I have tried so many different recipes for sourdough bread, and I never found anything that really worked (or that I really liked) until I stumbled across this recipe and found the perfect solution! Who needs to make loaves of bread when you can have these perfect, single size, delicious little muffins? We love eating them toasted for breakfast with butter or cream cheese, as an “English muffin” for an egg sandwich, with lunch meat and cheese for a portable school lunch, or as a bun for hamburgers. Everyone who comes over LOVES these muffins!
The sourdough process is extremely beneficial for your health because it is the best way to get rid of the phytic acid in the grain. Phytic acid prevents us from absorbing phosphorus and it leaches valuable minerals from our bodies. (Read my blog: The Dangers of Phytic Acid and What to Do About It to learn more.) It also breaks down the sugars in the grain which makes it easier to digest.
- 1 c. Sourdough Starter (Blog Post: Sourdough Starter Recipe)
- 2 c. Raw Milk (Blog Post: Why We Drink Raw Milk)
- 4 c. Fresh Ground Flour (I get my wheat berries here, but you can find some similar here too. I use this grinder. You could also just buy some organic sprouted grain flour here.)
- *2 T. Raw Honey (Optional: It helps to neutralize the sour flavor. Get some here.)
- 1 ½ t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
- 2 t. Baking Soda (Optional too, I think it just helps them rise a bit better.)
- Coconut Oil (To grease your hands and the pans. This coconut oil would be best, but on our budget, I buy this.)
- Mixing bowl
- Towel or saran wrap
- Stirring utensil
- Baking sheet (I use the standard baking sheets I’ve had forever, but in a perfect world where money was no option, I would love some stone baking ware like this.)
Part 1: Mix it Up and Let it Sit
- Mix together the sourdough starter and the milk. I usually don’t mix it until it is completely dissolved, I just try to stir it up for a bit to make sure it mixes more evenly when the flour is added.
- *Add the honey. If you are going to add the honey, now would be a good time. My raw honey is usually solid at room temperature, so I put it in a glass cup and microwave it until it melts. (I added this when I first started making these to cut down on the sour flavor, but now that my family is used to it, I don’t add this anymore!)
- Add the flour until you achieve a solid, but pliable consistency. When you use freshly ground flour, it has plenty of phytase that will break down the phytic acid. (Read more about the dangers of phytic acid here.) If you don’t have the time to grind it fresh every time you use it, you can always leave your flour in a sealed container on your countertop at room temperature. Just don’t freeze it or it will kill the phytase.
- Cover with a towel (or saran wrap) and leave in a warm undisturbed place for 8 hours. It is best if it can be slightly warm during this process (but not over 90°F). I usually just tuck mine away on the counter during the warmer days, but if it’s cold, I’ll put it on top of the stove and turn on the stove to like 200°F.
- *Notes: If you’re just starting to get your family used to the taste of sourdough, I would start out only letting it sit for a few hours. This will still be enough time for the sourdough to break down some of the phytic acid. Then, you can gradually increase the time to 8 hours, and you can even leave it overnight if that’s more convenient. If you set it out and 8 hours later, you’re not ready to make your muffins, pop it into the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Part 2: Make Your Muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Get the dough ready. The dough mixture should have risen to almost double its size by this time, and you’ll need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to loosen the mixture before dumping it onto your countertop. (*If it didn’t rise, it probably wasn’t warm enough, or maybe the starter isn’t good anymore.)
- Add dry ingredients and knead. Sprinkle your salt and baking soda on top of your lump, grease up your hands with some coconut oil, and knead the dough to mix everything in. *If your dough is too soupy, you can add a little bit of flour at a time until its more stiff and pliable. **It is very important that you don’t add the salt until the end because it hinders the fermentation process. You don’t want to skip it though because it tightens the gluten structure and prevents the dough from getting too sticky.
- Grease the baking sheets. I like to use coconut oil.
- Make dough blobs. Make sure your hands stay nice and greased up with coconut oil and then pull apart a little blobs of the dough, roll them in your hands until they are formed into nice little cookie dough balls, and place them on the baking sheets. (This recipe should make enough for two sheets of muffins.)
- Flatten the blobs. Use the palm of your hand to press them down, and then even out with your fingers.
- Place the muffins sheets on top of the warm oven. Cover with some towels and leave them to rise for about an hour. (If you don’t have an oven underneath your stove, you can turn your stove to warm and place them inside with the door open.)
- Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes.
- Place in Ziploc bags and store in the fridge or freezer. I like to cut them in half and toast them or use for sandwiches, English muffins, hamburgers, etc.
*I adapted this recipe from The Fresh Loaf, which is a GREAT resource for all bread making.
Tips and Tricks
Cutting these little buggers in half can be a little tricky, but my husband came up with a way that works really well even on the thinnest of muffins. First of all, hold the muffin up on its side and insert just the tip of the knife all around the edges (almost like you’re scoring it). Then, gently saw back and forth while rotating the muffin in a circular motion until you get to the middle. Walla!
These muffins are kind of little, so they can get stuck in a toaster. I prefer making them in my toaster oven.