How to Make Amazing Sourdough English Muffins: Step by Step Tutorial

Last updated: April 23, 2021
4.6 from 66 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Learn how to make the very best sourdough english muffins using active starter. They have a lofty rise, with puffy golden brown tops! And their interiors are fluffy, with lots of nooks and crannies. 100% naturally leavened.

sourdough english muffins stacked
sourdough english muffins stacked
interior of sourdough english muffin

If you’re new to sourdough, and are looking for a sourdough starter to begin, I ship my 13+ year old starter to anyone in the U.S! You can order it here.

I’m very hesitant to use the word life-changing when it comes to food. But I swear to you, when you eat one of these sourdough english muffins, a store-bought english muffin will never suffice again. Like, ever.

Their pillowy, interior softness cannot be matched.
Their epic puff!
Their pillowy bite.
So perfect as a vehicle for an indulgent amount of butter to melt into all the spongy nooks and crannies.

And their golden brown, cornmeal dusted,
griddled tops are exactly the definition of lovely textural contrast.

This homemade sourdough english muffin recipe is very forgiving, and you’ll need only a few ingredients. You don’t even need an english muffin ring to cut them out! I actually use a small flower vase to cut the circles out.

sourdough english muffin ingredients
pouring milk into kitchenaid stand mixer
flour and salt for sourdough bread

How to Make Sourdough English Muffins:

  1. Activate starter.
    You’ll need 75 grams of mature sourdough starter at its peak (I keep my starter at 100% hydration). For an easy baking schedule, I feed my sourdough starter at about 4pm so that it peaks around 8 or 9pm so I can mix up my dough and let rise overnight.
  2. Mix dough.
    There are just 6 additional ingredients you’ll need for this english muffin recipe: all purpose flour, milk, butter, water, salt, sugar.

    This sourdough english muffin recipe is mixed using a stand mixer, as the dough is enriched and quite stiff. While recipe testing, I much preferred the stand mixer results and ease, over hand mixing/kneading.
  3. Let bulk ferment.
    Because this dough is very stiff, it takes a long time to rise, which makes it perfect for an overnight rise! I find that at about 65 degrees, which my house is in the evening, equates to about 8 hours of bulk ferment, until the dough has about doubled and is smooth on top and puffed. It will look MUCH different than the end of bulk ferment when you are making sourdough bread, where the dough will look glossy, have bubbles, and is jiggly. It will not do that here.
  4. Bench rest.
    In the morning, dust a surface with flour, and scoop from underneath the dough, with the bowl tipped, to get the dough onto the surface. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut out english muffin circles.
    Pat the dough out into a circle or rectangle shape, aiming for the dough to be about 1 inch tall. Use something that is glass and about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter – I use a flower vase – flour the bottom edges, and press down through the dough until you hit the surface. Gently twist the vase while pushing down to cut through the dough. Then gently remove the cut out muffin and transfer to cornmeal dusted parchment on a baking sheet.
  6. Let rise.
    The final rise will take about 1-2 hours, at 70 degrees. The muffins will not per-say rise a lot, it will just get puffy and light.
  7. Cook on griddle or cast iron skillet at 350 degrees F, about 6-7 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees F.
mixing english muffin dough in stand mixer
dough near the end of mixing.
english muffin dough
Dough at end of mixing. Ready for bulk fermentation.
sourdough english muffin dough
sourdough english muffin dough
cutting out english muffins

Crusty, scraggy, chewy gems. Breakfast bliss.

Filled with air pockets galore, I swear they rival the Thomas’ English Muffins you and I grew up eating.

Do not sleep on the salted butter and honey topping.
Or peanut butter and honey.
Or anything your heart desires.

english muffins cooking on griddle
sourdough english  muffins on cooling rack
sourdough english muffins with honey and butter
drizzling honey on homemade sourdough muffins

And now, some answers to a few questions:

Can I freeze sourdough english muffins?
Yes, these freeze extremely well! I recommend slicing them first, wrap in foil, then a freezer safe bag.

Can these be made vegan?
I haven’t tested this, but my instinct is that using vegan butter and unsweetened soy milk would work well.

What can I use to cut them out? Do I a need english muffin ring?
No english muffin ring needed! I use a flower vase, as I mentioned, or I’ve used a wide mouth glass jar. But if you don’t have either of those, you can also find english muffin rings here, and get many years of use out of them!

