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I recently discovered Sourdough Surprises, a blog devoted to monthly  baking challenges involving sourdough starter.  This month’s challenge is cookies (and I have something coming up next week about that), but a few months ago was sourdough English muffins .  That’s what I made yesterday.

I am on the lookout for the perfect English muffins recipe, partly because they’re so expensive in the store compared to what it costs to make them, but mostly because I just think it’s neat that you can make them at home.  Seriously, this recipe costs less than fifty cents (about 35 cents for flour, plus a little sugar and baking soda) to make, and what are they in the store?  And store-bought English muffins will never have that “fresh off the griddle” taste, or make your house smell delicious.

I followed the recipe as given except for the cooking method.  I like them toasted on each side, as they are when you cook them in a skillet, but I don’t like the amount of time it takes to cook the entire batch (which was 10 muffins) in the skillet for 5 minutes each side.  Since I can fit only four in at one time, I would have had to stand there for a total of 30 minutes.  Instead I cook them 2 minutes on each side in the skillet.  When a skillet-full is done, I put them on a baking sheet under a towel and when all are ready, move them to the oven (at 350 degrees) for ten minutes to finish baking.  Saves me eight minutes and the last ten I don’t have to stand there watching them like a think I need to watch the skillet.  I feel so efficient.

I was much more impressed with these than I was with Bernard Clayton’s English muffins.  The flavor was better, due to the sourdough.  At the same time, the flavor is pretty mild, for sourdough.  I would have preferred a more open crumb (bigger nooks and crannies) and next time I’ll try harder to handle the dough gently and see if it helps.

I used a drinking glass to cut them out, which gave me exactly the right size of muffin.  Last time I used a biscuit cutter and they were too small.

Yesterday for lunch I made a turkey sandwich with one, and it was good.  This morning I used the English muffins, turkey sausage, and cheese to make homemade Sausage McMuffins, and they were even better.

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