Sourdough English Muffins


Today, I’ve got a wonderful recipe for avid bakers, and especially for those who adore San Francisco’s claim to bread fame: sourdough. These lovely sourdough English muffins are from the beautiful cookbook, Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day. The author, Donna Currie of Cookistry, is sharing it with us in celebration of her book’s one year anniversary.

Sourdough English Muffins Recipe from the Make Ahead Bread queen, Donna Currie! A naturally dairy-free, soy-free delight.

The introductory sections in Make Ahead Bread are brief, as Donna’s recipes include helpful lead-ins and are so well-detailed (as you will see below) that you can jump right in and learn on the fly. To note, this gift-worthy cookbook also includes several enticing and inspirational full-color photos throughout.

The concept behind Make Ahead Bread is that yeast-based recipes can be prepared ahead, whenever you have a few minutes, ready to be freshly baked for devouring on even the busiest of days. This book isn’t completely dairy-free, but most of the recipes are easy to make substitutions, particularly if you’re an experience dairy-free baker. A few that happen to be dairy-free include:

  • Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Bake-It-When-You-Want-It Bread, Plus Butters, Sauces & Spreads by Donna CurrieOatmeal-Honey-Date Loaf
  • Light and Dark Marble Rye
  • Mini Sunflower Seed Loaves
  • Tomato and Black Olive Bread
  • Pumpkin Loaf
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread
  • Ciabatta
  • Garlic Knots
  • Semolina Focaccia
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread
  • Baguettes
  • Peanut Butter Bread with Raspberry Swirl
  • Wine Jam (pictured above on the Sourdough English Muffins)
  • Balsamic and Olive Oil Dipping Oil with Herbs
  • Sourdough English Muffins …

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wanting to make my own English muffins for ages, and these sourdough English muffins take it to the next level! Another type of bread that I’ve always wanted to learn how to make is in fact whole wheat pita, and I think that PB bread just made it onto my bucket list!

Special Diet Notes: Sourdough English Muffins

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based and vegetarian.

Sourdough Starter: You can purchase a starter (Bob’s Red Mill sells this one) or grow your own. Donna explains it in Make Ahead Bread, but she also offers guides on Cookistry: Building a Sourdough Starter and Growing a Sourdough Starter, Day by Day.

Sourdough English Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
There are a few ways to make English muffins: They can be made from a thick dough and cut and baked like biscuits; they can be made like flat buns; or they can be made with a batter, like a big, fat pancake. This is the batter version. You’ll need muffin rings to contain the batter while you cook the English muffins (look for 3 1⁄2 -inch rings, the standard English muffin size). If you don’t want to buy muffin rings, you can use short, squat cans with the top and bottom removed. Tuna cans are often recommended, but many brands now use cans with formed bottoms that can’t be removed with a can opener. But if you like canned water chestnuts, those cans work, too.
Serves: 6 English muffins
  • 1⁄2 cup (4 ounces) sourdough starter (see notes in post above)
  • 2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄2 cups room temperature water
  • Olive oil spray
On prep day
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, forming a relatively thin batter rather than a dough. (The batter will bubble and rise, so don’t use a bowl that’s too small.) Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
On cooking day
  1. Heat a griddle (or large frying pan) on medium heat with 6 muffin rings arranged on the griddle. Spray or brush the insides of the rings with oil, and let them heat with the griddle.
  2. When the griddle is hot, ladle or pour the batter into the rings, filling them to about 1⁄4 inch below the top of the rings. Cover the griddle—a sheet pan turned upside down on top of the rings is perfect—and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook until the top of the batter is set and has started to pull away from the sides of the rings, about 8 minutes.
  3. Use a small spatula to flip the muffins (and rings) over, cover the pan again, and cook for another 5 minutes. You should now be able to slip the muffins out of the rings. If some need encouragement, slide a thin knife around the insides of the rings, then remove the rings.
  4. Continue cooking the muffins until they are cooked through and the top and bottom are lightly browned—a skewer or small knife inserted into a muffin should come out clean and if you lift a muffin, it should feel light for its size. It’s actually okay if the muffins are still a little bit moist inside because they’re not really done until they’re toasted. But you don’t want them to be wet or soggy.
  5. Let the muffins cool completely on a rack.
One thing that makes an English muffin an English muffin is the rough interior, so you don’t want to slice them with a knife. Instead, use a fork to stab all the way around the muffin until you can pull it apart. You’ll have a rough, craggy interior that will toast nicely.

What type of bread is tops on your bread-making bucket list?

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I would really love to make Latvian rye like my grandfather used to make. There’s nothing like it on the market right now!

  2. I, admittedly, am not much of a baker. I love to eat bread (especially bread that my husband bakes) and would love to experience the delight that is fresh baked sourdough bread or challah bread. My husband made hawaiian bread from scratch once and it was amazing. He is an excellent baker and enjoys the preciseness of measuring. He has WAY more patience than I do when it comes to baking.

  3. Sourdough has been at the top of my “must try someday” list and I think it will finally happen by way of these English muffins (which I also LOVE.). A few years ago I found a bagel recipe online that I’ve been adapting and working with ever since. It’s not perfect but I love whipping up 16 bagels at home! 🙂

  4. Lee Ann Traeger on

    This sounds like a great recipe to try for those of us that love English muffins
    My go to bread recipe is honey whole wheat- I have been making it for my family for years

  5. I am of Volga German descent and grew up in west-central Kansas. We farmed as did my dad’s brother, Uncle Leo. His wife, my Aunt Mary, never bought bread, but made for her husband and their children fragrant boules with a sourdough starter that had been in her family for years. Her bread was fragrant and moist, with very large holes in it. With butter, it was a slice of heaven.

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