Recipe from the collection of: Designs by Jeanne R
Homemade sourdough English muffins is another childhood memory for me. Mom made these pretty often, & while they were always really good, we probably took for granted that not all mom’s made homemade breads like this for their families. I have the sourdough cookbook she made for all of us kids, & it makes me smile when I see her handwritten notes in which the measurements were doubled, tripled & quadrupled in the margins! I guess with a family of 5 kids (plus friends), 1 batch wouldn’t suffice! Making these myself throughout the years, I marvel at how easy Mom made this look. I’ll be honest, there’s a fine line between a beautifully cooked English muffin, & one which has been scorched on the stove! You’ve been warned, you’ve got to babysit these little darlings, but it’s well worth the effort.
1/2 cup starter
1 cup milk
2 – 3/4 cups unsifted flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
About 3 tablespoons cornmeal – for sprinkling in the pan
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine starter, milk, & 2 cups of the flour. Mix together & cover loosely, then allow the mixture to rest for about 8 hours or overnight. The next morning, mix together 1/2 cup of the flour, sugar, salt & soda & sprinkle this over the “sponge” & combine. Turn this out onto a surface covered with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s no longer sticky. Add more flour if necessary.
Roll the dough out to a 3/4″ thickness, then cut with a 3″ round cutter (Mom used a tuna can in which both sides were cut out) making about 12 biscuits. Place each biscuit in a jellyroll pan which has been sprinkled with cornmeal, & sprinkle additional cornmeal on top. Cover with a clean cloth & let rest for about 45 minutes. The cutouts will look a little flat at this point, but don’t worry – they puff as they “bake” on the stove top or electric skillet!
If you have an electric skillet, this is perfect as you can control the heat – 275 F. I don’t have one, so I use a flat cast iron skillet (that I normally use for making tortillas) & heat to medium. Working in batches, cook for about 8-10 minutes per side. Now I’ll tell you, because they are baking on the stove, you’ll really have to watch these so they don’t burn. I rotate mine around the pan, staying away from the “hot spots” in the skillet. These are done when then inside temps at 190 F, or if you don’t have an internal thermometer, just split the first one open to see if it’s done & take it from there!
Serve warm or split & toast them, then serve with butter, honey, jam or make breakfast sandwiches. Enjoy!