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Small Batch Sourdough English Muffins

Small batch English Muffin recipe that uses sourdough discard
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword English Muffins, Sourdough Discard
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Dough Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 48 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 cups bread flour 280 grams, plus more if needed
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup bubbly sourdough or sourdough discard at room temperature 85 grams
  • 2/3 cup warm water plus more as needed**
  • 4 teaspoons softened butter or use a mixture of oil and butter
  • Rice Flour optional


  • Mix all ingredients (except rice flour) together in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir well. You should have a very dry dough at this point.  Add more water about a tablespoon at a time just to moisten, then begin kneading with dough hook.  Dough should clear the side of the bowl as it’s being kneaded. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes of kneading it should be a little sticky, yet very elastic.
  • Transfer dough to a greased bowl, then cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Roll dough to about ¾ inch thick and cut into circles. Cut rounds with 2 ½ or 3 inch round cutter. You should get 8 or 9 muffins depending on what size cutter you used -- maybe fewer if you went with all 3 inch rounds. I always do a mix of sizes.
  • Set the circles on a baking sheet which you've lined with parchment and dusted with rice flour. Let the muffins rise for about 40 minutes.
  • Heat a large, dry, stainless steel saute pan or skillet. Keep the heat on low. It’s important to use a pan that gets very hot, but you will also need to control that heat and keep it LOW.
  • Add a little rice flour to the skillet. If you don’t have any, you can get by without it, but it helps prevent sticking and adds a little texture.
  • Using a thin spatula, carefully lift the risen muffin dough rounds and transfer to the skillet. Try not to let them deflate! The rice flour really helps here because the risen muffin dough just rolls off and you don't have to pry it. Prying causes deflation.
  • Set about 3 of the rounds in the hot skillet. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes -- 7 if you made your muffins smaller than 3 inches, but up to 10 if you made 3 inch muffins. Check the bottoms and make sure they are nicely browned, then turn and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes. Note: You might have to experiment a little with the heat settings. These are not difficult to make, but you have to get the heat just right so that it’s neither too low nor too high.


The muffins can be made with 1/3 cup of discard or 1/3 cup of bubbly sourdough starter. Since the recipe also calls for yeast, the muffins will rise either way.
Cinnamon Raisin Version
  • Instead of 2 cups of flour, use 1 cup bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat or white whole wheat.  Omit granulated sugar and use 4 teaspoons of brown sugar.  After the first rise, punch down the dough and knead in 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup (or however many you want) of raisins).