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Sourdough English Muffins

Got a lot of sourdough starter? Make these Sourdough English Muffins! They're pretty easy to make (as far as sourdough and bread baking goes) and have that delicious tang that you love about sourdough. Best of all—they cook in less than 10 minutes, so you can start them the night before and cook them quickly when it's time for breakfast.

This recipe has just 6 ingredients! I'll show you how to make sourdough English muffins with simple, step-by-step instructions with pictures. I'll also teach you how to make English muffins from sourdough discard, if you prefer to use discard instead of active starter.

Sourdough English muffins sliced in half to show texture
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Why make sourdough English muffins

  • They're more delicious than store-bought English muffins. It's true—if you like sourdough, try them!
  • No preservatives, just 6 simple ingredients.
  • Bragging rights. Isn't that why most people get started with sourdough?
  • It is SO easy to cook English muffins: they cook in a pan like pancakes (they're not baked!).
Sourdough English muffins on a cutting board with sourdough starter jar in the background

Easy sourdough recipe

This is a pretty easy sourdough recipe because it does not require any fancy folding to build gluten strength—just kneading with a stand mixer or by hand will do. It also doesn't require baking or a crazy long fermentation time.

All you need to get started is active and bubbly sourdough starter (one that was fed approximately 8-12 hours ago and has doubled in size and is nice and bubbly). If you're starting your sourdough journey from scratch and need step-by-step instructions, read this Sourdough 101 post and make sure to get started about 10 days before you plan to make your first sourdough creation.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup active sourdough starter (make sure it's active and bubbly! See notes below if you want to use sourdough discard)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer whole milk for a slightly richer flavor, but low-fat or skim will work too)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the surface you're working on
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup cornmeal (this is for coating the outside of the English muffins before they cook to give them that classic cornmeal texture on the outside, and to help prevent sticking to the pan. If you prefer not to use cornmeal, semolina is a better alternative than all-purpose flour.)
Ingredients to make sourdough English muffins

More homemade bread recipes to try: Classic Baguette

Equipment

More from-scratch recipes: Flour Tortillas

How to make sourdough English muffins

Here's the game plan for making sourdough English muffins:

→ You'll mix the dough together the dough the night before. You'll need about 10 minutes of work and an hour for the dough to rest.

→ The dough will ferment overnight to develop that delicious familiar tangy sour flavor we love in sourdough.

→ In the morning, you'll cut and shape the dough, let the uncooked muffins rest for 15 minutes, and then cook them in a pan on the stove. Enjoy!

Step by step instructions with pictures

In a large bowl, gently stir together the sourdough starter, sugar, and milk. Add the flour and salt and mix until you get a sticky dough. Try not to add too much extra flour, let the dough be a little sticky. Cover and let the mixture rest for 30-60 minutes, until it looks "settled" and smooth. 

Sourdough dough in a bowl

Knead the dough for 5 minutes using a stand mixer with a dough hook on the lowest speed. Or knead by hand on a floured surface.

Grease a large bowl (spray or brush with oil), transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic kitchen wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 8-12 hours. This is the fermentation stage that develops the sour flavor and makes sourdough bread a healthier option than plain white bread! The longer the fermentation, the stronger the flavor will be.

Sourdough dough in a bowl

After fermentation, form the dough into a smooth ball on a floured surface.

Ball of fermented sourdough

Cut the dough into 10 equal parts.

Cut sourdough into 10 pieces

Roll each portion into a ball and slightly flatten to make an English muffin shape.

Shaped sour dough into small English muffins

Coat each side of the dough balls in cornmeal and set aside for 15 minutes to rest.

Coating English muffin dough in cornmeal

Preheat a non-stick skillet over low heat. Arrange muffins in the skillet, with about 2 inches of space between each one. Cover and cook the first side for 4 minutes (after 2-3 minutes, check that the bottom is not burning). Flip the muffins and continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes over medium heat.

