Breads (Sourdough) - Other Breads

Sourdough English Muffins (Sourdough Discard)

June 08, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough English Muffins



My sister in-law loves to buy English Muffins from the bakery near our place.  After trying them I was inspired to try it with sourdough.  I did some research online and I used my sourdough discard since I happened to have enough in my fridge.  They turned out very well.  They are soft and moist, very mild sourness and slightly doughy.   It is supposed to be doughy in the centre so that it will get crispy on the outside with a soft texture inside when you slice and toast it. 

When I heard the word "muffin" I thought it is a cake but this is actually is a bread.   An English Muffin is usually sliced horizontally, toasted and buttered.  And it can be eaten with sweet or savory toppings.

How to store English Muffins:

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 - 5 days or in the freezer up to 2 months.  Thaw the frozen muffins overnight in the refrigerator and toast before eating.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.


RECIPE -  ENGLISH MUFFINS USING SOURDOUGH DISCARD


Yields:  6 Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

300g all purpose flour (I used half bread flour + half all purpose flour as I like slightly chewy texture)
100g sourdough discard, room temperature (young or 3 - 4 days old discard) 
20g brown sugar (I used organic brown sugar)
1 tsp (6g) salt 
165g (80g milk + 85g water), you can use all milk
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

* You may also use newly fed sourdough starter at its peak

Utensil:
Baking tray, lined with parchment paper
Non-stick skillet with lid

METHOD:
  1. Kneading (10.30 pm):
    1. Put all ingredients into a bowl of stand mixer.  I usually dilute starter with water first then only add in flour, sugar and salt.
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the hook attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  
    3. Knead for around 10 minutes or until the dough comes together, become soft and smooth.  Do not required to check windowpane stage.
  2. 1st Proofing/Resting (11.00 pm):
    1. Round up the dough. In the same bowl, keep it covered with cling film or use a lid and  let the dough ferment for about 8 - 10 hours at about 24C room temperature.  I left it in air-cond room.  I found my dough quite weak and decided  to  make one set of stretch and fold after 30 minutes.  You may need more than one S&F if your dough still weak.
  3. Shaping (9.00 am):
    1. By this time, the dough has tripled in size. Punch down the dough and transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide dough into 6 equal portions (around 100g each).  Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact.
    2. Form each portion to a ball and let them rest for 15 minutes to relax.  Please watch the video here "How to shape bun"
    3. Flatten the dough slightly on semolina flour or cornmeal on both sides. Place the muffins on lined baking tray.  
  4. Final Proofing:
    1. Let the muffins proof for another 60 minutes at a warm place until the dough rise about double in size. 
  5. Pan Toast/Bake:
    1. Preheat your non-stick skillet over low heat.  
    2. Place 3 muffins (depend on the size of your skillet) into it.  Gently press down the muffins with spatula to flatten.  Cover and cook for about 4 minutes.  Turn the muffins over, cover and cook for another 4 minutes.  (If you do not have skillet with cover, you can either cook the muffins 5 - 6 minutes each side or you may want to bake the muffins further (after pan toast) in the oven for another 8  minutes approximately in a preheated oven at 190C).
    3. Let the muffins cool on the rack completely before slicing.  Slice and toast to serve.

 

GENERAL NOTES:

SOURDOUGH STARTER


A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


GLUTEN DEVELOPMENT & WINDOWPANE TEST

Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

MILK POWDER 

Why do I use milk powder?  
  1. Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and makes the bread texture softer due to the fat content of the milk. 
  2. Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish within a certain time before it spoils.
KNEADING TIME

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

FLOUR

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

HYDRATION

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

Proofing:
  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING

If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.

BAKING TEMPERATURE AND TIME

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

Comments

  1. Thank you these turned out AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. Good to hear that you like it..

      Cheers & stay safe :)

      Delete
  2. Hi, is there any way to substitute the sourdough discard with instant yeast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe. Yes you can use yeast. Please google search for english muffins recipe. There are plenty of recipe using instant yeast. I have not tried with instant yeast yet.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  3. Hi! If I wish to half cook the muffins and freeze them so that the following morning I can cook them, may I know if this is advisable, or if I should fridge/cold retard the uncooked dough instead? Also, would I need to defrost before pan frying or can I do it direct from freezer? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for reading this recipe. Please do not freeze the uncooked dough. You can freeze the cooked muffins instead. However, you can put the dough in the fridge to retard instead of proofing in the aircond room. Shape and second proof the next day.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  4. hello. if i use the discard inside the fridge, do i have to bring the discard at room temperature or i can use it immediately ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post. We usually bring to room temperature before using. However, I tried used direct from the fridge and it worked well too.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  5. One of the best recipes so far and I think this is a keeper. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for trying and your kind feedback. Much appreciated.

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  6. Hello
    Since the weather has been so warm, how can i convert this to bake on same day? TIA ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post. I have not tried on the same day bake yet. However, you can try to preparae the dough in the early morning and leave on the counter for bulk fermentation (maybe 4 - 5 hours @ 28C - 29C temperature), shape then proof again.

      I hope this help.

      Cheers :)

      Delete

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