have access to an oven, given these are cooked on the stove top.
Invented by a British expat who had moved to New York in the 1800’s, in his quest to find something more elegant than toast.
Samuel Bath Thomas moved to the US from Plymouth in England, where he opened a bakery.
This recipe was his variation on the British crumpet.
The english muffin is cooked on both sides making it toasted on the outside and soft and full of holes on the inside.
There is nothing quite like making your own breakfast breads in the morning.
Something I enjoy about cooking is its ability to continuously teach me new techniques.
It is so interesting to witness how others have innovated different kinds of foods, and this sourdough bread is no different.
This encourages me on my own quest to innovate, and fuse different foods from different cultures, and countries.
What are Sourdough English Muffins?
The English muffin is not actually a muffin, but more like a crumpet.
And what are crumpets?
Cooked on one side the crumpet has lots of holes on the top that allows for butter to permeate the dough.
That way you can get more butter than you would say on a regular piece of toast.
An English Muffin is cooked on both sides on a griddle creating the holes in the middle of the muffin.
When cut in half, you essentially have two pieces of bread with lots of room for your butter.
Almost like having two crumpets to enjoy.
Referring to it as an English muffin differentiates it from a traditional American muffin, which is something else entirely.
Are English Muffins and Crumpets the Same Thing?
The short answer is no, and truthfully that’s probably the long answer too in this case!
Crumpets have a softer and gentler taste and crumb, whereas the English muffin has more rough texture like bread.
Crumpets are made from more of a battery consistency, and English muffins are made more from a dough.
The crumpets are cooked on one side which is toasted while the other side consists of a lot of holes for butter and jam.
This English muffin recipe is cooked and toasted on both sides with the lovely holes caught in the middle.
Also, even though the crumpets have fewer calories than the English muffin, the muffin is better for you.
The English muffin has less fat, and cholesterol than the crumpet.
How to Make Sourdough English Muffins
Starting the night before you want to eat the muffins, you will form a smooth batter using a sourdough starter.
Cover with plastic wrap, and place at room temperature in a warm part of your kitchen, letting the active starter do its magic.
This will then be allowed to sit overnight or longer, in a large bowl allowing it to develop the deep flavor that you are looking for.
This process is not too dissimilar to making a sponge when making certain kinds of breads.
You will find that after this step you will have more of a dough than a batter.
Once you have a dough you will roll it out, on a lightly floured work surface, to your desired thickness.
Using a circular dough or biscuit cutter, cut out the rounds that will become the muffins.
Place the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet for a little rising time; give them a good 60 minutes.
Using a lightly greased cast iron skillet on the stovetop, bake the muffins on one side then the other until golden brown.
Cook muffins for 4 to 5 minutes per side in the frying pan.
You may need to cover the pan to ensure your english muffins are cooked all the way through.
What to Eat Them With
They can even be made into mini sandwiches.
Cut in half, and toasted these muffins are lovely.
With all the ‘nooks and crannies’ (thanks to the baking soda) on the inside there is so much to get crunchy in the toaster.
It’s almost like the surface area is larger because of all the holes that make a home for the butter and jam.
After toasting the english muffin, also try melting cheese over the top, delicious!
I have found that these muffins are a great base for mini pizzas.
These are lovely appetizers and can even be served as little finger foods at parties when cut into smaller pieces.
How Long Do They Keep?
These English muffins will keep well for two days in an airtight container on the countertop.
Or for up to a week in the fridge, and then in the freezer for up to six months.
I like to slice mine in half and place them in freezer bags, then freeze them.
Slicing the muffins in half makes it easier to defrost them in the toaster when you are ready to eat them.
Sourdough English Muffins Recipe
- Add enough flour to make a dough that is somewhat sticky but does not stick to your hands.
- Allow the dough to rise.
- Roll out the dough to about a half inch thickness. Using a circular dough cutter cut out muffins.
- Place on a parchment covered tray. Allow to rise for an hour.
- Cook each side of the muffin in a buttered cast iron skillet on a low heat. 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- You may need to cover the pan to ensure the muffin cooks all the way through.