Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Sourdough English Muffins

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

I love English Muffins. There's something about the way butter melts into the nooks and crannies in a toasted muffin, with the soft interior and the crispy toasted bits. In some ways, English muffins are better than bread. Sure, you can toast bread, but it's not the same. Not at all.

When you add sourdough flavor, the English muffin gets even better. That hint of tang is the perfect foil to sweet jelly, but still pairs well with cream cheese or peanut butter.

There are two basic methods for making English muffins. One is to make a dough, roll it out, cut it in rounds like you would for biscuits, and then bake it.

These English muffins use a batter-like dough that's cooked on a griddle like a pancake. To keep the batter from spreading, you'll need English muffin rings, round metal cookie cutters, or biscuit cutters. Or if you're the DIY type, you can always cut the top and bottom out of small round cans, like the type that water chestnuts come in.

To get the proper craggy surface, split the English muffins open rather than cut them before you toast them. Insert a fork in the side of the muffin, going all the way around the circumference of the muffin until it splits open, and you'll have that perfect uneven interior.

When you're making these, keep in mind that they aren't really done until they're toasted. You don't want to brown them too much on the griddle since they'll brown more in the toaster.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She writes the blog Cookistry and has joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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