Monday, March 12, 2012

Sourdough English Muffins

Over the last 15 years I have tried several times to make sourdough with a homemade starter and have never been very successful...Recently I bought a true starter and started making sourdough this past week and had to share a recipe that I adapted from King Arthur Flour Recipes. These came out so good! A true starter really does make a difference. 

So far, last week, in the process of getting our new starter ready to use I have tried Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies, these English Muffins, some hamburger buns that we used for pulled pork, today I will be making pizza crusts for supper, tomorrow we will be trying pancakes, and hopefully on Wednesday the starter will be ready for an actual loaf of bread or two. I would have taken a picture of the cookies if they hadn't disappeared so fast, and forgot to take a picture of the buns, but they were very good, similar to Schlotzsky's. So far it has been lots of fun, I'm hoping that I can keep up with the baking.

Sourdough English Muffins
Yield: about 20 muffins
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 cups (16 ounces) warm water, 105° to 110°F
1 tsp. or less of instant yeast 
1 cup sourdough starter

Rest of Dough:
7 to 8 cups Unbleached Flour
1/4 cup melted butter or other oil
1 tablespoon salt
Cornmeal or Semolina for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in and dissolve the yeast, and then mix in the sourdough starter and 1 cup of flour. Let this sit for two hours.

Add the butter, salt, a second cup of flour, and beat well. Add 5 to 6 cups of flour, one cup at a time, to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it about 8 minutes. Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides. For less sour flavor use in 1 ½ to 2 hours; for more sour flavor let it sit overnight, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.

When ready to use your dough turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes …if it was in the refrigerator let it come up to room temperature.

 Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets, sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover a towel, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 1 hour.

Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 350°F, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium heat. Cook them for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side. Remove them from the griddle and cool on a rack.

Note: If you find you're having trouble getting the muffins to cook all the way through on a griddle, cook on both sides as directed, then finish in a 350°F oven.