Sourdough English Muffins

four English muffins on a plate

This recipe works well even if your starter is kind of old and not very active

Starter160 g or about 3/4–1 cup
Sugar1 tsp
Water1 cup
White flour*2 cups
White flour*1 cup or more (highly variable)
Baking soda1/2 tsp
Salt1 tsp
*White flour can be all-purpose flour, bread flour, or a mix


  • Mix the preferment ingredients 14–18 hours before mixing the dough


  • Mix baking soda and salt into preferment
  • If you have additional starter scraps (from a second feeding, totally optional), feel free to add them
  • Knead in 1 to 2 cups flour; stop adding flour as soon as dough is workable
  • Wash hands
  • Do a quick knead for 5 min; do not add too much flour! Wet dough = nooks and crannies in your final muffins. It’s okay to be sloppy with this recipe!

Shaping and Rising

  • Flour work surface and roll out dough with rolling pin until it’s ½ to ¾ inch thick
  • Cut out muffins with cookie/biscuit cutter; place on lightly cornmeal-sprinkled surface (cornmeal burns if you use too much!)
  • Cover and keep somewhere warm; it’s best to use a plastic container or the covered rack to avoid the muffins sticking to the cover; spritz with water if they dry out
  • Let rise 1 hour—longer if they are not warm


  • Preheat frying pan, hot but not overheated; pan heat is up for debate (335°F? 380–400°F?); goal is hot pan to make muffins puff up, but not so hot that they burn
  • No butter! Or if you must, use only a little and put it in the pan JUST before cooking (otherwise it burns)
  • Put muffins with cornmeal side down in pan (so other side can puff up)
  • Cook muffins 4 minutes—pan side should brown
  • Flip muffins and depress SLIGHTLY to create English muffin look
  • Cook 4 minutes on other side
  • Adjust stove heat if muffin cooks too fast/slow
English muffins