Sourdough Blueberry Muffins With Mix-In Options

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Today, we’re going to put your sourdough starter to use and make something besides sourdough bread. Today, we’re going to make sourdough blueberry muffins.

This recipe is for sourdough blueberry muffins, but you can use this recipe more like a master or base recipe and sub chocolate chips, apples, zucchini, or your favorite filling in place of the blueberries. Blueberries just happen to be in season right now, so I’m making lots of blueberry muffins at the moment. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Sourdough 🥖 is the official hobby of coronavirus quarantine (the current state of the world right now) . Everyone (or at least everyone according to social media) is making and sharing sourdough photos. Personally, I love this! Sourdough is the way bread is supposed to be made, it’s the original bread before commercial yeast came into the picture. Getting back to sourdough is a step toward real food and getting back into our kitchens and nourishing ourselves the way our ancestors did.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

If you’re new to sourdough, it’s a topic we’ve discussed on the blog via the podcast before as well in posts. I recommend listening to this podcast all about sourdough.

Real Food Crash Course

 

Sourdough is made by first creating a starter, which is simply a blend of water and flour and wild yeast. Wild yeast lives everywhere, so the intent of creating a sourdough starter is to capture naturally-occurring wild yeast and use it for baking bread. This means a sourdough starter, the base of every sourdough recipe, is full of life, literally, in the form of healthy and active bacteria.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

This bacteria, when mixed with flour (and usually some water and maybe a few other ingredients) and given time (hours to rest and make a fermented dough), goes to work at breaking down (pre-digesting) the gluten and phytic acid found in grains. This makes sourdough easier to digest and full or beneficial nutrients. Sourdough is truly a magical process. It’s fascinating to watch how something so simple (water, flour, and air) can create the most delicious breads, muffins, pancakes, waffles, crackers, and so much more. (PS: If you have Netflix, I recommend watching Michael Pollan’s Cooked and the episode about Air which is all about fermentation and sourdough.)

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

When it comes to sourdough, a lot of people think solely about crusty bread. But the truth is, you can use a sourdough starter to make just about any baked good, from muffins to crackers to waffles to cakes to biscuits and pizza dough.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

The Key Ingredient Needed to Make Sourdough Muffins

To make sourdough muffins, whether you want to make blueberry muffins or add a different filling, you need a sourdough starter. You don’t need to purchase a starter (unless you want to, or you can get a starter from a friend), you simply need to make one. Once you make a sourdough starter, it can last hundreds of years (even longer than its owner) and there are tales of starters being passed down by generations of bakers and within families. You can use the same starter for years to make a variety of different baked goods.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

If you already have a starter that’s active (meaning it’s bubbly and rises and falls each time you feed it), then you’re ready to make today’s recipe. If you don’t have a starter yet, now is the time to make one. It’s time to join the rebirth of sourdough in our culture. You’ll need flour and water and patience. It will take about 5-10 days before your starter is ready for baking. After that, it will be ready anytime you want to make something. To make a starter, follow this recipe.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Do Sourdough Muffins Taste Sour?

One of the myths of sourdough is that all sourdough baked goods (including bread) taste sour. That’s simply not true.

The sourness of a baked good depends on how often you feed your starter (the more spread out the feedings, the stronger the soured flavor) along with how long the dough rests (ferments). For these muffins, the resting time is overnight (about 8-12 hours), so you won’t end up with sour muffins. The muffins have a slight tang, but in a way that enhances the flavor of the muffins. In fact, sourdough improves and enhances the taste of wheat-based goodies. There’s no way to perfectly describe this, you just have to experience good sourdough for yourself.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

How to Make Other Sourdough Muffin Variations

As I mentioned, today’s recipe is specifically for blueberry muffins, but the overall recipe is a good master or base recipe. With this sourdough muffin recipe, you can make so many different variations. Whatever option you choose, I recommend using 1/2-1 cup for the mix-in. Here are some ideas…