If you make these sourdough english muffins, be sure to tag me on instagram with hashtag, #heartbeetkitchen, or @heartbeetkitchen!

sourdough english muffins on cooling rack

Amazing Sourdough English Muffins

Homemade sourdough english muffins that are lofty and so soft, with golden tops!
4.6 from 66 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :30 minutes
Additional Time :14 hours
Total Time :14 hours 45 minutes
Yield: 10 english muffins
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 75 grams active sourdough starter
  • 15 grams cane sugar
  • 220 grams whole milk
  • 135 grams water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 9 grams fine sea salt
  • 500 grams organic all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal for dusting


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add starter and sugar.
  • Add milk, water, and butter to a bowl. Microwave 40ish seconds, until butter is just melted. Let cool for 5 minutes, you don’t want it to be too hot.
  • Add liquid mixture to bowl, and whisk with a fork to combine and disperse the starter.
  • Add flour and salt. Put dough hook on mixer, and start on low, speed 2 on kitchenaid mixer to incorporate flour, about one minute. Then turn to medium, speed 4 on a Kitchenaid, for 8 minutes. When finished, the dough will very wet. This is normal. Take a spatula and scrape the edges of the dough up onto itself, to round it out.
  • Let dough bulk ferment. This will take about 8-10 hours if your house is at 70 degrees. (So you could do this overnight while you sleep). Bulk ferment is complete when the dough has at least doubled, and is puffy and domed on the top. It should look pillowy and domed.
  • Dust your work surface with flour, and grab underneath the dough to take it out of the bowl and onto the surface. Let rest for 15 minutes. Pat into a 3/4 inch inch high circle or rectangle. Dust the top of muffins with flour, and a vase or glass mouth that is about 4 inches wide. Cut out circles, and move them onto a parchment lined baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. They will stick if you do not do this.
  • Cover pan with a very light towel, and let rise again for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until your english muffins are puffy. They will not rise a ton. It’s the puffiness you’re going for.
  • Heat griddle or cast iron skillet to about 350 degrees F. You can add a knob of butter to griddle or skillet if you’d like, but optional. They’ll now puff when they cook! Leave undisturbed, cooking english muffins for about 7 minutes on each side, until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F.


Did you make this?

tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

April 25, 2020


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! My first time making English muffins and def won’t be the last. I did a sear on each side and finished baking these in the oven for 13 mins at 350 (like Amanda’s suggestion in the comments) and they turned out so good!

  2. 5 stars
    They turned out very well. I didn’t see anywhere where the recipe specified the number of muffins. At 3 in, my recipe made a dozen. Additionally, I had my heat down quite low on my gas range. I found they would brown too quickly on higher heat using butter. Overall, excellent recipe!

  3. Oh I’m looking forward to trying these! Can it be done using Bob’s gluten free flour? I’m mostly a low carb girl but I would sacrifice LC to have one that is GF. Any advice would be appreciated!

  4. Been a fan of English muffins for a long time but have been too timid to try making them; these turned out fabulous! I subbed in coconut milk for whole milk & had no issues. Overcooked my 1st batch bc I was unsure where 350 degrees was on an electric stovetop; found that 3/10 was about right in my cast iron!

  5. I make these every week with my twenty plus year sour Dough starter using my discard. It’s amazing! This recipe is my go to now. I double batch it each time. The grandkids eat every crumb. I substituted milk with my home made yogurt and water combined on the scale to equal the milk volume amount. Turns out beautifully! What an awesome sour flavor! These simply melt in your mouth

  6. These came out great! Thanks Amanda. You mentioned that they can be frozen. Do you think it’s better to freeze them individually in tinfoil then freezer bag or a whole bunch together ?

    • Hi Ania! I usually slice them, slide a piece of parchment in between, then put in one layer in a freezer bag so that they’re laying flat. If you want to put another layer on top, then you’d just put a piece of parchment on top of the first layer of muffins.

    • Just saw the note about making them vegan, missed it on my first read! Giving these a try tomorrow morning.

      • I just made these using Oatly brand oat milk and Melt Organic butter sticks (vegan). The dough was a bit wetter than the original recipe, so I used extra flour when shaping and cutting. Other than that, they turned out almost exactly like the main recipe!

        • Yay! So awesome that you were able to adapt and understand the dough as you went, with the vegan changes! Thank you for leaving this note and baking with me!

  7. Good morning and hello from across the river in Woodbury! Do I need to make any adjustments if I only have non organic unbleached AP flour?

    Any chance I could add a little KAF white whole wheat without trouble? Or would I need to adjust other ingredients….and that’s a whole other recipe? … or I did score a small Einkorn bag of flour recently. Just trying to add a little healthy to the end result. Thoughts? I’m a newbie, not very good at improv at this point. So I could use your input. I understand if adding different flours would not be recommended. Just thought I’d ask! Thank you!

    • Hello! Non-organic all purpose flour will work great, no adjustments needed. You could add about 30 grams of whole wheat without affecting the recipe. But to be honest,
      the way it’s written is just so yummy, that I would lean on the health benefits that you’re getting from the fermentation and probiotics generated from that.

    • Hi Barbara! If you try oven baking (I have not tested this), I’d suggest searing them on both sides of a cast iron pan for 2 minutes each side, then finishing in the oven for about 13 minutes. If you try this, let me know – as I have not tested this method, but it’s what my gut tells me would work okay.

  8. Oh, now that’s what I’m talking about! These look delicious. So if I do the bulk fermentation overnight, would it be okay to go a little longer than 8 hours? Just trying to figure out the best timing on these.