Sourdough Whole Wheat English Muffins

I get a lot of satisfaction from making things at home that you'd generally just buy at the store. For instance, these sourdough whole wheat English muffins. I grew up eating plenty of Thomas' English muffins, and sure, they're good, but they don't stand a chance next to this homemade version!

These English muffins are filled with nooks and crannies, have tons of flavor, and make the best breakfast sandwiches. They're on the hearty side, as they're about 30% whole wheat. Please check out Tartine Bread Experiment or the Wild Yeast Blog for more information on building/maintaining a sourdough starter.

Sourdough Whole Wheat English Muffins

Yield: 8-10 English muffins


  • 110 g ripe 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • 160 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g whole wheat flour
  • 276 g milk (see note)
Final Dough
  • 75 g all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • All of the sponge


  • Ferment Sponge: 8 hours - overnight
  • Mix final dough & shape: 15 minutes
  • Proof: 45-60 minutes
  • Bake: 15 minutes

Prepare Sponge

  1. The night before baking (or at least 8 hours; the sponge needs time to ferment), prepare your sponge.
  2. Combine all sponge ingredients in a medium sized bowl or container, and mix until just combined (I use a glass container with a lid, that holds 6 cups).
  3. Cover bowl or container, and let sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Mix Final Dough

  1. Combine the sponge and all final dough ingredients, and mix to roughly combine.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, or onto a large silpat. Knead by hand for about 8 minutes, or until the dough becomes fairly smooth. This dough will be very sticky; resist the urge to add more flour, or your risk dense, tough muffins. I like to knead and turn the dough with a bench scraper instead of using my hands.
  3. Two shaping methods below. When cutting rounds, do not twist your cutter.  Leaving the dough "unsealed" on the sides will help the muffins rise when cooked.
    • On a well-floured surface or silpat, pat or roll the dough to about 1/2". Cut the dough into rounds using a 3" round cutter.
    • Divide the dough into 8 even pieces, and gently roll into balls. Flatten each ball to be slightly larger than your 3" cutter, and cut rounds. You should have enough scraps from cutting to form one more muffin; gather the scraps, roll into a ball, flatten slightly, and cut.
  4. Place rounds on a semolina flour dusted sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let proof for 45-60 minutes.


  1. Lightly oil a griddle or large saucepan with vegetable oil, and heat over medium-low heat.
  2. Cook muffins for a total of 7-8 minutes on each side, flipping every few minutes, until browned and the sides are firm. Don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary.
  3. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


  1. Split with a fork, and toast to perfection.
  2. Enjoy with your favorite toppings - jam, butter, a fried egg, cheese, peanut butter ...


Feel free to use any type of milk that you'd like - I've made them with whole milk, 1%, and buttermilk (non-dairy milks, like soy or almond, should work too).

Source: Wild Yeast Blog

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Kim said...

Do you think I could make this without the sourdough starter?

Kristen said...

Generally speaking, it's certainly possible to swap yeast and sourdough starter, but, there really isn't a single rule of thumb to say how the substitution should go. When using sourdough starter, you're adding yeast to your dough, along with flour, water, bacteria and the acids they produce, alcohol, etc. So, it's very, very unlikely that you could just swap the starter for yeast and be done with it. I may work on this formula to make a yeasted version, but in the meantime, I'll be posting another yeasted formula soon :)

I do think you'd really like sourdough though - it takes some taking care of, but, you can easily put it in the fridge when you know you're not going to be using it. Takes bread flavor to a whole new level, sister!