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

  • Cinnamon-Apple: Chop an apple or two and saute in some butter and cinnamon, or just toss raw apple pieces with cinnamon. Then add to the batter.
  • Chocolate Chip: Obviously a kid favorite in our house.
  • Zucchini: Shred zucchini, then squeeze out the excess water by placing the zucchini shreds in between a paper towel or dish towel. Add the zucchini to the batter.
  • Carrot: Add shredded carrots to the batter. You could even add half carrots and half apples or raisins.
  • Raspberries or Blackberries: I haven’t tried this option yet, but it’s on my list for summer.
  • Spice it Up: Add cinnamon to the batter or some lemon zest (fine shavings from the lemon peel), or a bit of lemon juice for an extra pop. Or grab the pumpkin spice in the back of the cupboard. There are so many ways to add a bit of “kick” to these muffins. Experiment and then come back and tell me your favorite variations.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

A few more notes about variations and recipe options.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

First, I’ve adapted this recipe from Cultures for Health (their basic sourdough muffin recipe). That recipe calls for sugar. I normally stay away from sugar in muffins, but this recipe works best with sugar. Use cane sugar, coconut sugar, or sucanat. If you want to use honey and maple, I have tested this recipe with those options and the muffins still turn out well but don’t rise as much. Just be aware of this if you choose to use honey or maple syrup in place of the sugar. There’s only 1/2 cup of sugar and the recipe makes 12 muffins. So when you divide that half cup by 12 muffins, we’re not talking about a massive amount of sugar per muffin. Still, I’ll leave it up to you.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Second, I’m using all-purpose einkorn flour in this recipe, but you could also use all-purpose flour (non-einkorn), a light spelt, or even whole wheat flour. If you’re using a heavier wheat (like whole wheat or whole wheat einkorn), I recommend sifting the flour into the bowl for a lighter baked good.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins
3 from 2 votes
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Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

Homemade muffins made with a sourdough starter. Sourdough muffins are easy to digest and delicious for breakfast or a snack. This recipe is adapted from the Basic Sourdough Muffin recipe from Cultures for Health and can include a variety of mix-ins (see recipe note below the recipe).

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Sourdough Blueberry Muffins, Sourdough Muffin Recipe, Sourdough Muffins
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Fermentation (Rest Time) 12 hours
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 179 kcal
Author Kristin Marr

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (90g) freshly fed so it's active and bubbly (meaning the starter has doubled in size since feeding, usually within 4-10 hours of a fresh feeding)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour (172g)*
  • 1/4 cup room temperature water (50 g)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (109g) or honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (112g) melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup blueberries fresh or frozen, or your choice of mix-ins (see note below)
  • turbinado sugar (optional)

Special Equipment:

  • large bowl
  • muffin pan
  • muffin liners
  • damp kitchen towel
  • digital scale when it comes to sourdough (or any baking), I highly recommend weighing the ingredients instead of using volume (cup) measurements. This is far more accurate and precise.

Instructions

  1. About 8-12 hours before you plan to bake the muffins, add the active sourdough starter, flour, and water to a large mixing bowl. Stir just until the ingredients are combined (I use a dough hook for mixing--highly recommend this tool for sourdough baking). The dough will be very thick and jagged and sticky, try to combine the ingredients into a ball if possible. I usually mix this together at night, before bed, so we can make muffins in the morning. If you want to bake in the evening, you'll want to do this in the morning. Just plan accordingly.

  2. Place the dough on the counter and cover with a damp kitchen towel. You're done for now. The dough will ferment over the next 8-12 hours.

  3. TIP: Remember to feed your starter after using it to make the muffin batter.

  4. After 8-12 hours, the dough should appear active (you might see some bubbles and it will increase/double in size). Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.

  5. Add the sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, and baking soda to the fermented dough. Stir the ingredients until combined, but don't overmix the dough. At first, it may be difficult to combine, but I promise it all will come together. The batter should be thick. I like to toss the blueberries with a small amount of extra flour to coat and then mix the blueberries into the batter. This is optional. You can also add the blueberries directly to the dough. For other mix-ins (see note below), simply add the ingredient as the last step and mix.

