Remember at the start of summer when I left my sourdough starter on the kitchen counter on the day I flew back to Singapore? I took quite a while to get over that, and got a new one going, and surprisingly it was doing really well, maybe because of Singapore's warm weather. This time, for my flight back to London, I didn't forget it, but I didn't manage to sneak it past the customs. You should see her face when she opened the jar and smelt it, and when I weakly tried to explain what a starter was ("It's.. food?"). Ok next time it just goes into my check-in luggage, double-wrapped.
These sourdough english muffins were made in Singapore, just to test the new-- now gone-- starter.
Sourdough English Muffins
Makes 8-10 muffins, adapted from Wild Yeast blog
I've used weight instead of the approximate cups value, because flours and such all weigh very differently, and the best way to make sure you've happy results is by weight and ratios.
110g ripe starter (feed it in a 1:1 water:flour ratio, get it healthy and bubbly, and give it one feed again about 6 hours before you use it)
260g white whole wheat flour
275g whole full-fat milk, preferably grassfed
75g plain white flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
muffin tins (this, I realised only after. for a budget alternative, try tuna cans with top and base removed)
griddle or frying pan
1. The night before, in a large non-reactive bowl, mix the sponge ingredients until just combined. Cover and let rest about 8 hours.
2. The next morning, add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Turn onto counter and knead (with oiled hands) about 8 min or so. It'll go from having a really sticky and craggy texture to a smooth surface, but overall, the dough will still be quite wet and sticky.
That's what I mean by sticky
4. Form 10 blobs of dough on a sheet of semolina-dusted parchment paper. Dust the top with semolina too. Cover and let proof at room temperature for about 45 min to 1 hr.
5. Heat the pan over medium low heat, with the muffin tins, and flip the dough into the tins. Cook on 1 side for about 5 min, and after it has risen nicely, flip to cook on the other side until lightly browned and sides are firm.
I was really worried when I saw the muffins wouldn't "form", but then I realised that wet sticky dough is the key. See below (description after recipe).
This is why I suggest muffin tins. I got better at shaping them sans tins towards the end though. Btw though ugly, these were yummy.
6. To eat, dig into the sides and split with a fork before toasting the halves. If you want to freeze them for easy breakfasts, also split them first.
I got the tip from Nigella Lawson, who insists on a fork to get the best ragged holes.
The sourdough english muffins had just a slight tanginess and complexity you wouldn't normally find in an english muffin, but the same spongy chewy texture and all those nooks and crannies to catch all that melted butter and jam. To me, that's what's an english muffin is about. And to get that, the dough has to be wet enough to warrant muffin tins. Though not perfectly shaped, the muffins were delicious, especially slathered with jam and butter!
If you were wondering about the green jam, it's kaya, a Nonya pandan coconut curd jam.
Ah, I'd better be off now to feed my sourdough starter The Third, boo.