Sourdough Buttermilk WW Cherry English Muffins
Who doesn’t like a good English Muffin…toasted with butter or cream cheese? Nobody that I know of or at least admits to it!
I’ve made English Muffins many times with varying degrees of success and I have to say this formula is by far my favorite. It’s adapted from a version I found on King Arthur Flour but with many changes.
I used KAF bread flour along with some fresh milled Whole Wheat using Rouge de Bordeaux berries from Barton Springs Mill. It is one of my favorite grains I have tried from them. If you want more info here it the link to the product page.
I used 60% buttermilk along with water in the final mix and added some dried cherries rehydrated in water which gave the final muffins a wonderful flavor. I probably could have easily increased the amount of cherries to 150 grams and it would made them even better.
The final muffins had a nice English Muffin open crumb filled with nooks and crannies and were extremely flavorful from the buttermilk, SD levain and fresh milled whole wheat flour. I like to keep a bunch out for the week and then freeze the rest and defrost for 30 seconds in the microwave and toast them up as I need them.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled. I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me. Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
I used dried semi-sweet cherries and soaked them in some water for about an hour. Drained the water and used it as part of the main dough water.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flour and water/buttermilk (leave about 50 -70 grams to add after the first mix), together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. After 30 minutes or so add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), honey, and remaining water as needed and mix on low for 5 minutes. Lastly, add in the cherries until they are evenly distributed for about a minute. Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the flours. After your autolyse add in the starter, salt, remaining water and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 minutes. Add the cherries in in the last minute of mixing.
Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for one hour or so. Remove the dough and roll out on a lightly floured countertop to about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thickness depending on how thick you want your English Muffins. Cut them with a circular metal cutter to the size you desire and place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover them with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Let them proof in a warm place for 1-2 hours depending until they pass the poke test. Make sure not to over proof them or you will end up with hockey pucks.
I use an electric skillet to cook mine and warm it up to 375-400 F. I spray some canola cooking spray in the skillet and after placing the English Muffins inside I place the cover on top which creates a perfect steamy environment. I flip them over once they start getting nice and brown on the bottom and let them cook another few minutes before taking them out to cool on a wire rack. Use a fork to split them open to keep the nice open crumb, toast them nice and dark and slather on your favorite condiment.