If you’ve been feeding your sourdough starter regularly but not been baking bread as regularly, you’ll probably find yourself in a position somewhat like mine- with lots of starter but unwilling to throw them all away.
I never liked throwing away food, so I was so excited to find this recipe that is so forgiving towards my little Bruno (aka my sourdough starter).
If you are new to sourdough and found your hands on some starter, then here’s a quick crash course on how to turn that starter into some yummy bread!
The starter is basically wild yeast that we cultivated from our environment. It is this yeast that makes the bread rise. There are two principles behind the successful sourdough bread.
Firstly, the yeast must be active. The yeast needs flour and water to multiply, so it has to be fed regularly. By putting it in the fridge, we can slow down its metabolism so that it multiples at a slower rate. This is a very useful concept to the home baker who probably only bakes once/ week. A simple trick is to feed the starter in a ratio of 1:1:1 (starter:flour:water), then put it in the fridge for a week and only take it out when you need it! For this recipe, you can use the sourdough starter straight out from the fridge!
Secondly, the structure of the bread must be well-made. The additional flour and water/ milk added to the starter are the spaces for the yeast to multiply. When the yeast is active, they produce bubbles. However, we need structure to ensure that these bubbles stay there. Gluten gives us the structure. Hence, stretching and folding the dough will help us to form the gluten! So we will end up with nice, stretchy dough that contains air bubbles!
Keep these two principles in mind for now, and I will go on to explain in further detail regarding each step of the sourdough bread-making in subsequent posts. For now, you can try your hand at these easy English muffins!
Sourdough English Muffin
makes 6 muffins
135g full cream milk
190 g sourdough starter
190 g bread flour
8 g sugar
6 g salt
28 g butter (room temp)
cornmeal (to sprinkle)
1. Heat milk until it reaches 85 degrees Celsius. Then leave it aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Whisk sourdough starter into the milk until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add the bread flour into the mixture, and mix with your hands until there is no more dry flour.
4. Leave it aside, covered, for 30min
5. Add in the butter, sugar and salt, and mix with your hands until you do not feel the sugar & salt granules.
6. Allow bulk fermentation for 3h. Every 30 minute, do 1 stretch and fold.
7. At the end of 3h, divide the dough into 90g pieces, and shape it into rounds.
8. Sprinkle with cornmeal and place onto a baking sheet. Rest overnight, up to 24h.
9. The next day, remove from the fridge and rest at room temperature until doubled in size.
10. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
11. Place on a medium-heat griddle, 5 min on each side.
12. Place the muffins into the oven for 12 min.
13. Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack.