I adapted this recipe from a King Arthur Flour cookbook that was published in 1970. It was the first recipe that I made with the sourdough starter that my friend, Gail, was kind enough to share with me.
The starter (aka April) has been spending time happily bubbling on the counter next to the stove. As long as she’s well fed (equal amounts flour and water by weight), she willingly provided enough starter for these muffins, and the sandwich bread I made yesterday.
*1 cup sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
5 1/2 – 6 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS salt ( I used table salt instead of Kosher because of the age of the recipe)
1 tsp baking soda
cornmeal for the baking sheet
Making this the night before means you can have English Muffins for breakfast!
In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix the *starter, water, and 3 cups of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter to happily bubble and combine overnight.
In the morning, whisk the sugar, salt, baking soda, and 2 1/2 cups flour in a separate bowl.
Stir this mixture into the sponge. The mixture is pretty thick, so do the best you can. Cover with plastic wrap and let it relax for about an hour.
After about an hour, turn the dough onto a floured board. Knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll it out until it’s between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. You might want to divide the dough into two balls for ease of use.
Cut out circles between 3 and 4 inches in diameter. Place the muffins on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rest for at least 15 minutes.
Place muffins, cornmeal side down, a couple of inches apart on a lightly greased frying pan or griddle. You’ll have to do this in batches. These muffins are cooked on very low heat. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. The muffins will shrink in diameter and puff up somewhat as they are cooking. Turn the muffins over and cook for 10 more minutes on the second side.
Once the muffins have cooled, split muffins with a fork and toast them. Leftovers keep well for a day or two, and freeze well.
- To be honest, April and I were not well acquainted when I made these. She had just arrived, and I wasn’t sure how sturdy she was and how she was feeling about her new home, so I added a half teaspoon of commercial yeast to the sponge. Given the scarcity of flour these days, I didn’t want to waste it if April wasn’t up to the task.
- We’ve since bonded. Next batch, she’s on her own.