Easy Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins

whole wheat sourdough english muffins

English muffins are one of those things that, up until a few years ago, it would have never crossed my mind to make. I don’t know…when you don’t grow up around this stuff, it’s easy just to think it couldn‘t be made at home. Which seems silly, ’cause I knew you could make bread.

Humm… the mind works in mysterious ways.

Oh, but have I learned they can be made at home- and they are tastier (really! I’m not just saying that ’cause I make them) and really easy.


Plus, when I make this sourdough version, it’s a way to use some of my sourdough starter (remember, the sourdough I like to use occasionally?) in a way that I know will turn out some seriously delicious sourdough bread.

If you don’t already have a sourdough starter to cook with, make sure to read my post on how I started down the sourdough path and my tips to keep a sourdough starter alive.

The only thing that’s hard for me to remember with this recipe is to start the night before. I think I have to make a big note and leave it on my bed reminding me I can’t climb in until I’ve mixed up the initial dough.

It only takes about five minutes the night before to mix the sourdough starter with a bit of honey, flour, and milk. Water will work if you’re avoiding dairy, but they won’t be quite as tender.

In the morning, it will look like this (or it may have risen higher, depending on your starter, the temperature, or whatnot…can you see I’m still figuring this sourdough thing out?). English muffins, I’ve found are pretty forgiving.

I like to transfer the dough to my stand mixer, but this can easily be done by hand as well. Add baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup flour to the dough and mix together.

Knead with the mixer for 3-4 minutes, adding another 1/4-1/3 cup of flour gradually (a tablespoon at a time) during the kneading process.

When done, the dough should be moist enough to stick to the bowl, but only be a bit tacky when touched with a finger.

I’ve found that the enemy of any bread is too much flour- it’s OK, and desirable, for dough to need to be scraped out of a bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it into a round.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/2- inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds using a 3-inch biscuit cutter…or anything that will produce uniform rounds. I like using biscuit cutters- there are recipes that require you to shape each muffin with your hands- who has time for that?

It’s OK to gather the dough and re-roll to cut more muffins- I haven’t noticed any difference between the first roll and the second. I take the little scrap from the last bit and hand-shape it into a cute little muffin. No waste here. *smile*

Set the rounds on a lined baking sheet (parchment or silicone) that has been dusted with cornmeal or a bit of flour (if you’re out of cornmeal like I was…). Don’t let them touch as they will stick together, but an inch or two apart is fine. Dust the tops with a bit more cornmeal or flour. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for a couple of hours.

I’ve made these after letting them rise only one hour and they’re fine, but the holes inside are bigger when I have the time to let them rise for 2 hours. The picture above is after a 2-hour rise and you can see that they actually don’t rise all that much- just puff a bit. They will rise more when cooked.

Heat a non-stick griddle (do you use a cast iron one?) to a medium-low setting (about 275 degrees) so the muffins have time to cook inside without burning on the outside.

I do want to mention that these stick to the lining, even with a dusting of flour/cornmeal, so I try to slide the spatula to pick up a bit of the flour as I’m lifting the muffin with the spatula. Then I invert onto my heated griddle.

Cook on one side about 4 minutes, or until browned. You can see how they puff during the initial cooking.

Turn and flatten slightly with the back of the spatula to get that characteristic English muffin shape.

Cook for about another 4 minutes, looking to make sure the muffin is browned on the bottom.

There you have it- one quick mix the night before, another stir in a mixer, a simple roll-and-cut, a long rise and a super-quick eight minute cook. I think it might be 20-25 minutes total hands-on time.

Not too bad for a dozen great tasting fresh English muffins that cost about $1.00.

Worth it!


Easy Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins

1. Mix together the night before:

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1 cup milk (can use water, but milk makes them more tender)
  • 2 c. whole wheat (I use hard white wheat) or combination of flours (white, spelt)

Cover with a towel and leave at room temperature overnight.

2. In the morning, transfer the sponge to the bowl of a mixer (can be made by hand) and add:

  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup flour (plus another 1/4-1/3 c. during kneading)

Use the paddle attachment to mix together. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 3-4 minutes, adding another 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is just tacky to the touch, clears the sides of the bowl, but still sicks to the bottom.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead a few times into a round shape. Use a rolling pin to roll about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or other round shape).

4. Place the muffin rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone and sprinkled with a dusting of cornmeal or flour. Leave about 1 to 2-inches between each muffin, and dust the tops with a bit more flour or cornmeal.

5. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours. They will just slightly puff.

6. Heat a nonstick griddle to a medium-low setting (about 275 degrees) in order to cook the inside of the muffin without burning the outside.

7. Transfer the muffins, one at a time, to the heated griddle (dry- do not grease for even browning) and cook for about 4 minutes on one side. Flip the muffins, flatten slightly with the back of the spatula, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side until both sides are nicely browned.

8. Cool on a rack. Split and toast or use for Eggs Benedict with Easy Hollandaise Sauce!

Makes about 12 or 13, depending on thickness.

This is linked to Fun w/Food Friday, Everything But The Kitchen Sink, Pennywise Platter, and
Share Your Sunday Best.


  1.  Lacy @ Catholic Icing says

    Trying out homemade English muffins had been on my to-do list for awhile. I seriously need to try! And I am totally trying out your ranch dressing recipe. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  2.  Angela (Cottage Magpie) says

    Oh, these look really good! I love English muffins, but we try not to buy premade food, so we never have them anymore. I’ve been meaning to try homemade but hadn’t found a recipe yet! Thanks! I will try these this week for sure!

  3.  says

    Thanks for stopping by by and leaving a comment Jami. So glad I came back to check your blog out. I’ve been wanting to make English muffins but have not tried as of yet. And I was just telling ym husband last night I really needed to find a good homemade ranch dressing recipe cuz we go through it like crazy (at least a bottle a week or so).

  4.  says

    I got my sourdough starter going last week to make these; I think I found my recipe on GNOWFGLINS last year. However, things got so busy that I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder! These are on the list for next week, though I think I’ll try your recipe this time and see how it goes.

  5.  Gina says

    I too have just started making sourdough English muffins. And I’m in love! They are so good!

  6.  K. says

    Hi, I was wondering if the sourdough taste is pretty strong in these English muffins? Because I actually don’t like the sourdough taste but really wanted to try this recipe. Is there a way to maybe make the whole wheat English muffins without the sourdough starter?

    •  says

      My sourdough is usually not strongly flavored – I keep it a bit thicker (adding more flour and less water at each feeding), which results in a mild sourdough flavor (if any at all). It’s all about the starter. I’m sure there are whole wheat english muffin recipes out there that aren’t sourdough – I’m not sure how to convert this recipe, though – sorry!

  7.  K. says

    Thanks for the info! I think I will go ahead and try your recipe. Your instructions are so clear and I’m always a fan of pics. Lol


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