  6. Fill the muffin cups with the batter (about 3/4 the way full). If desired (optional), top each muffin with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the tops feel springy and set when touched.

  7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying. The muffins also freeze well! Cool the muffins completely before storing in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for a couple of months. Use this recipe as a base for many different muffin variations.

Recipe Notes

* I haven't tested this recipe with all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour, but my thought is the recipe should work with these options. The recipe is adapted from Cultures for Health and they call for whole wheat flour, so I think it's a safe option here. If you're using a heavier wheat (like whole wheat or whole wheat einkorn), I recommend sifting the flour into the bowl for a lighter baked good.

Variation Ideas (use 1/2-1 cup of any variation below): 

  • Cinnamon-Apple: Chop an apple or two and saute in some butter and cinnamon, or just toss raw apple pieces with cinnamon. Then add to the batter.
  • Chocolate Chip: Obviously a kid favorite in our house.
  • Zucchini: Shred zucchini, then squeeze out the excess water by placing the zucchini shreds in between a paper towel or dish towel. Add the zucchini to the batter. Zucchini muffins will cause the muffins to be a bit wet and they may not rise as much as you'd expect a muffin to. 
  • Carrot: Add shredded carrots to the batter. You could even add half carrots and half apples or raisins.
  • Raspberries or Blackberries: I haven't tried this option yet, but it's on my list for the summer.
  • Spice it Up: Add cinnamon to the batter or some lemon zest (fine shavings from the lemon peel), or a bit of lemon juice for an extra pop. Or grab the pumpkin spice in the back of the cupboard. There are so many ways to add a bit of "kick" to these muffins. Experiment and then come back and tell me your favorite variations.
  • Banana Bread: Use this sourdough banana bread recipe

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

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13 Comments

  • 5 stars
    I just made a double batch of these muffins with shredded zucchini and I used half the sugar (monk sugar) and they taste great! My family loves muffins and kefir smoothies for breakfast these are a winner!

  • Trying these out … mixed the first 3 ingredients tonight, but not a sticky dough… more like a dry pastry? 1/2c starter, 1.5c flour, and 1/4c water — are those measurements correct?

    • Hey Paul, Yes, correct. That’s how the dough should be. Let that ferment overnight. What kind of flour are using? You can add a bit more water if needed. That’s just the base. Later you’ll add ingredients to make a wet dough for muffins.

  • I made your sourdough blueberry muffins this morning, starting them yesterday. They are delicious! I used King Arthur all-purpose flour, didn’t weigh anything, but they came out perfect, and are now our favorite blueberry muffin. I couldn’t mix them by hand, so I used my dough hook, and they were still delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  • 1 star
    I tried this recipe with a horrible failure. I assumed it was my starter, my mixing, my whatever.

    I tried them a second time and they were a failure. Assuming something I was doing incorrect.

    Today I tried this recipe, again verbatim and it was the worst they have been. Sorry, but this recipe, at least for me was horrid. The starter/flour/water never rose, but did become a ball of rubberized texture all three times. When I attempted to add the remaining ingredients, it combined in some mannerism of caulk and water, with the caulk winning. I tried and left the mixture to “absorb” into each other, to meld as one might say… After an hour of that I baked them. NO rise, just this gooey glob in each muffin tin that contained an emulsion of dough and a lot of blueberries.

    I may very well be the worst cook or kook, although I do have proof I can make muffins. But no longer this recipe…

    Jack

    • Hey Jack, It sounds like your sourdough starter isn’t active if the flour, water, starter didn’t rise. A starter will rise with any flour, water addition–that’s how it eats and as it eats it doubles in size. How old is your starter? Is it active? Does it rise and fall after each daily feeding? Does your starter pass the float test?

  • Thank you for the response.
    My starter is 4 months old. Passes the float test. Rises when fed, a lot as in almost triples. I do the 1:2:2 Ratio.
    Most likely as I’m new to sourdough, I put my OCD to work researching a lot of comments and advise. It appears we have “operator error” , I am dipping into the starter too late.
    I’ll try it again.

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