Basic recipe for English muffins

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup semolina (durum) flour (This is used for pasta and can usually be
found in larger supermarkets. It really improves the muffins, but if you
can't find it, use 2 cups white flour.)
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup buttermilk (or plain milk, but buttermilk is a lot better.)


Mix the above thoroughly. It will form a wet, sticky dough. Cover tightly or
enclose entire bowl in a 2-gallon Zip-loc bag which retains the moisture.
Allow to rise overnight or until its volume has at least doubled. It takes
only three hours in a 105 degree environment. When ready, the dough (sponge)
will be almost frothy and easily stirred.

Add:
2 level tablespoons sugar, honey, molasses or syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (rounded) baking soda


Add variations, if wanted (see below, and I'll guarantee you'll want them
once you've tried them!)

Mix the above ingredients thoroughly into the sponge, then add an additional
3/4 to 1 cup white flour and mix. Knead with additional flour until a dough
has formed that will hold a fairly good ball that only slightly sags. It may
also have minor kneading "overlaps" that do not immediately reseal.

Thoroughly sprinkle your work surface with white corn meal, and spread
dough. Flip dough so it is covered with corn meal on both sides. Roll to
approximately 1/2 inch thick. (I cheat by using two strips of wood cut 7/16
inch thick as rolling guides for uniformity. I also have a commercial 24
inch baker's rolling pin.)

Cut into biscuits with a large biscuit cutter or small tuna can (preferred).
If the thickness of the dough is right, the small tuna can will produce
12-13 large muffins.

Allow to rise on a non-stick surface or cookie sheet sprinkled with white
corn meal until they have about doubled in thickness. This will again
require 3-4 hours at warm room temperature or 1-3/4 to two hours at 105
degrees. Don't allow them to over-rise or they will very rapidly crash into
wet, sticky blobs. If they start to sag a bit, i.e., mushroom at the base
and begin to lose their firm domed appearance on top, cook immediately, as
they are getting ready to crash!

Bake in a tightly covered electric skillet at 325 degrees (if you're cooking
on a wood or gas stove use your best guess) for exactly 10 minutes on each
side, and then an additional 5 minutes on each side. A timer is very
helpful, if not essential, at this step. They should be a nice medium-brown
on both sides.

Cool exactly 30 minutes at room temperature, place in a two-gallon Zip-loc
bag, and allow to "sweat" overnight to evenly moisturize.

Variations:

Onion dill: Add 2 heaping teaspoons dried chopped onions and 1 heaping
teaspoon of dill weed. Great buttered and/or with a slice of good cheese. (I

was eating one of these the other night with a slice of stink bier kase. Not
paying attention to what I was doing, my wife sniffed the air and then asked
me if I had left some old trash moldering.)
Black rye: Use 1 cup white flour and 1 cup black rye flour. This is
pumpernickel flour, not the regular rye flour found in stores. It is almost
impossible to find in supermarkets. Check with your local bakery.
Black onion rye: Add 2 heaping teaspoons dried chopped onions to the above.
Raisin: Add 1/2 cup raisins and 2 teaspoons cinnamon to basic recipe.
Orange raisin nut: Wonderful! Add 1/2 cup raisins, grated peel from 1
orange, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, and 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon. This
is a real winner!
Blueberry: Add 1/2 cup blueberries to basic recipe.
Cranberry nut: This is everyone's favorite, including mine! Take 1/2 heaping
cup fresh cranberries and cut them in half (or 1-1/2 oz. dried cranberries),
grated peel from 1 orange and 1/2 cup chopped black walnuts.
Cinnamon apple: Add 1/2 cup apple pie filling and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Cheese ranch: Another excellent recipe. Add 1 tablespoon ranch salad
dressing mix plus 1/2 cup grated sharp cheese, the sharper the better. No,
these don't taste like salad dressing, nor are they that cheesy. The two
ingredients synergize with one another to produce a truly unique taste.
Jalape?o: Add 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese, or mozzarella, or 1/4 cup each,
and 1-2 finely chopped fresh jalape?o peppers. Or for a third variation, add
1-2 chopped jalape?o peppers to the cheese ranch recipe.

Source: Not revealed by author of this post.