Cooking English muffins in a skillet

Let the muffin cool for a couple of minutes, slice in half, toast (if you like that crisp crust) and enjoy!

Ham egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a sourdough English muffin

How to serve sourdough English muffins

These English muffins can be used just like you would use a "normal" English muffin. When they're fresh an warm, it's your choice whether you want to toast them. Once they've cooled, I definitely recommend toasting them after slicing. Some ideas for serving:

  • With cream cheese and a few slices of homemade lox.
  • Buttered with some blackberry vanilla jam.
  • Peanut butter and jelly.
  • Make a breakfast sandwich with ham, egg, and cheese (or sausage, or bacon... yum).
  • Go fancy with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
  • Make mini pizzas with pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and any toppings you like.
  • Use it in place of a bun for a burger or a pulled pork sandwich.
English muffin with peanut butter and jelly spread on it

Sourdough discard English muffins

If you want to use sourdough discard, you have a few options:

  1. Combine ½ cup discard with 1 cup water and 2 cups flour. Let it sit for at least 8 hours (start this in the morning if you want to make the English muffins the next morning). This will activate your starter and you can proceed with the rest of the recipe, but do NOT add milk, and only add the remaining 1 cup flour when it's time to make the dough. 
  2. If your discard is from a very live, active, bubbly starter, you can use it following the recipe as is. It should activate and be happy in the dough with the sugar and long fermentation. You might need to ferment longer or ferment a little in a warmer spot to help it along.
  3. If your discard is from a newer sourdough starter that does not double in size regularly, add ½ teaspoon of instant yeast. 

Recipe tips

→ Just like all bread recipes, you might need to adjust how much flour you need based on the humidity, your flour, and exactly how much liquid your starter has.

→ The longer the fermentation the stronger the sourdough flavor will be. You can let it go longer than 12 hours—up to 24 hours. For a less pronounce sourdough flavor, let it ferment for less than 8 hours in a warm sunny spot.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Sourdough discard English muffins cut in half to show texture
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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough English Muffins are one of the easier sourdough recipes you can make. Once the dough is ready, they cook quickly on the stovetop in under 10 minutes! Be sure to read the blog post for recipe tips and instructions for using sourdough discard instead of active sourdough starter.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Resting and fermentation time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 30 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 10 English muffins
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • ½ cup active sourdough starter - (make sure it's active and bubbly!)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk - (I prefer whole milk for a slightly richer flavor, but low-fat or skim will work too)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour - plus extra for flouring the surface you're working on
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ cup cornmeal

Special equipment

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, gently stir together the sourdough starter, sugar, and milk. Add the flour and salt and mix until you get a sticky dough. Try not to add too much extra flour, let the dough be a little sticky. Cover and let the mixture rest for 30-60 minutes, until it looks "settled" and smooth.
  • Knead the dough for 5 minutes using a stand mixer with a dough hook on the lowest speed. Or knead by hand on a floured surface.
  • Grease a large bowl (spray or brush with oil), transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 8-12 hours. The longer the fermentation, the stronger the flavor will be.
  • After fermentation, form the dough into a smooth ball on a floured surface.
  • Cut the dough into 10 equal parts.
    Cut sourdough into 10 pieces
  • Roll each portion into a ball and slightly flatten to make an English muffin shape. Coat each side of the dough balls in cornmeal and set aside for 15 minutes to rest.
    Coating English muffin dough in cornmeal
  • Preheat a non-stick skillet over low heat. Arrange muffins in the skillet, with about 2 inches of space between each one. Cover and cook the first side for 4 minutes (after 2-3 minutes, check that the bottom is not burning). Flip the muffins and continue cooking for an additional 4 minutes.
    Cooking English muffins in a skillet
  • Let the muffin cool for a couple of minutes, slice in half, toast (if you like that crisp crust) and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal (9%) | Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 1g (2%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 3mg (1%) | Sodium: 243mg (10%) | Potassium: 89mg (3%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 2g (2%) | Vitamin A: 40IU (1%) | Calcium: 37mg (4%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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