Tartine English Muffins

Tonight the first snow of winter shall fall upon our home—the coop has been revamped with a heated water tank, heat lamps, fresh hay and newly insulated walls—and yet, Betty White, in all her wisdom, decided that this would be a great time to molt. I hereby initiate the Save Betty campaign. I’m looking for sweater patterns that might go nicely with thinning grey. Or chicken leggings since her bottom is bare at the moment. Also, I’m feeding her protein-rich cat food. Maybe she’ll be a whiskered hen that meows by the end of winter.

In the face of winter, one way we keep cozy around here is by cooking hot breakfast on cold mornings. These muffins are so good, I could just molt.

english muffins english muffin jam

Tartine English Muffins

Adapted from the Tartine cookbook

First, make a poolish of 200g water, 200g flour, and a dollop of sourdough starter, cover and let it rise overnight, or at least four hours.

Then, make Tartine Baguette dough (using baker’s percentages (BP), so, as you will)

Sourdough starter 400g (40)

Water 500g (50)

Poolish 400g (40)

Bread flour 350g  (35)

All purpose flour 650g (65)

Salt 24g (2)

Follow the classic Tartine steps for bulk fermentation for the next 3-4 hours. Then, when you would otherwise shape the loaf and set to proof, stretch the dough into an as-flat-as-possible patty. Sprinkle a copious amount of flour/rice flour on the dough and cover on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cold rise overnight. In the morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you bake.

english muffin dough

Clarify one stick of butter by boiling it down and then straining the liquid through a metal sieve. This is not imperative, but separating the milk fats from the yellow butter fat will make it less likely to burn.

clarified butter

Use a glass or a circle shape cutter to make the muffin rounds in the dough.

english muffin rounds

Heat a skillet and add enough of the clarified butter to just cover the bottom of the skillet. When the skillet is sizzling hot, carefully transfer the dough rounds and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the muffin starts to lift up with air, and flip when the bottom is golden brown.

english muffin skillet english muffin cooking

english muffin done

Cannot believe how perfect these were. I’ve never even liked English muffins, but hot off the griddle, these were so soft and full of flavor. The crumb is spongy and full of air pockets into which butter and jam can melt. OOOOhhhh. These are featured anew on Sourdough Surprises www.sourdoughsurprises.blogspot.com

english muffin perfect crumb english muffin butter

I LOVE these. A veritable breakfast delicacy, and I imagine, perfect for Christmas morning. Even the dough remnants make yummy little beignet-ish nibbles that are irresistible.

english muffin dough remnants

Heated chicken water fount!

poultry font

17 thoughts on “Tartine English Muffins

  1. I love English muffins, and am so happy that you found a recipe that has got you loving them too! Enjoy many a hot breakfast these next few months. Also, I hope the chickens enjoy their five-star lodging, and realize how very loved and spoiled they are! 🙂

    1. Today KP observed Betty fall the equivalent of three flights in chicken distance when he came out to feed them this morning.

      Sent from my iPhone


    2. Andie, it is fantastic that your unconditional grandmother love extends beyond possible future human grandchildren to your chicken grandchildren too! 😉

  2. These English muffins look incredible! There’s one step that’s got me puzzled. I’m not sure what they mean by overnight. Do they mean 24 hours? How long did you let your muffins rest in the fridge? Thanks for sharing your results! They make figuring these things out all the more easier.

  3. I’m about to try this recipe this weekend and I’m sooooo excited! I have one question: the recipe includes 400g of sourdough starter plus 400g of poolish. Was this intentional to have both starter and poolish? If so what hydration level to use for the starter? Thanks!

    1. RC, these are to die for. I am excited FOR you. Yes, I use both the poolish and starter, and I maintain my starter with exactly equal parts water and flour. Hope they turn out! The key is the clarified butter, I think 🙂

    2. I just baked my third batch of these. They are really really good. There’s no need to pry open with a fork to roughen the texture — there are holes all over, and they are so light and airy. For me the thickness of the stretched dough made a big difference; I found 1/4″ worked well. For easier handling I coated the dough with rice and wheat flour while doing the stretching. I also sprinkled the bottom surface before the cold rise. I agree that this recipe makes a perfect English muffin. I ate 3 in a row this morning and had to stop myself for going for more. I am estatic. Thank you, rachelhammer, thank you thank you thank you!!

      1. Glad to hear it! I thank the Tartine bakery for inventing the method, it really has revolutionized the way I use sourdough and prepare bread.

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