Sourdough English Muffins

Sneha: While it seems to be on brand during COVID quarantine to grow your own sourdough starter, we actually first tried this recipe last year. The recipe is from one of my close friends who makes these English muffins every Christmas as part of her goodie package, every Christmas, I would swear to make them myself and have had the recipe in my email inbox for about 5 years before I finally got over the fear of the dreaded sourdough starter! 

What I love about this recipe is that its low maintenance – anyone that knows me knows I hate finicky long-winded steps (which is probably why Karthik is the baker in our relationship!). But with this one, you make up the starter, let it do its thing for 3-5 days and then boom, make flour, let rise and make muffins! I usually will just use up all the starter for muffins but its also a great one that you can maintain and continue to feed. 

I love eating these with cream cheese and Trader Joes Italian Bomba Sauce but Karthik loves making homemade Egg McMuffins with Morningstar Farm patties!!

Tips & Tricks

  • These muffins freeze well for up to 6 months – to eat, stick them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, slice in half, and toast.
  • Use a fork to split your muffins instead of a knife to get those classic nook and crannies for butter to ooze into.
  • The time to let the starter develop depends on the ambient temperature, in the winter time we let it go for 5 days while in the summer we get a good ferment within 3 days.
  • Use finely ground cornmeal – a medium blend may result in a gritty texture on the muffins.
  • To maintain the starter: 
    • Replace exact amount of starter used for each recipe by stirring equal amounts of homogenized whole milk and flour back into starter (replace 1 cup starter with 1/2 c homo. milk plus 1/2 flour).
    • Let stand lightly covered until bubbles overnight and stir down
    • Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
    • Each time the process is repeated, the started becomes more active and develops more sour flavor.

Recipe Information

  • Prep time: ~3-5 days for starter + 10 hours 
  • Cook time: 20-30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 English Muffins



  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 2.5 cup warm water
  • 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 4 cups flour

English Muffins:

  • 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1.5 cup starter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2-1 cup flour for rolling 
  • Cornmeal (fine ground)


  1. Stir yeast, water, dry milk and sugar in a non-metallic bowl until yeast is dissolved.
  2. Gradually stir in flour for a smooth batter.
  3. Let stand loosely covered in warm place, 3-5 days.
  4. Stir down batter occasionally.
  5. For muffins, mix dry milk, water, starter and 2 cup flour in nonmetallic bowl, cover loosely.
  6. Let stand in warm place, until mixture is coarse and bubbly, at least 8 hours. 
  7. Mix salt, baking soda and sugar into sour dough mixture.
  8. Stir in flour as needed to make dough easy to handle, knead ~2 minutes
  9. Roll dough 1/2 inch-think and cut into 3 inch circles.
  10. Sprinkle baking sheet some cornmeal and place circles on baking sheet, sprinkle with remaining cornmeal and cover.
  11. Let rise in warm place until double, at least 2 hours.
  12. Place muffins on hot, lightly greased griddle over low heat ~5 min each side.
  13. Cool on wire rack.