Blueberry muffins with sourdough discard

The Muffins

What is (or are) muffins?

This is a good question. I think we need to clear this up, because there are two basic types. Muffins, which most Americans will recognise as that cylindrical shape, growing symmetrically in girth from bottom to top, topped with a mushroom head; which, IMO, is the best part and the part you should eat last, but I digress. These vary in height, ranging from 3.42534 inches (baby muffins) to 6.57364 inches.

There are also English muffins. These are round discs about .46459 inches high. You can tear them apart into two slices, toast, butter, optional jam and eat.

All heights provided are approximate. SloWord, its authors, their wives, children, grandchildren, siblings and other interested descendants, dependents may not be sued for any innacuracies in the height of muffins, of any size, of any origin, of any kitchen, commercial or domestic.

(So there!)

So, in essence, English muffins are like bread; unlike muffins which are akin to cake. Yeah, seriously.

Got it? There’s a test at the end, so make sure you understand this.

Why are you making muffins?

Well, I’m not making them right now, or baking them. Oddly enough, in this scenario ‘making’ and ‘baking’ can be used interchangably…

But once upon a time, I got into the sourdough baking thing, like everyone else. If you’d like to read about the Sourdough Adventure, try reading this.

So just the other day, an old friend posted a recipe for bread here. And we had a short discussion about sourdough discard. Specifically, what is it and what do you do with it.

And I said to myself, “Hey, why not write out a recipe that uses sourdough discard?”

After a moment or two to reflect, I answered myself. I said, “That’s a wonderful idea. But isn’t that too much work? I mean, you have to type it all out, format it, add photos, read it a couple of times to ensure you have no more than the required 2.37249 typos?”

I meditated on that for a bit and eventually I lost the battle with myself and here it is.

Of course, now that I read the section on muffins vs English muffins, I realise that I will have to write the English muffin recipe, too, at some point.

Sigh! And here I was thinking I should write a more detailed travelogue recounting the recent holiday that we touched upon in the last piece.

Oh well.


  • 1 cup (120g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (138g) yellow cornmeal, preferably whole grain
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I ignored this. Cinnamon, forsooth!)
  • 1 cup (227g) sourdough starter, ripe (fed) or discard
  • 1/4 cup (57g) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) melted butter or 1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (156g) maple syrup or 1/2 cup (170g) molasses, or honey
  • 2 cups (340g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Demerara sugar or coarse sparkling sugar, for sprinkling tops (You already have enough sugar! Ignore this, like I did!)


  • A muffin pan
  • An oven
  • A bowl
  • Another bowl
  • A spatula
  • OPTIONAL (those paper cups – if you want to make your muffins come out looking preofessional)
  • A visit to the grocery store or other store if you don’t have the ingredients or equipment
  • A car to visit the grocery
  • Gas for the car (or electric supply….)
  • A bag or two to bag the groceries, because they don’t hand them out anymore
  • A soupcon of patience
  • A sink and water supply and other things you may need to clean up the mess you will make
  • Oh, a towel to wipe wet hands

The Method

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218.33333C) (Hey, Celsius is precise! Don’t blame me! I used Google to convert that.)
  • Grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with papers and grease the inside of the papers.
  • Set that aside and marvel at your now buttery, greasy hands
  • Sigh deeply, wipe on a paper towel and get on with it
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

The Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (138g) yellow cornmeal, preferably whole grain
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Note that I did not use the cinnamon, considering it wasteful, unnecessary and very, very optional.

Method contd.

  • Raise your glass of milk, cup of coffee, glass of wine or bottle of beer to me in appreciation of the specification of dry ingredients. You’re welcome, but why are you drinking wine or beer so early in the day? I mean, it’s like 8AM!!
  • In a second bowl, beat together the sourdough starter, milk, egg, melted butter, and sweetener.
  • Blend the wet ingredients with the dry, taking about 20 seconds, or more precisely, between 19.49749 and 20.86574 seconds.
  • Gently stir in the blueberries just until blended.
  • Fill the cups of the prepared muffin pan two-thirds full.
  • Why two-thirds? And what is two-thirds?
  • Why: the batter will rise through the baking process and will grow beyond the height of the cup, thus giving you the nice mushroom head we talked about earlier ^^^
  • What: If you were to take a line and divide it into 3 (three) equal bits and take two of those bits, you have two of the thirds, or 66.66666666666666666666666666666% of the total line.
  • Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with sugar.
  • Actually don’t sprinkle the top with sugar. Not required! Too much sugar! Bad! Very bad! It’s more than good without!
  • Bake the muffins for 25 minutes
  • If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • What? You don’t have a toothpick? Didn’t you just emit greenhouses gases to visit the store? And you didn’t read this through before you went?
  • Ah well, use a sharp knife then.
  • Remove the pan from the oven
  • Set pan aside for between 4.92375 to 5.2382 minutes
  • Remove muffins from the pan.
  • Don’t let them cool in the pan, or they’ll steam and the outside will become tough.
  • Invite friends, such as myself over, prepare strong coffee and serve with muffins. No milk or sugar, needed please. Just the black coffee and the muffins.

The Finished Product


Discard or Sourdough Discard

If you read the sourdough recipe, you will see that everyday, as part of the feeding process, you are being asked to remove a portion and set aside. Most people won’t tell you this, but SloWord is making this clear, because he’s a helpful chap, that you should add that discarded portion to a glass container kept in the fridge. You will notice, with some alarm and mild trepidation, that the quantity of discard starts growing quite quickly. Thus the need for recipes that utilize this, so you can reduce or eliminate the grumbles from other users of the fridge about space being used. “Can’t you do something about this? It’s taking so much space.”

If you write and ask for more uses, I may, write those uses down for you. All you have to do is dreeeeaam, dream, dream, dream, dreaaaaaam. Sorry, my mind or what passes for it wandered away to that song.

Yeah, call me, baby, here’s my number.


This particular set I made used blueberries. Because I like blueberries and there they lay, the package turned towards my hand, to paraphrase Willie the Shake. You can use cranberries, raisins, currants, sultanas, nuts of choice. But not bolts. Bolts are hard to chew and harder still to digest and may require surgical or other medical procedure. Eschew the bolts, because you can’t chew them!

And on that silly joke, I give up!

Write to me!

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