We have a new pet.
It’s a sourdough starter.
Because I honestly don’t think I could actually handle the care of another pet. Especially after what we experienced this past week.
After nearly a month of social distancing (with only going to the store two times) because, you know, COVID-19 – I decided we needed a little outing. So, I took Audrey and Prince to a private beach access for a bit of fun in the sun. However, what was supposed to be an enjoyable experience ended up becoming an absolute nightmare.
Since there was no one else on the beach, I allowed Prince to run freely while I played in the water with Audrey. Unfortunately, he took that opportunity to eat sand.
Something that I wasn’t even aware of.
Until he started throwing up the sand around 11 pm that evening, and continued doing so until the following morning when I was able to call the vet. They asked me to bring him in as soon as possible, which began the process of intense monitoring, pushing fluids, administering laxatives, and scheduled RADS to determine where the sand clumps were. There was also talks of possible internal organ failure and surgery.
Needless to say, it was not a fun couple of days. Bringing me to the conclusion that a sourdough starter is the only “pet” I’m willing to take on at this point in my life.
And I’m calling it a pet, because in countries like Sweden, you can hire a sitter for your sourdough starter. And why not? If you’re keeping your starter on the countertop, it could potentially become a very intensive hobby – with daily discards and feedings. If you’re keeping it in the refrigerator, you’ve slowed the process some, but you’ll still need a weekly upkeep.
So meet Mr. Blob. The newest addition to our family.
Sourdough breads are surprisingly easy to make. You need to start off with a good sourdough starter and then the rest is just you waiting.
And these English muffins are the perfect recipe to start your sourdough experience. The process is fairly easy, they taste incredible with just a subtle “sourness” to them, and the chewy exterior with the soft pillowy interior is everything I could ask for in an English muffin.
Enjoy them toasted and slathered in butter and jam. Fill them with eggs, ham, and cheese for a quick go-to breakfast sandwich, or pair them with your meal as a great roll replacement like we did for Easter dinner because someone forgot to pick up dinner rolls.
Eh hem, I’m someone.
However you decide to eat them, just do it, because they are seriously THAT good.
Better yet. Double your batch and freeze half. So you have plenty for later.
Trust me, you’ll want them.
Sourdough English Muffins
make 10 muffins
- 1/2 c. active starter
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 c. milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 c. corn meal (for sprinkling)
Prepare your sourdough starter the morning before you plan to bake. To a clean jar, add 3 tbsp. of your sourdough starter, 1/2 cup of flour, and 1/3 cup water and let it rise until it’s doubled in size (this can take anywhere between 4-12 hours).
The night before you begin baking, mix the starter, honey, milk, flour, and salt into a large bowl and mix with your hands until well combined. Set aside and allow the dough to rest for 30-60 minutes. This is called autolyse, which gives the dough special processing characteristics, and leads to a higher quality of baked goods. After the resting period, turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes.
Place your dough back into the bowl, cover, and let it ferment on the counter at room temperature (around 68 degrees F) for about 12 hours.
The next morning, turn the dough onto a floured surface, and pat gently with your fingertips (so you don’t release the air), until the dough is 1″ in thickness. Using a 3″ round biscuit cutter, cut rounds and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled with 2 tbsp. of the corn meal. When all 10 muffins have been cut, sprinkle the tops with the remaining corn meal. Then, cover them with a clean tea towel, and allow to rest for an additional hour.
Preheat a non-stick skillet over a low heat. Place enough muffins in so that they can be 2 inches apart, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the muffins over and cook, covered, on this side for an additional 4 minutes.
Set muffins aside and allow to cool completely before you slice into them.
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